Mix a federal holiday with a recess week in DC, and not even the squirrels are stirring in the nation’s Capitol. Both the House and the Senate are in recess this week. When they return, leaders in Congress will face the sequestration cuts set to take place on March 1st. Proposals to increase taxes to forestall the cuts or provide additional flexibility to the Departments and Agencies as they impose the cuts have not generated sufficient support to pass either chamber. The Sequestration cuts appear all but certain to occur. The next two fiscal fights on the horizon involve funding the government through the end of the year which must be resolved by the end of March and passage of budget resolutions by mid- April to avoid withholding of Congressional pay and secure an increase in the debt limit. All of these budget negotiations will take place while the House Ways and Means Committee continues taking input for the creation of tax reform legislation.
Other Items of Interest:
EPA is publishing a direct final rule on Feb. 19th requiring oil and natural gas companies inform the agency of the method by which they will calculate GHG emissions each year. EPA is moving up the deadline from Sept. 30th to June 30th to allow EPA to respond before the start of the next reporting year. EPA released a prepublication of the rule here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2013-03469.pdf
The GAO released a report report on federal and state permit processes for interstate and intrastate pipeline construction. The study found that no single agency has full oversight over the natural gas pipeline permitting process to ensure implementation of various federal and state environmental laws and regulations in most states. The report can be viewed here: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652225.pdf
There were climate change protests on the National Mall and around the White House this weekend with protesters urging the administration to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, impose carbon caps on existing utility plants, and ban Hydraulic fracturing. The protests follow a ramp up in interest and rhetoric following the President’s Inaugural address and later his State of the Union speech where he highlighted climate change as one of his priorities. CNN coverage of the singing and dancing protesters can be viewed here: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/17/us/climate-change-rally/index.html?hpt=hp_t3&niReferrerLink=Topical%20Search%20Result%20Clicked%3A%20CNN%3A%20Environmentalists%20fill%20National%20Mall%20to%20fight%20climate…
Committee Assignments: Foreign Relations, Homeland Security, and Transportation & Infrastructure
Chief of Staff: Lauren Maglia
Legislative Director: Maryanne Meyers
Experience: Rep. Perry served three terms as a Pennsylvania State Representative where he served on the Appropriations, Consumer Affairs, Labor Relations, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness and Rules Committees. He has worked as a farm hand, mechanic, dock worker, draftsman and a licensed insurance agent. He is a 1980 graduate of Northern High School and the Cumberland-Perry Vo-Tech School. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1991 where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Management. In 1993, he started his own mechanical contracting firm, Hydrotech Mechanical Services, Inc. The business provides contract construction and maintenance services to municipal and investor-owned utilities from North Carolina to New York and specializes in large meter calibration. He enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1980. Rep. Perry served as the Commander of the 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion. He assumed the command in February of 2008. That unit was called to service in Iraq, deploying in January 2009. The deployment ended in January 2010. On February 5, 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and has assumed command of the 166th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, located at Fort Indiantown Gap. He is also a recent graduate of the US Army War College. He served as the chairman of the Carroll Township Planning Commission, and as a member of the township Source Water Protection Committee. He was chairman of the Dillsburg Area Wellhead Protection Advisory Committee and he served on the Dillsburg Revitalization Committee.
Importance: Rep Perry describes himself as a strong fiscal conservative, and said his goal in Washington would be to cut the national debt, lower taxes, repeal Obamacare, and reduce the size and scope of government. He favors adding a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, securing the nation’s borders against illegal immigration and increasing domestic energy production, including natural gas. Perry said he wants to look out for area defense installations, pointing out that the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Depot Susquehanna, the Navy Depot in Mechanicsburg, the Army War College in Carlisle and the Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg are all important sources of local jobs. Winning election with over 60 percent of the vote, Rep. Perry is in a safe seat. As a Member of the Foreign Relations, Homeland Security, and T&I Committee’s, he is in a strong position to use his business and military experience to advocate for energy policies that keep prices affordable and supplies reliable.
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Hope you all have a great week!
Michael D. Zehr
HBW Resources, LLC
1666 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006