The TRCP’s scouting report on sportsmen’s issues in Congress
Both the Senate and House will be in session from Monday through Friday.
There’s no such thing as saved by the bell in Congress. With only five legislative days left to hammer out a spending bill and avoid a government shutdown, lawmakers need to act by Friday if they want to fly home for the holiday recess, rather than go into extra innings. Congressional leaders are publicly optimistic about an omnibus spending bill, but not before the December 11 deadline. They’ll likely pass a week-long continuing resolution (reminder: a temporary fix, like the one passed in September) to provide more time for a full-year omnibus bill.
The holdup: about 100 possible policy riders, which include language defunding the Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan, implementing drought procedures and a potential fix to fire borrowing with some minor forest reform, and reintroducing of a harmful sage grouse amendment that was stripped from the National Defense Authorization Act this summer.
In another part of the Capitol last week, President Obama signed a six-year highway bill, which was the first long-term transportation legislation since 2005. The Highway Bill includes funding for Department of Interior and U.S. Forest Service roads, which impact your access to public lands, and funding for transportation projects that improve fish and wildlife habitat.
Meanwhile, mark-up of the “Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act,” rumored to be this Wednesday in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has been delayed and rescheduled for January 13. We’ll keep you posted.
Besides floor action on a yearlong omnibus bill, a short-term CR, or both, the Senate will be considering reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, an overhaul of No Child Left Behind, and the House will vote on Representative Thornberry’s (R-TX) Red River Private Property Protection Act, a measure to settle a Bureau of Land Management boundary dispute, and visa waiver program improvements.
What We’re Tracking
Monday, December 7, 2015
Restoration of Atlantic fisheries, to be discussed by the House Natural Resources Committee at the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center in New York. Learn more about the field hearing here
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The National Park Service Centennial, with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing testimony to prepare for the celebration
The stream protection rule proposed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement will be discussed in a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Interior hearing
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
More on the Animas River spill, in a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on EPA’s and DOI’s role
California wilderness areas, off-road vehicle recreation, and wild and scenic rivers impacted by Congressman Paul Cook’s (R-CA) California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conservation Act will be discussed by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands