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The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (09/26/22)

Upcoming Events & Activities

September 26 – 30, 2022

All events are in Eastern Daylight Saving Time

Monday, September 26th

No events to report.

Tuesday, September 27th

Final Day of Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 28th

9:45 AM | Senate Environment & Public Works Committee: "Stakeholder Views on the Brownfields Program Reauthorization"

Thursday, September 29th

10:00 AM | House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee: "Investing in our Nation's Transportation Infrastructure & Workers: Why It Matters"

10:00 AM | Senate Judiciary Committee: "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Prisons"

1:30 PM | House Climate Crisis Committee: "A Big Climate Deal: Lowering Costs, Creating Jobs, & Reducing Pollution with the Inflation Reduction Act"

Friday, September 30th

9:30 AM | House Natural Resources Committee: "Puerto Rico's Post-Disaster Reconstruction & Power Grid Development"

The latest from the House and Senate committees on energy (infrastructure), water treatment and wastewater management, permitting reform, natural resources management, and environmental justice, and policy developments from the Departments of Energy and the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Recent Legislation

H.R. 8981, To streamline hardrock mine permitting on Federal lands, support technological and scientific advancements for mineral development, expand the mining workforce, track global supply chains, and strengthen domestic refining and processing capacity Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Western (R-AR-04) Committee(s): Natural Resources; Energy & Commerce; Appropriations; Science, Space, & Technology Date Introduced: September 22, 2022

H.R. 8980, To establish a moratorium on energy development in certain areas of the Gulf of Mexico Sponsor: Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL-06) Committee(s): Natural Resources Date Introduced: September 22, 2022

H.R. 8928, To improve the permitting process for mining on Federal land Sponsor: Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-08) Committee(s): Natural Resources; Agriculture Date Introduced: September 20, 2022


Politico: EPA Launches New Elevated Office of Environmental Justice

EPA Administrator Michael Regan on September 24th created a new office at the agency focusing on environmental justice and civil rights issues, the latest push by the Biden administration to address the pollution that disproportionately harms communities of color and low-income areas. The move merges three existing EPA programs into the new office to be led by a Senate-confirmed official and will be staffed by 200 people across the country. It will coordinate the spending of $3 billion included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

The latest from House and Senate committees on taxation, Social Security, federal contracting, small business and entrepreneurship support, and monetary policy, and policy developments from the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce, Office of Government Contracting, Small Business Administration, and Federal Open Market Committee (Federal Reserve System).

Recent Legislation

H.R. 8956, To amend chapter 36 of title 44, United States Code, to improve cybersecurity of the Federal Government Sponsor: Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11) Committee(s): Oversight & Reform Date Introduced: September 22, 2022

H.R. 8953, To allow the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to extend the participation period for covered small business concerns in the 8(a) small business program Sponsor: Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA-02) Committee(s): Small Business Date Introduced: September 22, 2022

H.R. 8941, To amend the Small Business Act to increase prime contracting opportunities for small business concerns Sponsor: Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-MD-07) Committee(s): Small Business Date Introduced: September 21, 2022


Forbes: China's Economy 'Dismal,' Will See No Growth, New Report

According to a recent report from London-based consulting firm Capital Economics, the Chinese economy looks to get even worse. The report begins with "[the] financial world’s focus on a generational surge in inflation in advanced economies is stealing attention from a generational slowdown in China that is arguably of much greater importance for the long-term global outlook.” Already, China’s steel production is falling, down 5.7% in the year through August, according to the World Steel Association. That country has long been the world’s largest producer of steel so the decline is meaningful on a global scale.

The latest from House and Senate committees on Covid-19 vaccination and testing, developing infectious diseases, health insurance, telehealth services, tobacco and other regulated substances, and policy developments from the Department of Health & Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Food & Drug Administration, and Indian Health Service.

Recent Legislation

H.R. 8937, To amend the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to improve the recruitment and retention of employees in the Indian Health Service, restore accountability in the Indian Health Service, and improve health services Sponsor: Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD-At Large) Committee(s): Natural Resources; Energy & Commerce; Ways & Means; Oversight & Reform Date Introduced: September 21, 2022


DBR: US Seeks to Secure Medical Supplies for COVID-19 Fight

The Biden administration will help set up a clearinghouse of medical supplies with other nations to fight COVID-19, and will expand a “test-to-treat” program in 10 countries to distribute therapeutic drugs, a senior State Department official said. Countries that back the Global Action Plan on COVID-19 will pledge to create a mechanism to secure and distribute the goods, such as masks and oxygen, and raw materials required to combat a pandemic, according to the official, who asked not to be identified discussing plans that still aren’t public. U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield is also set to announce that the U.S. Agency for International Development will introduce early testing systems that will help poorer countries identify COVID-19 patients in high-risk populations that are candidates for life-saving drugs, the official said. Those countries are Bangladesh, Botswana, Ivory Coast, El Salvador, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Senegal. USAID will also expand access to medical oxygen, including training for health workers, in more than a dozen countries, according to the official.

The latest from the House and Senate committees on immigration and asylum policy, detention, border security, criminal justice reform, and firearm regulation, and policy developments from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, including Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives.

Recent Legislation

H.R. 8957, To increase certain taxes related to firearms Sponsor: Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-07) Committee(s): Ways & Means; Judiciary; Energy & Commerce Date Introduced: September 22, 2022

H.R. 8952, To give the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to contain migration surges Sponsor: Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL-03) Committee(s): Judiciary Date Introduced: September 22, 2022

H.R. 8951, To amend the Immigration & Nationality Act with respect to the parole or release of an asylum applicant Sponsor: Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) Committee(s): Judiciary Date Introduced: September 22, 2022


Newsweek: Immigration Gives Greg Abbott Lead Over Beto O'Rourke in TX Poll

According to a poll released September 21st, Abbott with a seven-point lead, 50% to 43%, over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke. Abbott, seeking his third term in office, has made headlines for sending migrants to cities like Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., as part of his "Operation Lone Star" program introduced in March 2021. Between April and mid-August of this year, he sent over 6,600 asylum seekers on 30-plus-hour bus rides—often without food, water, medical supplies or rest stops. On September 15th, Abbott bused 75 to 100 migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris' house in D.C. Abbott has 95% of Republicans' support, and O'Rourke has 93% of Democrats' backing. White voters favor Abbott, 64% to 31%. Black and Latino voters prefer O'Rourke, 79% to 10%, and 58% to 36%, respectively. About 31% of respondents named immigration as the top concern and 22% said the same about abortion.

The latest from the House and Senate committees on industrial and commercial mechanical insulation, electric vehicles & charging infrastructure, supply chains, port authority, public transit, and airports, and policy developments from the Departments of Energy, Housing & Urban Development, and Transportation; and National Labor Relations Board.

Recent Legislation

H.R. 8793, To provide funding to strengthen cybersecurity defenses and capabilities by expanding community college programs leading to the award of cybersecurity credentials that are in demand in government, critical infrastructure, nonprofit, and private sectors Sponsor: Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI-10) Committee(s): Education & Labor; Science, Space, & Technology; Appropriations Date Introduced: September 22, 2022

H.R. 8969, To develop a comprehensive, strategic plan for Federal electric vehicle fleet battery management Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) Committee(s): Oversight & Reform Date Introduced: September 22, 2022


LA Times: CA Needs to Charge EV During Day, Not Night, to Save Grid, Study Says

According to a recent Stanford study, to successfully ramp up Californians’ reliance on electric vehicles over the next decade without overtaxing the state’s power grid, more drivers will need to charge their cars during the day, which can better utilize solar energy. The study, part of Stanford’s Bits & Watts Initiative, which integrates researchers with leaders of the energy industry, used modeling to forecast EV charging demands in 2035 across 11 western states, including California. Projecting that both EV use and renewable energy reliance will increase over the next 13 years, the team found that improvements in public charging infrastructure — reducing dependence on nighttime power-ups — could ensure that plug-in vehicles have the least effect on the power grid.

The latest proposed rules and notices of funding opportunity from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing & Urban Development, the Interior, the Treasury, and Transportation; Environmental Protection Agency; and Small Business Administration, and executive orders by the President of the United States.

DOT: Use of Inland Ports for Storage & Transfer of Cargo Containers

The Department of Transportation is requesting comments and information from representatives from across the supply chain, as well as the general public, pertaining to the feasibility of, and strategies for, identifying Federal and non-Federal sites for storage and transfer of cargo containers, to assist the Department of Transportation in preparing the report required by Section 24 of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. Comments must be received on or before October 26, 2022.

The latest reports, studies, and research issued from the Congressional Budget Office, Congressional Research Service, Government Accountability Office, public policy organizations such as the Bipartisan Policy Center, Resources For the Future, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and others.


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