The TRCP’s scouting report on sportsmen’s issues in Congress
Snowcation is over. Both the Senate and House are back to work this week.
It’s primary caucus day in Iowa, y’all, and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hold leads in the Hawkeye State. Next Tuesday, February 9, is the New Hampshire primary, where Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders hold polling leads.
Meanwhile, back in D.C., the Senate will continue floor consideration of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015. This bipartisan energy bill has been subject to an open amendment process, resulting in hundreds of amendments being filed on such controversial issues as drinking water contamination in Flint, Mich., the administration’s recent halt of new coal leases on federal lands, and the ongoing financial crisis in Puerto Rico. Senator Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Senator Cantwell (D-Wash.) will need to navigate the amendment process in a way that does not erode support for the underlying legislation, which, as it stands, is widely supported. Senate leadership expects the comprehensive energy bill, the first on the Senate floor since 2007, to be concluded by the end of this week.
One widely-supported amendment is the bipartisan Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act, filed by Senators Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) to create a renewable energy permitting program and expedite project permitting in areas identified as having the best renewable potential and lowest conflicts for wildlife and recreation. The amendment would create a revenue stream from public lands renewable energy generation that would be divided to pay into permit processing fees, counties, states, and a fund for wildlife, land, and water conservation projects. Many sportsmen’s groups have gone on record in support of this important amendment, which may come up for a vote this week in the Senate.
The House will be attempting to override the President’s veto of an Obamacare repeal measure, although the vote is expected to fall short of the two-thirds requirement. The House will also vote on legislation that would prevent the Obama administration from lifting sanctions on Iran.
What We’re Tracking:
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Northeast coastal fisheries, to be discussed in a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans hearing regarding the EEZ Clarification Act and legislation on exempting importation and exportation of sea urchins and sea cucumbers
Energy infrastructure, in a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing regarding this legislation
The 2016 Water Resources Development Act—legislation that authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out navigation, flood control, shoreline protection, hydropower, dam safety, water supply, recreation, and environmental restoration and protection activities—will be discussed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Water crisis in Flint, Mich., in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing
Water quality and the Endangered Species Act will be the subject of a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the Stream Protection Rule and how it impacts bedrock conservation legislation, like the ESA and the Clean Water Act
National Parks and other public lands, to be discussed in a House Natural Resources Committee markup of legislation impacting the National Park Service
Emissions regulations on the docket in a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing regarding two EPA bills, including one that would ease up on emission requirements for coal-burning power plants