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The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (1/31/22)



Upcoming Events & Activities

January 31th, 2021 - February 4th, 2021

All events in Eastern Standard Time


Monday, January 31th

No meetings to report.


Tuesday, February 1st

First Day of Black History Month


2:30 PM - Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee: Hearing on “Stopping COVID-19 Fraud and Price Gouging.”


2:30 PM - Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee: Hearing on “Review of SBA Entrepreneurial Development Programs & Initiatives.”


Wednesday, February 2nd

10:30 AM - House Energy & Commerce Committee: Hearing on”Pandemic Profiteers: Legislation to Stop Corporate Price Gouging”


1:30 PM - House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis: Hearing on “Manufacturing a Clean Energy Future: Climate Solutions Made in America.”


2:30 PM - Senate Finance Committee: Hearing on “The Hospital Insurance trust Fund & the Future of Medicare Financing.”


Thursday, February 3rd

10:00 AM - House Judiciary Committee: Hearing on “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Prisons”


10:30 AM - House Energy & Commerce Committee: Hearing on “FDA User Fee Reauthorization: Ensuring Safe & Effective Drugs & Biologics.”


Friday, February 4th

No meetings 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. 6492 - Climate Resilience Workforce Act, To establish a climate resilience workforce

Sponsor: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07) referred to Education & Labor Committee; Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


H.R. 6506 - St. Lawrence River & Great Lakes Waterways Protection Act, To include the St. Lawrence River and other river systems in the scope of functions of the Center of Expertise for Great Lakes Oil Spill Preparedness and Response

Sponsor: Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) referred to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


News

ABC News: U.S., Europe Plan for Any Cutoff of Russian Natural Gas

On Wednesday, January 25, Biden administration officials say the United States and European Union officials are coordinating with natural gas suppliers around the globe to cushion the impact if the Russian Federation were to cut off energy supplies over the Ukraine conflict. The U.S. and European allies have promised punishing economic and political sanctions if Russia moves its military into Ukraine, but worry about repercussions for Europeans from any such sanctions, including Russia potentially cutting off delivery of its natural gas to Europe at the height of winter.

 

Transportation & Infrastructure

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

Legislation

H.R. 6468 - Domestic SUPPLY Act, To establish a program of entering into partnerships with eligible domestic manufacturers to ensure the availability of qualified PPE (personal protective equipment) to prepare for and respond to national health emergencies or other emergencies

Sponsor: Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee; Oversight & Reform Committee

Date Introduced: January 21, 2022


H.R. 6478 - Supply Chain Resiliency Act, To establish the Office of Supply Chain Resiliency within the Department of Commerce to provide expansion support to companies and supply chains in the United States that are vulnerable to shortages and price increases

Sponsor: Rep. Cynthia Axne (D-IA-03) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


H.R. 6484 - STAND with Taiwan Act, To require the imposition of sanctions with respect to the People's Republic of China if the People's Liberation Army initiates a military invasion of Taiwan

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) referred to Foreign Affairs Committee; Financial Services Committee; Ways & Means Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


H.R. 6487 - Port Crane Security & Inspection Act, To require the inspection of certain foreign cranes before use at a United States port

Sponsor: Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL-26) referred to Homeland Security Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


H.R. 6489 - Infrastructure Grant Security Act, To prohibit the use of certain grants from being used to procure unmanned aircraft systems manufactured by Chinese companies

Sponsor: Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA-06) referred to Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Date Introduced: January 26, 2022


H.R. 6497 - Federal Information Security Modernization Act, To modernize Federal information security management and improve Federal cybersecurity to combat persisting and emerging threats

Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) referred to Oversight & Reform Committee; Science, Space, & Technology Committee

Date Introduced: January 205 2022


News

ZDNet: White House Rolls Out Zero-Trust Strategy for Federal Agencies

On Thursday, January 26, the Biden administration released a new cybersecurity strategy for federal agencies that will move the Federal government toward a "zero-trust" security model. The nearly 30-page plan lays out dozens of measures federal agencies need to take in the next two years to secure systems and limit the risk of security incidents. The government is still recovering from the SolarWinds scandal, which saw Russian hackers spend months inside government systems at multiple US agencies. Government agencies have until the end of fiscal year 2024 to put in place many of the measures described in the plan, which include more stringent network segmentation, multi-factor authentication, and widespread encryption. Departments are given 60 days or 120 days to appoint leads, who will implement the measures and classify certain information based on sensitivity.

