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The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (06/06/22)

Upcoming Events & Activities

June 6th, 2021 - June 10th, 2022

All events in Eastern Daylight Time

Monday, June 6th

No events to report.

Tuesday, June 7th

10:00 AM - Senate Finance Committee: Hearing titled, "The President's FY2023 Budget"

Wednesday, June 8th

9:00 AM - Resources for the Future: Webinar titled, "Decarbonization Policy & International Competitiveness"

10:00 AM - House Oversight & Reform Committee: Hearing titled, "The Urgent Need to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic"

10:00 AM - House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee: Hearing titled, "Addressing the Roadway Safety Crisis: Building Safer Roads for All"

10:00 AM - House Science, Space, & Technology Committee: Hearing titled, "Detecting and Quantifying Methane Emissions from the Oil & Gas Sector"

10:00 AM - Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee: Markup hearing on S. 4348 (user-fee program) and S. 958 (community health centers)

Thursday, June 9th

10:00 AM - Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee: Hearing titled, "Oversight of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration"

10:00 AM - Senate Environment & Public Works Committee: Hearing titled, "Legislation to Prohibit the Manufacture, Processing, and Distribution in Commerce of Asbestos"

11:00 AM - Senate Budget Committee: Hearing titled, "Saving Social Security: Expanding Benefits and Demanding the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share or Cutting Benefits and Increasing Retirement Anxiety"

Friday, June 10th

No events to report.


Energy, Water & Environment

The latest from the House and Senate Committees on energy (infrastructure), WIFIA, wastewater management, environmental issues, interior, or environmental justice.


H.R. 7938, To provide for the inclusion of uranium on the list of critical minerals

Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08) referred to Natural Resources Committee Date Introduced: June 3, 2022

H.R. 7934, To establish a lending program for Latin America and the Caribbean to reaffirm the United States commitment to growth and energy security in the Western Hemisphere

Sponsor: Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13) referred to Foreign Affairs Committee Date Introduced: June 3, 2022

H.R. 7926, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a suspension of the highway fuel tax and to impose a temporary fee on excess oil profits

Sponsor: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28) referred to Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: May 31, 2022


CNN: Interior Dept Announces $33 Million to Clean up Methane-Leaking Orphaned Wells

On May 25th, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it will spend $33 million to clean up 277 idle oil and gas wells on federal lands in nine states. The funding allocation will go to orphaned wells in national forests and national parks in California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. The funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, which included $4.7 billion to clean up orphaned wells across the country. Over $1 billion of that funding has already been released to states to help them tackle orphan well clean-up. States have identified over 130,000 orphan wells around the country and estimated it will take around $8 billion to clean those wells up, said Laura Daniel-Davis, Interior’s principal deputy assistant secretary for land and mineral management.

Yahoo: Canadian Company Develops Efficient New Natural Gas Process

Gas Liquids Engineering announces the availability of SABR, a new licensed process for propane and ethane extraction from natural gas, in many cases using 5-20% less energy than competitive processes. SABR stands for "Split ABsorber Reflux", covering multiple variations of the process, intended for increased recovery of natural gas liquids (NGL) from natural gas, in a variety of applications. Deep-cut extraction plants historically rely on a piece of equipment called a turboexpander to provide the cooling needed to deeply extract liquids from natural gas. The SABR process is unique, as it instead uses standard propane refrigeration, shell and tube heat exchangers, and distillation to achieve propane or ethane recovery from natural gas of up to 99%. The use of refrigeration allows the process to achieve very high recoveries even under turned-down operation. As the outlet pressure of gas leaving the process is much higher than turboexpander based processes, the recompression requirements after processing are dramatically reduced, creating new opportunities for energy and emissions reductions.


Transportation & Infrastructure

The latest from the House and Senate Committees on industrial and commercial mechanical insulation, cybersecurity, electric vehicle charging, supply chains, port authority, metropolitan transit, or airports.


