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The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (06/13/22)



Upcoming Events & Activities

June 13th, 2021 - June 17th, 2022

All events in Eastern Daylight Time


Monday, June 13th

No events to report.


Tuesday, June 14th

10:30 AM - House Budget Committee: Hearing titled, "How the American Rescue Plan Saved Lives & the U.S. Economy"


10:00 AM - Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: Hearing titled, "Examining Freight Rail Safety”


1:00 PM - House Climate Crisis Committee: Hearing titled, "State Perspectives on Cutting Methane Pollution"


2:30 PM - Senate Judiciary Committee: Hearing titled, "Strengthening our Workforce and Economy through Higher Education & Immigration"


Wednesday, June 15th

10:00 AM - Senate Judiciary Committee: Hearing titled, "Protecting America's Children From Gun Violence"


2:00 PM - Senate International Narcotics Control Caucus: Hearing titled, "Oversight of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and its 2022 National Drug Control Strategy"


3:00 PM - Senate Finance Committee: Hearing titled, "Supply Chain Resiliency: Alleviating Backlogs and Strengthening Long-Term Security"


Thursday, June 16th

9:30 AM - Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee: Hearing titled, "An Update on the Ongoing Federal Response to COVID-19: Current Status and Future Planning"


10:00 AM - House Foreign Affairs Committee: Hearing titled, "U.S. Efforts to Support European Energy Security"


Friday, June 17th

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.

Legislation

H.R. 8018, To amend the Consolidated Farm & Rural Development Act to establish a grant program to assist with the purchase, installation, and maintenance of point-of-entry and point-of-use drinking water quality improvement products

Sponsor: Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01) referred to Agriculture Committee Date Introduced: June 9, 2022


H.R. 8013, To establish the Committee on Large-Scale Carbon Management in the Department of Energy and a Federal Carbon Removal Initiative

Sponsor: Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH-02) referred to Science, Space, & Technology Committee Date Introduced: June 9, 2022


H.R. 7996, To require congressional authorization for the drawdown and sale of petroleum products in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Sponsor: Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX-04) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: June 9, 2022


News

Politico: Fossil Fuel Companies Take Climate Tort Fight to SCOTUS

On June 8th, several Suncor Energy subsidiaries and Exxon Mobil asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that several climate change lawsuits brought against fossil fuel companies by states and localities belong in federal court rather than state court. The jurisdiction fight could determine whether the companies could be found liable to pay damages from climate change. The case out of Colorado is the first such climate tort lawsuit to make it back before the Supreme Court, which in 2021 ruled on an underlying procedural matter.

 

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.

Legislation

H.R. 8024, To prohibit the distribution of Federal funds to certain entities related to the People's Republic of China for certain public works projects

Sponsor: Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22) referred to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: June 10, 2022


H.R. 7962, To amend the Energy Policy & Conservation Act to modify the definition of water heater under energy conservation standards

Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: June 7, 2022


News

The Hill: Biden Admin Announces National Standards for EV Charging Networks

On June 8th, the Biden administration announced new standards to expand EV charging infrastructure throughout the U.S., which will be laid out formally in a proposed rule from the Federal Highway Administration. the rule will require EV charging stations every 50 miles and no more than a mile off the highway, emphasizing the interstate highway system and alternative fuel corridors, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The proposed rule requires at least four 150-kilowatt DC fast-charging ports per station so that the station can serve multiple customers, and it ensures safe installation and maintenance by qualified technicians, creating new jobs in this EV infrastructure sector,” Buttigieg said. Buttigieg said the proposal will also bar any EV charging station receiving federal funds from requiring memberships in a club or loyalty program to use the chargers.

 

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.

Legislation

H.R. 8022, To address barriers immigrants and refugees face to entering the healthcare workforce

Sponsor: Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA-09) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: June 9, 2022


H.R. 8021, To authorize the Secretary of Health & Human Services to award grants to reduce barriers to immigrants becoming nurses or allied health professionals in the United States

Sponsor: Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA-09) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: June 9, 2022


News

WaPo: Supreme Court Releases Opinion on Egbert v. Boule

The case was brought in 2017 by Robert Boule, who owned the Smuggler’s Inn, a bed-and-breakfast located in Washington state along the Canadian border. Boule had a complicated relationship with federal agents, according to the court’s opinion. He sometimes served as a paid, confidential informant, helping agents identify people crossing the border illegally near his property. He also provided lodging and shuttle service to those crossing illegally.


Agents had seized from the inn shipments of illegal drugs, the opinion states, and Boule was recently convicted in Canadian court on human trafficking charges. Boule sued a Border Patrol agent whom he accused of unlawfully entering his property, and shoving and pushing him to the ground during a 2014 encounter involving a guest of Boule’s from Turkey. The agent, Erik Egbert, checked the guest’s immigration papers, which were up-to-date, and the guest unlawfully crossed the border into Canada that evening, the court’s opinion states. Boule alleged that the agent violated his constitutional rights by using excessive force and retaliating against Boule for complaining to the agent’s superiors.


By a 6-3 decision, with all Republican-appointed justices voting in the majority, the Supreme Court reinforced, as written by Justice Clarence Thomas, protections for government officials, who are generally immune from civil lawsuits when it is determined they have acted in good faith while carrying out their duties. Justice Thomas wrote, "Because our cases have made clear that, in all but the most unusual circumstances, prescribing a cause of action is a job for Congress, not the courts, we reverse."

 

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.

Legislation

H.R. 8014, To implement a minimum work requirement for able-bodied adults enrolled in State Medicaid programs

Sponsor: Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS-02) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: June 9, 2022


H.R. 7995, To exempt qualifying physicians from prior authorization requirements under Medicare Advantagement plans

Sponsor: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX-26) referred to Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: June 9, 2022


News

WaPo: Covid is Making Flu, Other Common Viruses Act in Unfamiliar Ways

Respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV, typically limits its suffocating assaults to the winter months. Rhinovirus, cause of the common cold, rarely sends people to the hospital. And the flu, which seemed to be making a comeback in December after being a no-show the year before, disappeared again in January once the omicron variant of the coronavirus took hold. Now flu is back, but without one common lineage known as Yamagata, which hasn’t been spotted since early 2020. It could have gone extinct or may be lying in wait to attack our unsuspecting immune systems, researchers said. Even common colds seem a little more virulent and tenacious, according to Richard Martinello, a specialist in respiratory viruses at Yale School of Medicine.

 

Finance & Federal Partnerships


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

Legislation

H.R. 8005, To enhance Social Security benefits and ensure the long-term solvency of the Social Security program

Sponsor: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) referred to Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: June 9, 2022


Updates from the Federal Register

EPA: Proposed Rule for Emissions for Clark County, Nevada

The EPA is proposing to approve, under the Clean Air Act, revisions to the Nevada State Implementation Plan (SIP) concerning the base year emissions inventory requirements for the Las Vegas Valley ozone nonattainment area located within Clark County for the 2015 ozone national ambient air quality standards. The EPA is accepting comments until July 13, 2022. The EPA finds that Nevada's submittals satisfy the procedural requirements of the CAA.

 

Special Reports


The latest reports, studies, and research issued from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Government Accountability Office (GAO), public policy organizations, and others.
  • BPC: June 13, 2022 - Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Economic Potential and Obstacles to Success

  • CRFB: June 10, 2022 - Surging Inflation Calls for Responsible Budgeting

  • GAO: June 9, 2022 - Priority Recommendations for the Department of the Interior

  • GAO: June 7, 2022 - Opportunities Exist to Reduce use of Time-And-Materials Contracts