Thursday in Washington
The House and the Senate will be in session today despite the snow storm that hit the region. A rare filibuster on the floor of the Senate clocking in at 12 hours and 52 minutes by Senator Rand Paul kept he Senate from acting on any other matters yesterday as Sen. Paul sought to secure a vote on a measure prohibiting drone strikes against US citizens as the Senate attempted to take up John Brennan’s nomination to serve as the next Director of the CIA. The vote on the nomination is now set for Saturday unless some agreement is reached to forego some of the debate time. Despite the snow storm (actually rain in DC), the House passed its version of the Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded through the end of the year. The next step in the process now rests with the Senate which is eying a mini-omnibus approach next week. The House is in pro-forma session today.
Other Items of Interest:
Environmental Group Finds Fault in Lizard Decision
The Defenders of Wildlife have released a report critical of the process undertaken that resulted I the decision last year not to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as “threatened.” The report highlights concerns the environmental community has about the effectiveness and transparency of candidate conservation agreements with assurances (CCAAs). The controversy is likely to escalate as the USFWS continues its review of hundreds of species for potential listing. A copy of the report can be reviewed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/aiodym67thmkvs7/Dunes%20Lizard.pdf
International Body Fails to Restrict Trade of Polar Bears
A proposal to transfer polar bears from Appendix II to Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was defeated yesterday by the member nations of the treaty. The proposal, submitted for consideration by the United States, would have restricted trade for commercial purposes. The proposal garnered intense debate primarily and opposition from Canada, Greenland, and Norway. Additional information can be reviewed here: http://us.vocuspr.com/Newsroom/Query.aspx?SiteName=fws&Entity=PRAsset&SF_PRAsset_PRAssetID_EQ=131932&XSL=PressRelease&Cache=True
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Reviews Jewell Nomination
At 10:00 AM today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Will hold a hearing on the nomination of REI CEO Sally Jewell’s confirmation to be the next Secretary of Interior. If some of her Hill visits were an indication of her prospects, this confirmation hearing could rival Hagel’s in terms of its potential for disaster. Additional information and links to the webcast can be viewed here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=75010617-43f1-462e-8858-3a4ee100315e
Senators Seek Natural Gas Pricing Information
Sen. Wyden and Sen. Murkowski sent a letter to the FERC requesting information about rate proceedings the commission has initiated under section 5 of the Natural Gas Act since 2009. The request is part of the Chairman and Ranking Member’s shared commitment to protecting consumers and providing strong oversight of energy markets and regulatory agencies. A copy of the letter detailing their concerns and their specific inquiry can be viewed here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=d41255a7-c350-40c7-b17e-7c7b9c52e319
Chief of Staff: Mike Henry
Legislative Director: Mary Naylor
Sen Kaine was born in St. Paul, MN, and he grew up in greater Kansas City, MO, where his father was the owner of an iron-work shop. Before being elected to the Senate, Sen. Kaine was the Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association from 2008-2009, and he served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009-2011. He grew up in Kansas City and graduated from the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School. He began his public service career when he took a year off from law school to work with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. After finishing law school, he practiced law for 18 years. He served on the Richmond City Council until 2001 when he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and worked for four years with then-Governor Mark Warner. In 2005, Tim was elected Virginia’s 70th Governor.
During his tenure as Governor, Sen.Kaine showed true fiscal stewardship by cutting the Virginia state budget by more than $5 billion, including a reduction in his own salary. He also expanded early childhood and technical education, passed the largest bond package for higher education construction in Virginia history, reformed the state’s social programs and secured major rail and public transit improvements throughout the state. In his 2012 campaign, he was endorsed by the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation voters, and he supports energy efficiency efforts and moves to develop alternative energy sources. He has, however, backed exploratory drilling off the coast of Virginia, and the development of cleaner-burning coal to fuel power plants. With positions on the Armed Services, Budget, and Foreign Relations Committees, he is in a unique spot to help shape offshore energy production both domestically and internationally.
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. If you would like to review previous updates or New Member profiles, please go to https://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com. Hope you all have a great Thursday!
Michael D. Zehr
HBW Resources, LLC
1666 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006