Monday in Washington:
Both the House and the Senate will be in session this week. The Senate will be taking up legislation to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. While the House incorporated changes to provide additional flexibility in defense related accounts, the Senate is expected to be considering broadening the package to include other departments. The goal of Senate Appropriators appears to be a bipartisan desire to mitigate the impacts sequester and provide additional flexibility to the affected departments and agencies. Senator Mikulski, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee has said that the bill will include provisions for DHS, agriculture, commerce, and science programs. The House and Senate have until March 27th to resolve the differences between the proposals to avert a government shutdown.
The House will be in pro-forma session today with no votes planned. On Tuesday, the House will take up legislation addressing privacy notifications and studies to improve the National Flood Insurance Program. Later in the week, the House is expected to consider legislation prohibiting the waiver of the work requirements for TANF assistance in the states and legislation modernizing and streamlining 35 federal job training programs.
Other fiscal debates will begin this week with Republicans in the House releasing their budget proposal calling for a balanced budget within ten years. Senate Democrats led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) are also expected to release their budget plans. Both House and Senate Members have until mid-April to approve budget resolutions or have their pay withheld.
On Friday, the President will be giving an energy policy speech at Argonne National Laboratory. Following the meetings with energy executives and researchers last week, the speech is supposed to give further clarity to the President’s second term plans for energy policy and climate change priorities.
Other Items of Interest:
Senator Menendez Leads Group of Senators in Opposition to Offshore Development
In a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), along with seven other Senators, expressed vigorous opposition to expanding offshore drilling or to creating new incentives for coastal drilling. The other signatories were Bill Nelson, Frank Lautenberg, Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Ben Cardin, Dick Durbin and Barbara Boxer. A copy of the press release and the letter can be viewed here: http://www.menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/press/menendez-leads-opposition-to-offshore-drilling-in-us-senate-energy-committee-
Consumer Energy Alliance Leads Grassroots Push For Approval of KXL Pipeline
To make it simpler and faster for proponents to register their support for the Keystone XL Pipeline during the public comment periods, CEA has launched an effort to facilitate official engagement in the process. Members of CEA and the general public can register their support by going to the following site and filling out some basic information: http://www.buildkxlnow.org/take-action.
Transportation Research Board Meeting on BSEE’s Implementation of BAST
At 11:00 AM on March 11th, the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board and the National Academy of Engineering will hold a meeting to identify options for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to use in improving the implementation of the “best available and safety technologies” (BAST) requirement in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Additional information about the meeting can be viewed here: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/meetingview.aspx?MeetingID=6529&MeetingNo=1
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Holds Annual Conference
March 12-14, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold its 25th annual Regulatory Information Conference. Additional information on the meeting and the agenda can be found here: https://ric.nrc-gateway.gov/agenda.aspx
House Committee to Hold Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Hearing
At 10:00 AM on March 13th, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “The Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.” Additional information about the hearing can be found here: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov.
House Committee to Review Federal Support for Energy Technologies
At 3:00 PM on March 13th, the House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled “Federal Financial Support for Energy Technologies: Assessing Costs and Benefits.” Additional information on the hearing and the witnesses can be viewed here: http://science.house.gov.
House Committee to Review Onshore Oil and Gas Development
At 10:00 AM on March 14th, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing entitled “America’s Onshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America, and Lowering Prices.” Additional information on the hearing and the witnesses can be viewed here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=320973.
House Committee to Review Western Hemisphere Energy Security
At 10:00 AM on March 14th, the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing entitled “U.S. Energy Security: Enhancing Partnerships with Mexico and Canada.” Additional information and witness testimony can be reviewed here: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-us-energy-security-enhancing-partnerships-mexico-and-canada.
Shale Gas in China Discussion
9:00 AM on March 15th, the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a discussion entitled “Shale Gas Revolution in China: Game Changer for Coal?” The director of IHS CERA (China) and a staff scientist from the Natural Resources Defense Council will guide this discussion. You can find more information or RSVP for the event here: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/rsvp?eid=26296&pid=99
New Member of the Day: Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA)
Committee Assignments: Science and Veterans Affairs
Chief of Staff: Richard McPike
Legislative Director: Yuri Beckelman
During WWII, Rep. Takano’s parents and grandparents were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps. After the war, these families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives. Mark grew up there wresting and playing football in high school and graduating as the valedictorian of his class. He attended Harvard College and received his bachelor’s degree in Government in 1983. Upon graduation, he worked as a substitute teacher for various public school systems in the Boston area. He began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in 1988. In 1990, he was elected to the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees. He was elected Board President in 1991. In 1992, Mark defeated a field of six opponents to win the Democratic nomination for then California’s 43rd Congressional District and came up less than 550 votes short. He has won re-election to the Board of Trustees in 1995, 1999, 2004 and 2008. He has served in roles on the Community Advisory Board of the Children’s Spine Foundation and the Board of the Chancellor’s Asian Pacific Islander Community Advisory Center at UC Riverside. He served as chairman of the Riverside Mayor’s Task Force on the Digital Divide, Chairman of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the California Democratic Party, a charter member of the Association of Latino Community College Trustees, a member of the Association of California Asian American Trustees and a member of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. He is a recipient of the Martin Luther King Visionaries Award.
Rep. Takano is a Member of the House Science Committee which has oversight on key issues related energy and environmental research. He is also the first non-white, openly gay Member of the House. He has consistently out performed other Democrats in his district, showing his ability to appeal to voters outside the base of the party. He is an educator and has expressed support for education reform, tax reform for small businesses, and support for job creation.
If you have any questions, contact me anytime. Previous updates and Member profiles can be viewed at: http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com. Hope you all have a great week!
1666 K Street, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006