Today’s action will focus on two main events: the State of the Union address this evening and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on natural gas. While the hearing is expected to be broad in nature coving the universe of opportunities and challenges brought about by expanded natural gas production, it is likely that the issue of energy exports will come up. With both Dow and NAM testifying, the exchanges could be very interesting among the panel even before Members go into questioning. This is also the first hearing of the Committee since Senator Wyden took over as Chairman, so there is a lot of interest in seeing how the new Chairman runs the hearing and the collaboration between he and Senator Murkowski. Background information on the hearing and a link to the live webcast can be found here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/2/opportunities-and-challenges-for-natural-gas
The Senate will resume consideration of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, working through a list of amendments. The House will consider a number bills brought up under suspension: two of which deal with expanding the use of hydroelectric generation on the nation’s dams before moving on to consideration of legation imposing a pay freeze for all federal workers through the end of the year.
Other Items of Interest:
The House Energy and Commerce Committee released its Keystone Clock and Resource Center highlighting how long it has taken for a decision to be made on this project. At 1605 days, it surpassed the construction time for the Golden Gate Bridge. You can view the clock and other materials at: http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/committee-releases-keystone-clock-and-resource-center
The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to report out the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel to serve as the next Secretary of Defense. Whether his nomination will be blocked on the floor is not clear yet, but there is strong opposition from many of his former colleagues.
The Office of Nuclear Energy launched its new website to help make reports, news items, and other background materials more accessible. The website can be viewed at: http://www.doe.gov/ne/office-nuclear-energy
As of yesterday, Russia is prohibiting imports of all U.S. beef, pork, turkey and other meat products by requiring a zero tolerance for the presence of ractopamine, a product used in 27 countries and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the United Nation’s Codex Alimentarius Commission. What, if any, retaliatory measures will be taken have not been announced.
New Member of the Day: Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA)
Committee Assignments: Natural Resources, Budget, and Oversight and Government Reform
Legislative Director: Miguel Franco
Experience: Rep. Cardenas served in the California State Assembly from 1996 to 2002. The son of immigrant farm laborers, he was the first latino to represent the San Fernando Valley in the State legislature. As chairman of the Assembly budget committee and a city tax reform panel, he helped institute reforms that made Los Angeles more business-friendly and ushered in the biggest infusion of jobs the Valley had seen in more than five years. He then served on the Los Angeles City Council from 2003 to 2011 implementing gang prevention programs that gained national acclaim. As one of 11 children, Rep. Cardenas has understood from a young age the importance of consensus building and has taken a pragmatic approach to challenges in the State Assembly and the City Council. He earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and worked briefly for HP before going into the real estate business and pursuing public office.
Importance: As the first Latino to represent the San Fernando Valley in Congress, Rep. Cardenas is a leader among a growing group of Hispanic legislators in Congress. His experience in business along with state and local governance provide him with a unique understanding of how federal policies impact local communities. He describes himself as a pragmatic problem solver who is not particularly interested in party politics. He has invested much of his career finding ways to attract business and provide more opportunities for upward mobility for young students. With seats on Natural Resources, Oversight, and Budget he will be in a good position to evaluate how the US uses its natural resources and how they are deployed to create jobs and fund other valuable social programs.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Hope you all have a great Tuesday!
Michael D. Zehr
HBW Resources, LLC
1666 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006