Thursday in Washington:
New Leadership Coming Soon To DOE:
The strange and tragic week that began in Boston continued to unfold on the Hill yesterday with more information about the bombings and the Ricin attack against Senator Wicker coming out. Amid all of these activities, the Senate was shut down briefly due to a suspicious package left in a Senator’s office.
Despite the drama and increased level of alert, both the House and the Senate will be in session today. The House will be completing consideration of H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The House will process the remaining amendment before considering the bill in its entirety.
The Senate failed to pass a key amendment to the gun control legislation before the chamber that would have carved out a compromise on the gun control debate. The amendment sponsored by Senators Toomey and Manchin failed to reach the necessary 60 votes for passage. The overall package is no virtually guaranteed to fail in the Senate. Support and opposition to the amendment was bipartisan.
A vote on the nomination of Dr. Ernest Moniz to be the next Secretary of Energy is expected to take place this morning in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He is expected to receive broad bipartisan support.
Other Items of Interest:
New Oil Spill Commission Assessment of Preventative Actions: The former members of the Oil Spill Commission convened after the Macondo spill released an assessment of actions taken since the spill occurred three years ago. The assessment praises work by federal agencies and the industry to adopt new technologies and practices, but faults Congress for failure to act on a number of the recommendations. A copy of the release can be viewed here.
EPA Releases New Guidance on Non-Attainment Areas for PM: EPA intends to designate as nonattainment areas not only those areas that are not meeting the standard, but also nearby areas that are contributing to another area’s nonattainment, according to the guidance sent to regional administrators April 16 by Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation. A copy of the guidance can be viewed here.
House Committee Passes Legislation Expediting Approval and Construction of KXL: The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act. The will allow construction of the project and limit exposure to lawsuits similar to provisions approved for the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. The committee approved the measure by a bipartisan vote of 30 to 18.
USFWS Budget Hearing: Today at 9:30 AM, the House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s FY2014 budget request. Link
NOAA, CEQ and USFWS Budget Hearing: Today at 10 AM, the House Natural Resources Committee Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Spending for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Insular Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the President’s FY2014 Budget Request for these Agencies.” Link
DOE Budget Hearing Before Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Today at 10 AM, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the FY2014 Budget Request for the DOE. Link
New Member of the Day: US Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Committee Assignments: Budget and Judiciary
Chief of Staff: Cedric Grant
Legislative Director: Kristen Zewers
Experience: Rep. Jeffries earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he graduated with honors. He then went on to earn a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. Finally, he earned his law degree from the New York School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and served on the law review. After graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He then practiced law for several years at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton Garrison. In 2007, Rep. Jeffries was elected to serve as a member of the New York State Assembly. He focused his efforts on housing regulations and He quickly emerged as an advocate for reform of state government. He also championed legislation prohibiting the NYPD from keeping electronic records on randomly stopped individuals.
Importance: Rep. Jefferies is a talented retail politician with a history of conducting town hall meetings and working directly in the communities he represents. He won his seat after launching a primary challenge against 30-year incumbent Edolphus Towns. After Towns announced that he would retire, he endorsed Jeffries’ challenger. With the backing of New York’s Jewish community, Rep. Jeffries won the primary and then went to win the general with 90 percent of the vote. Jeffries said his top priorities in Congress would be working on economic growth and helping the neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
If you have any questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous updates and Member profiles can be reviewed at: http://www.mzehrhbw.wordpress.com. Hope you have a great Wednesday!
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