Today in Washington

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 

share on Twitter

Tuesday in Washington:

 Both the House and the Senate are in session today.  The House will be considering legislation to give employers additional flexibility in terms of compensation for overtime.  The Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, providing states the legal framework to collect sales taxes on certain online sales.  Next, the Senate is set to take up and consider reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act.

This is a heavy day in terms of committee activity.  A full listing of committee activities can be found below.

Items of Interest:

Joint Tax Committee Releases Report on Tax Reform Working Group Efforts:  The Joint Tax Committee released a report on the efforts of the 11 Tax Reform Working Groups and provides a detailed assessment of current law and the options presented through the public comments submitted to the committee.  The Committee intends to use the report as a way of framing the tax reform debate weighing various options over the next few months.


House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to Markup H.R. 3:  The T&I committee announced that the Committee will markup H.R. 3 this Thursday.  The legislation would expedite the approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  The legislation has already been marked up and voted out of both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee.  House Leadership hopes to have the bill on the Floor of the House by the end of May.


USFWS Reopens Comment Period for Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken:    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceannounced the reopening of the comment period for its 2012 proposal to add the lesser prairie-chicken to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The public comment period will be reopened for 45 days to allow an opportunity for the public, the scientific community and other interested parties to provide input on the original listing proposal in light of a newly-released range-wide conservation plan for the species.

 Important Hearings and Events:

 EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Research Meeting:  Today and tomorrow, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a meeting of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel to provide an opportunity for independent expert members of the ad hoc panel to provide comment on EPA’s study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, May 7-8. The event will be available via webcast at

 BLM Appropriations Budget Hearing:  Today at 9:30 AM in B-308 Rayburn, the House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the budget for the Bureau of Land Management. Neil Kornze, principal deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management will be testifying.  Additional information can be found on the Committee website:

 Senate Hearing on Helium Legislation: Today at 9:30AM in 366 Dirksen, the full Committee will hold a hearing on H.R.527, the “Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act,” to complete the privatization of the Federal helium reserve in a competitive market fashion that ensures stability in the helium markets while protecting the interests of American taxpayers. Tim Spisak, deputy assistant director for minerals and realty management in the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management; Walter Nelson, director of helium sourcing and supply chain for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; David Joyner, president of Air Liquide Helium America, Inc.; Carolyn Duran, senior materials manager for the Intel Corporation; and Moses Chan, professor of physics at Pennsylvania State University, will testify at the hearing. Additional information can be found here.

 Hearing on Scientific and Environmental Issues Regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline:  Today at 10 AM in 2318 Rayburn, the House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee and Environment Subcommittee will hold a joint hearing on “Keystone XL Pipeline: Examination of Scientific and Environmental Issues.” Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Department of Mineral Resources; Brigham McCown, principal and managing director of United Transportation Advisors LLC; Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, assistant director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science; and Anthony Swift, attorney in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s International Program, will testify.  Additional information can be found here.

Discussion on Natural Gas Exports:  Today at 10AM, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) will hold a discussion on “America’s Natural Gas: Should Exports be Restricted?Indian Ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao; Claude Barfield, resident scholar at AEI; Ken Ditzel, principal at Charles River Associates; David Montgomery, senior vice president of NERA Economic Consulting; Wallace Tyner, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University; Benjamin Zycher, visiting scholar at AEI; and Arthur Brooks, president of AEI, will participate in the discussion. The event will be streamed live on

 Hearing on US Energy Exports: Today at 10AM n 2123 Rayburn, the Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “U.S. Energy Abundance: Exports and the Changing Global Energy Landscape.” The Honorable J. Bennett Johnston, Chairman Johnston & Associates; Honorable Byron Dorgan, Co-Chair Bipartisan Policy Center; Mr. James Bradbury, Senior Associate, Climate and Energy Program, World Resources Institute; Mr. Michael Breen, Executive Director Truman National Security Project; Mr. Mike Halleck, President Executive Columbiana County Board of Commissioners; and Ms. Amy Jaffe, Director, Energy & Sustainability, UC Davis Graduate School of Management; will testify.  Additional information about the hearing can be found here.

 Sec. Jewell to Testify on FY2014 Budget Request:  Today at 10:30 AM in 124 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “FY2014 Budget Request for the Department of the Interior.” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell; Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes; Assistant Interior Secretary of Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh; Deputy Assistant Interior Secretary Pam Haze of the Office of Budget, Finance, Performance and Acquisition, will testify.  Additional information can be found on the Committee website

Member of the Day: US Sen. Chris Coons




Committee Assignments: Budget, Energy and Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, Judiciary



Chief of Staff: Todd Webster

Legislative Director: Jonathan Stahler

Twitter: @sencoonsoffice


Experience:  Sen. Coons has an extensive history in both the private and public sectors.  He graduated from Amherst College, Yale Divinity School, and Yale Law School.  Upon completion, he traveled to Kenya as a volunteer relief worker.   Sen. Coons returned to America and worked for the Coalition for the Homeless in New York City.  Next, he worked as an attorney for a manufacturer in Delaware for eight years.  In 2000, Coons was elected to the New Castle County Council.  From 2004-2010, he served as the New Castle County Council Executive, where he routinely balanced the budget.  Coons won the US Senate seat in 2010.  He lives in Wilmington with his wife Annie and three children.


Importance: In 2010, Coons won the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kaufman who was appointed by the governor to replace VP Joe Biden.  Coons beat Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, winning 56% of the votes cast.  Sen. Coons has shown a willingness to work across the aisle to achieve his objectives.  In an attempt to provide greater opportunity for job growth, he and Sen. Marco Rubio introduced the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act.  Sen. Coons also believes in fostering clean energy research, development, and entrepreneurship. His position on the Energy and Natural Resources committee provides Sen. Coons ample opportunity to promote clean and innovative solutions to our nation’s energy needs.


If you have any questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous updates and Member profiles can be reviewed at: Hope you have a great day!




Michael Zehr

HBW Resources

1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20006

Direct: 202-429-6081

Cell: 202-277-3927


Twitter: @mzehrhbw



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s