 

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. 6495 - Crime Doesn't Fly Act, To prohibit the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration from accepting warrants for the arrest of aliens as valid proof of identification at aviation security checkpoints

Sponsor: Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11) referred to Homeland Security Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


H.R. 6522 - Stop the Betrayal Act, To prohibit Federal funds from being used to transport certain aliens into the interior

Sponsor: Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA-01) referred to Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: January 28, 2022


News

Fox News: Biden Plans Tax-Funded Legal Services Program for 'Remain in Mexico' Migrants

The Biden administration plans to launch a program, called Legal Access at the Border, and will be launched in seven border cities, including San Diego, Calexico, Nogales, El Paso, Eagle Pass, Laredo, and Brownsville – all cities in which the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP or the "Remain in Mexico" policy) was once enforced. The Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) will run the program after it gets off the ground. The Biden administration hopes to get the program going within the next 60 days.

 

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. 6483 - Improved Transparency of Foreign Drug Manufacturing Act, To clarify reporting requirements within a foreign country engaged in the manufacture, preparation, propagation, compounding, or processing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient

Sponsor: Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-GA-18) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


H.R. 6502 - Religious Freedom Over Mandates Act, To prohibit the use of Federal funds for any system of records on religious accommodations with respect to any COVID-19 vaccination requirement

Sponsor: Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC-05) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


H.R. 6508 - Family Plus Healthcare Act, To extend group health plan and health insurance coverage to parents of enrollees if such parents are not eligible to enroll in the Medicare or Medicaid program

Sponsor: Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24) referred to Ways & Means Committee; Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


H.R. 6513 - Medical Innovation Acceleration Act, To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to exempt from regulation as devices non-invasive diagnostic devices

Sponsor: Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: January 28, 2022


H.R. 6519, To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act regarding the patient medication information required to be included in the labeling of prescription drugs

Sponsor: Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME-02) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: January 28, 2022


H.R. 6520, To establish an automated supply-chain tracking application that provides near real-time insight into the amount of critical medical and health supplies available in the Strategic National Stockpile

Sponsor: Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) referred to Energy & Commerce Committee

Date Introduced: January 28, 2022


News

Washington Post: Study Finds that COVID-19 May Have Seasons for Different Temp. Zones

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, researchers found that Covid-19 transmission may have seasonal spikes tied to temperature and humidity, increasing at different times of the year for different locations. Colder regions, such as the U.S. Northeast, may experience more cases during winter, while warmer regions, such as the southern United States, may see higher transmissions in the summer. More-temperate zones could experience two seasonal peaks. “We think covid may be becoming endemic, meaning that it will stay within the human population, but we will see spikes based on where we are in a particular geographic point,” said author Antar Jutla, a hydrologist at the University of Florida. “The severity of peaks will be defined by how colder the temperature is and how warmer the temperature is.”

 

Finance & Federal Partnerships


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

Legislation

H.R. 6485 - Inflation Prevention Act, To create a point of order against spending that will increase inflation unless inflation is not greater than 4.5%

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA-25) referred to Rules Committee; Budget Committee

Date Introduced: January 25, 2022


News

The Hill: Fed keeps Rates Near Zero, Says Hike Likely

On Wednesday, January 26, the Federal Reserve announced it will be keeping its interest rates range near-zero levels, but hinted it would soon boost borrowing costs after a year of surging inflation. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Fed’s monetary policy arm, kept its baseline interest rate range at zero to 0.25 percent, the level set in March 2020 amid the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The FOMC also said it would conclude its monthly purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities in March, in line with a pace of tapering set in December. "With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate," the FOMC said in a statement.

 

Special Reports


The latest from reports issued from the Office of Government Accountability, the Congressional Research Service, and others.
  • GAO: January 26, 2022 - Pipeline Safety: Manufacturing Defects in Pipeline Components Rarely Contribute to Accidents

  • GAO: January 27, 2022 - COVID-19: Significant Improvements Are Needed for Overseeing Relief Funds and Leading Responses to Public Health Emergencies

  • GAO: January 27, 2022 - Innovative Technologies in Manufacturing: Commerce Has No Plans to Implement the Loan Guarantee Program

  • CRS: January 27, 2022 - Federal Reserve: Tapering of Asset Purchases

  • CRS: January 28, 2022 - Justice Breyer Retires: Initial Considerations