Both the House and the Senate are in session today with the House considering H.R. 307, a bill to strengthen the government’s ability to respond to pandemic health threats. The House Ways and Means Committee will also be meeting today to discuss raising the nation’s debt limit. The House may take up legislation later in the week to raise the debt limit through May 19th in order to push the Senate pass a budget proposal–something that has not occurred since 2009. The bill would hold the salaries of Members of Congress in escrow if a budget resolution is not reached by that time. A copy of the bill can be viewed here: http://1.usa.gov/SrqlFr . The Senate is expected to take up the disaster aid package passed by the House.
During the President’s Inaugural speech, he mentioned his desire to address climate change and lead the way on sustainable energy production. What this means for policy development is unclear, but it does indicate that some kind of proposal to reduce carbon emissions could be in the offing.
Other Items of Interest:
Deloitte released a study on potential market impacts and competitive reaction to increased US LNG exports. The study reviews the impact of a total of 12 bcfd to Europe and Asia.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a committee markup of a number bills including H.R. 267, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013. Hydropower provides seven percent of US electricity production despite there being generating stations on just three percent of the country’s dams. The legislation seeks to expedite approval for new hydroelectric generation.
New Member of the Day: US Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)
Committee Assignments: Energy and Natural Resources, Commerce, HELP, Small Business, Aging
Chief of Staff: Joe McKeown
Deputy COS: Jennifer DeCasper
Legislative Director: Kimberly Wallner
Experience: Prior to being appointed to the Senate by Governor Nikki Haley to complete Sen. DeMint’s term, Senator Scott served in the United States House of Representatives from 2011-2013, where he was a member of House leadership and sat on the House Rules Committee. He also served on Charleston County Council for 13 years, including four terms as Chair and in the South Carolina House of Representatives for two years where he was elected Chairman of the Freshman Caucus and House Whip. He was the owner of Tim Scott Allstate and partner of Pathway Real Estate Group.
Importance: As the only African American serving in the US Senate and the first from the Deep South in more than a century, Senator Scott will garner significant media attention even before he begins legislating. He is an affable yet fierce advocate for fiscal restraint and free market principles. He is a supporter of expanded energy production and with seats on both the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee, he is well positioned to help advance legislation allowing for expanded offshore development on the Atlantic coast.