The Latest: A Weekly Federal Update (10/03/22)
Upcoming Events & Activities
October 3 – 7, 2022
All events are in Eastern Daylight Saving Time
Monday, October 3rd
No events to report.
Tuesday, October 4th
2:00 PM | American Association for the Advancement of Science: "Advances in PFAS Destruction"
Wednesday, October 5th
No events to report.
Thursday, September 29th
No events to report.
Friday, September 30th
No events to report.
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.
H.R. 9087, To restart onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing, streamline permitting for energy infrastructure, and ensure transparency in energy development on Federal lands Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Western (R-AR-04) Committee(s): Natural Resources; Energy & Commerce; Transportation & Infrastructure Date Introduced: September 29, 2022
H.R. 9063, To prohibit the Securities & Exchange Commission from requiring an issuer to disclose information related to certain greenhouse gas emissions Sponsor: Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK-03) Committee(s): Financial Services Date Introduced: September 29, 2022
H.R. 9025, To direct the Secretary of the Interior & the Secretary of Agriculture to use certain previously completed environmental assessments and environmental impact statements to satisfy the review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 Sponsor: Rep. David Valadao (R-CA-21) Committee(s): Natural Resources; Agriculture Date Introduced: September 28, 2022
Politico: Supreme Court Directs Biden to Weigh in on Climate Lawsuits
On October 3rd, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Biden administration to weigh in on whether climate change lawsuits brought by states and cities around the nation belong in state or federal courts. Although the immediate issue is jurisdictional, the outcome could determine whether these tort cases are moved to federal courts, where they are likely to be dismissed, or state courts, where they may be more likely to succeed. The government’s briefs can persuade the justices on whether or not to hear a case, but are not determinative. DOJ typically takes at least several months to respond to orders to weigh in on cases such as this one. That means the justices likely will not decide whether to take the case until early 2023, with arguments potentially sometime later that spring or in the fall 2023 term.
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).
No recent legislation
Politico: FDIC's Chair Urges Climate Risk Vigilance for Small Banks
On October 3rd, Acting FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg urged smaller banks to explore new ways to manage risks from severe weather events due to climate change. In a speech to the American Bankers Association, Gruenberg acknowledged that community bankers have successfully dealt with natural disasters in the past, such as by managing their exposure to flood plains. But he said those same strategies might be less viable going forward. Gruenberg also said regulators shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations for these firms. “We understand that smaller and mid-size banks have limited resources relative to larger banks,” he said. “We do not expect a community bank to manage credit risk the same way as the largest institution, and we would not expect the same for climate-related financial risk.”
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.
H.R. 9080, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to establish new community benefit standards for tax-exempt hospital organizations Sponsor: Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN-05) Committee(s): Ways & Means Date Introduced: September 29, 2022
H.R. 9054, To end COVID-19 lockdowns and COVID-19 vaccine mandates Sponsor: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) Committee(s): Ways & Means Date Introduced: September 29, 2022
H.R. 9034, To provide for reform to and a permanent extension of the Medicare-dependent hospital program Sponsor: Rep. Jodey Arrington Committee(s): Ways & Means Date Introduced: September 29, 2022
Reuters: Supreme Court Declines Challenge to Vaccine Rule for Health Workers
On October 3rd, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge by Missouri and nine other states to President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers in healthcare facilities that receive federal funds. The justices turned away an appeal by the states after a lower court declined to immediately consider their claims that the vaccine rule violates federal administrative law and tramples over powers reserved for the states under the U.S. Constitution.
The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision in January to let Biden enforce the healthcare worker mandate while litigation on its legal merits continued in lower courts. The justices at the same time decided 6-3 to halt his administration's rule requiring vaccines or weekly COVID-19 tests for employees at businesses with at least 100 employees. The federal healthcare worker rule requires vaccination for about 10.3 million workers at 76,000 healthcare facilities including hospitals and nursing homes that accept money from the Medicare and Medicaid government health insurance programs for elderly, disabled and low-income Americans. In January, the Supreme Court concluded that Biden's regulation fit within the power Congress conferred on the Federal government to impose conditions on Medicaid and Medicare funds.
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.
H.R. 9060, To allow for a credit against tax for sales at retail of safe firearm storage devices Sponsor: Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA-49) Committee(s): Ways & Means; Judiciary Date Introduced: September 29, 2022
H.R. 8952, To remove short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and certain other weapons from the definition of firearms for purposes of the National Firearms Act Sponsor: Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09) Committee(s): Ways & Means; Judiciary Date Introduced: September 29, 2022
USA Today: Immigration Takes Center Stage at the Texas Gubernatorial Debate
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke sparred in their first and likely only televised debate on September 20th in the state's gubernatorial race. The two hammered each other over immigration policy, gun control, abortion and more. Governor Abbott defended his administration's immigration policy on the southern border, saying he is "making sure that we are keeping our communities safe." (Governor Abbott's migrant busing program has cost Texan taxpayers $12 million.) O’Rourke hit Abbott for increased encounters at the southern border even after Abbott’s immigration policies. “What we need is a safe, legal, orderly path for anyone who wants to come here to work, to join family or to seek asylum,” O’Rourke said.
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.
H.R. 9107, To require a State to enter into a data sharing agreement with the Secretary of Homeland Security & Secretary of Transportation in order to be eligible for the port security grant program and port infrastructure development program Sponsor: Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11) Committee(s): Transportation & Infrastructure; Homeland Security Date Introduced: September 30, 2022
H.R. 9046, To establish a program to issue rebates for energy efficiency improvements at industrial facilities Sponsor: Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA-18) Committee(s): Energy & Commerce Date Introduced: September 29, 2022
Politico: DOE Asks How to Use DPA Authority to Boost Clean Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking public input on how best to utilize the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to spur domestic production of clean energy technologies and strengthen grid reliability. The president authorized the department to use the law to rapidly expand U.S. manufacturing of solar panel parts, building insulation, heat pumps, clean electricity-generated fuels and power grid infrastructure like transformers. The request seeks public input on the supply chain challenges and opportunities, domestic manufacturing — including at the small- and medium-sized scale — workforce investment and equity and community access.
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.
FERC: Commission Information Collection Activities
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is soliciting public comment on the currently approved information collection FERC-551 (Reporting of Flow Volume & Capacity by Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines). FERC-551 uses the information provided by pipelines as part of its overall implementation of the statutory provisions of section 23 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA). More specifically, the Commission relies, in part, on section 23(a)(1) of the NGA, for authority to collect this information and uses the pipelines' FERC-551 postings as part of fulfilling the transparency provisions of section 23(a)(1) of the NGA. The data requirements for pipelines are in listed the Code of Federal Regulations under 18 CFR 284.13, reporting requirements for interstate pipelines. The Commission has directed that the data requirements under FERC-551 are to be posted on interstate pipelines' websites and provided in downloadable file formats. Comments are due November 28, 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.
• The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd Rule"
• 5-Year Offshore Oil & Gas Leasing Program: Status and Issues in Brief
• Inflation Reduction Act of 2022: Provisions Related to Climate Change
• Information on Funding for US-China Research Collaboration & Other International Activities
• Oversight of Federal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Efforts
• The Impact of Federal Early Care & Education Programs on Tribes