The TRCP’s scouting report on sportsmen’s issues in Congress
After last week’s Presidents Day recess, both the Senate and the House are back in session.
Matters of influence and access are up for debate this week. For the first time since the unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, senators will be in Washington and able to strategize on a way forward. But the clock is ticking—President Obama is expected to send a Supreme Court nomination to the Hill any day. With the loss of a major conservative force, an ideological shift on that bench could have major impacts on all kinds of cases, including those related to conservation and the environment.
Before the recess, there was a flurry of Senate activity around including the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in a broad energy bill, but that process left lawmakers with more questions than answers. This week, the House looks poised to move forward with their version of the sportsmen’s package, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act. This legislation would improve sportsmen’s access and enhance recreational shooting opportunities. Last Congress, the House passed similar legislation with bipartisan support. Members had to submit amendments to the Rules Committee by 10am today, and the Rules Committee will meet tomorrow (Feb 23) at 5pm. If all goes well, the SHARE Act is expected to be on the floor in the latter half of the week.
Presidential Primary Update: On Tuesday, Nevada will hold its Republican primary caucus. “The Donald” leads the Republican polls there. And on Saturday, South Carolina, where Hillary Clinton has a very wide lead for the Dems, will hold its Democratic primary.
What We’re Tracking
Budget hearings for the Department of the Interior (where Secretary Jewell will testify), Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Agriculture (where NRCS Chief Jason Weller will testify), and NOAA—the agency that manages our fisheries and restores our coasts
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
The 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard examines its successes and challenges in a hearing
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Plans for future water resources development will be presented to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment by the Army Corps of Engineers and can be streamed live here
Oversight of the Renewable Fuel Standard—the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will discuss the ongoing effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a hearing
California’s water supply during El Nino could change the outlook for restricted water deliveries. The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will discuss
Sage grouse and new mitigation regulations, as imposed by the Obama administration, will be examined in a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Forest management and timber production on public lands, to be discussed in a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands hearing