H.R. 7935, To reinforce commercial relationships with Latin American and Caribbean allies and expand critical supply chains in the Americas

Sponsor: Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13) referred to Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: June 3, 2022

H.R. 7911, To unify and strengthen the health and safety inspection standards for housing assisted under programs of the Departments of Housing & Urban Development Agriculture

Sponsor: Rep. Cynthia Axne (D-IA-03) referred to Financial Services Committee

Date Introduced: May 31, 2022


Reuters: Foxconn Predicts More Stable Supply Chain in the Second Half of 2022

Taiwan's Foxconn, the world' largest contract electronics maker, said on May 31st that the second half of the year is heading "in a better direction" as Shanghai's COVID-19 lockdown appears to be easing. Foxconn is aiming to become the first electric vehicle maker "not short on material supplies", Liu Young-way said, referring to a prolonged global chip shortage that has forced carmakers to halt production and hurt smartphone production including for Apple Inc., a major client. Foxconn is aiming to capture around 5% of the global electric vehicle market by the end of 2025 and has said it is hoping to boost its capacity to make EV chips, many of which are small lower-end integrated circuits including those used in power management.


Immigration & Detention

The latest from the House and Senate Committee on immigration, detention, homeland security, border security, asylum seekers, criminal justice reform, Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), U.S. Marshal Service (USMS), alternatives to detention programming, reentry programming, or Bureau of Prisons.


H.R. 7940, To require the Bureau of Prisons to submit to Congress an annual summary report of disaster damager

Sponsor: Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA-33) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: June 3, 2022

H.R. 7914, To prohibit the use of Federal funds to carry out Executive Order 14074

Sponsor: Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA-03) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: May 31, 2022


CNBC: Supreme Court Releases Opinion on Shinn v. Ramirez

In 2018, a federal court overturned Barry Jones' conviction, who sits on death row in Arizona for the rape and murder of his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter, Rachel, concluding that he had failed to receive effective counsel, i.e. a violation of his Sixth Amendment rights. After losing in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Arizona’s attorney-general appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. During those oral arguments, state prosecutors repeatedly argued that “innocence isn’t enough” of a reason to throw out Jones’ conviction.

At the time of his trial, Jones was appointed a lawyer by the state—a fundamental constitutional right guaranteed to all criminal defendants under the Sixth Amendment. If a defendant argues, after conviction, that they failed to receive adequate counsel they are appointed new legal representation. If the new lawyer also provides ineffective counsel, a federal habeas appeal allows them to argue that their post-conviction lawyer was ineffective. In effect, Jones argued that he received ineffective counsel not once—but twice. And the fault lies not with him, but rather with his lawyers who were appointed by the state of Arizona. By allowing him to introduce evidence of his innocence, a federal court would be, in effect, rectifying the mistakes made not just by his lawyers, but by the state responsible for appointing them.

By a 6-3 decision, with all Republican-appointed justices voting in the majority, the Supreme Court ruled, as written by Justice Clarence Thomas, that "a federal habeas court may not conduct an evidentiary hearing or otherwise consider evidence beyond the state-court record based on the ineffective assistance of state postconviction counsel."


Public Health & Safety

The latest from House and Senate committees on health insurance, COVID-19 and testing, gun safety, Medicare & Medicaid, telehealth, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), CDC, FDA, or rural hospitals.


H.R. 7942, To authorize local educational agencies and non-public schools to use funds, services, or assistance provided under section 2001 or 2002 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for school safety

Sponsor: Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT-04) referred to Education & Labor Committee

Date Introduced: June 3, 2022

H.R. 7931, To direct the President to withdraw the United States from the Constitution of the World Health Organization

Sponsor: Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) referred to Foreign Affairs Committee

Date Introduced: June 3, 2022

H.R. 7910, To provide for an increased age limit on the purchase of certain firearms, prevent gun trafficking, modernize the prohibition on untraceable firearms, and encourage the safe storage of firearms

Sponsor: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10) referred to Judiciary Committee; Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: May 31, 2022


NBC News: U.S. Has Wasted Over 82 Million Covid Vaccine Doses

Pharmacies, states, U.S. territories and federal agencies discarded 82.1 million Covid vaccine doses from December 2020 through mid-May — just over 11 percent of the doses the federal government distributed, according to data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared with NBC News. That’s an increase from the 65 million doses the CDC told the Associated Press had been wasted as of late February. Two retail pharmacy chains, CVS and Walmart, were responsible for over a quarter of the doses thrown away in the United States in that time period, in part due to the sheer volume of vaccine they handled.

Politico: FDA Signals Myocarditis Concerns with Novavax Covid-19 Vaccine

FDA reviewers have signaled concerns that Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine could be associated with an increased risk of heart inflammation, similar to cases seen after messenger RNA vaccination, according to briefing documents posted Friday ahead of an external advisory panel review of the shot. Tuesday's advisory committee meeting will consider Novavax's application for emergency use authorization for its two-dose primary series in people 18 and older. Novavax says its vaccine boasts a 90 percent efficacy rate against mild, moderate and severe disease and has a "positive benefit-risk profile." The company said in its briefing document that observed cases of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, inflammation of the heart's lining, were within expected background rates, or the expected incidences of myocarditis in the general population without any vaccine administered. But FDA was concerned enough with the recorded cases to ask Novavax to mark the two heart conditions as an "important identified risk" — something the company has not yet agreed to do, the agency said.


Finance & Federal Partnerships

The latest from House and Senate committees on taxation, retirement, small business, federal contracting, or monetary policy.


H.R. 7831, To provide a deduction for certain charity care furnished by physicians

Sponsor: Rep. daniel Webster (R-FL-11) referred to Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: May 18, 2022

Updates from the Federal Register

DOE: Agency Information Collection Extension

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is extending its Oil and Gas Reserves System Survey until July 6, 2022. There are no proposed changes to Forms EIA-64A and EIA-23S. The proposed collection will be used to prepare electronic annual reports of U.S. proved reserves data that fulfill EIA's congressional mandate to provide accurate annual estimates of U.S. proved crude oil and natural gas reserves. The U.S. Government also uses the resulting information in EIA's reports to develop national and regional estimates of proved reserves of domestic crude oil and natural gas to facilitate national energy policy decisions.

HUD: Request for Information Relating to Build America, Buy America Act

The U.S. Department of Housing &. Urban Development is seeking public input on the implementation of the Build America, Buy America Act ("BABA") as it applies to HUD's Federal Financial Assistance, until July 1, 2022.

DOEd: Request for Information Relating to Build America, Buy America Act

The U.S. Department of Education is accepting application for FY2022 for Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs--Native American Language program, Assistance Listing Number (ALN) 84.415B, until July 5, 2022. The purposes of this program are to (1) support schools that use Native American and Alaska Native languages as the primary language of instruction; (2) maintain, protect, and promote the rights and freedom of Native Americans and Alaska Natives to use, practice, maintain, and revitalize their languages, as envisioned in the Native American Languages Act of 1990; and (3) support the Nation's First Peoples' efforts to maintain and revitalize their languages and cultures, and to improve educational opportunities and student outcomes within Native American and Alaska Native communities.


Special Reports

The latest reports, studies, and research issued from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Government Accountability Office (GAO), public policy organizations, and others.
  • CRFB: June 2, 2022 - Analysis of the 2022 Social Security Trustees' Report

  • CRS: May 31, 2022 - U.S. Electricity Sector: Summer 2022 Outlook

  • GAO: June 2, 2022 - Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Health & Human Services

  • GAO: May 31, 2022 - Broadband: National Strategy Needed to Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Digital Divide

  • PGPF: June 2, 2022 - Five Charts about the Future of Social Security and Medicare

  • RFF: June 1, 2022 - Just Transition in Poland: A Review of Public Policies to Assist Polish Coal Communities in Transition


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