The TRCP’s scouting report on sportsmen’s issues in Congress
The Senate and House are both in session this week.
Is this regular order or out of order? Even though Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has preached a return to regular order, this week the House Appropriations Committee will continue to mark up individual spending bills, despite having no House budget or 302(b) allocations set. They’re currently using top-line allocations from the 2015 budget agreement to move forward.
Spending bills for Agriculture and Energy and Water Development will be marked up on Wednesday by the relevant Senate and House Appropriation subcommittees. The Agriculture mark-up could possibly target federal crop insurance and conservation programs for cuts, while the House Energy and Water Development bill may include language to block funding for the administration’s Clean Water Rule.
The Senate doesn’t have its budget together either, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his goal to tackle spending bills beginning in mid-May using top-line allocations from the 2015 budget agreement. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a mark-up on Wednesday and a full committee mark-up on Thursday. This subcommittee faces similar issues with riders to block Obama administration policies, including the Clean Water Rule.
This Puerto Rican wildlife refuge could get voted off the island.The House Natural Resources Committee drafted a bill that would address Puerto Rico’s financial instability partly by selling off public land. Section 411 of “The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act” would transfer thousands of acres of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, clearing the way for these public lands to be sold off to private interests. The committee will hold a hearing on the legislation on Tuesday and mark it up on Wednesday and Thursday.
Defense for sage grouse (again). Congressman Bishop, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and a member of the Armed Services Committee, has been persistent in requesting that his legislation, “The Greater Sage Grouse Protection and Recovery Act” (H.R. 4739), or a similar provision, be attached to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House version of the NDAA will be marked up in the Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, April 27, and is scheduled to be considered on the House floor the week of May 16.
And both parties are actually on board with this water legislation. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which provides funds for Army Corps of Engineers’ projects, may become the vehicle for Senator Cardin (D-Md.) to promote his legislation that would more than triple funds for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. “The Firm, Unwavering National Dedication to Water Act” (S. 2583), is a positive piece of legislation that would provide consistent funding for the enhancement of water quality essential to hunters and anglers. Talks continue this week, but the earliest chance for a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee mark-up would be in May.
Here’s what else we’re tracking:
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Small businesses and EPA regulations will be examined in a Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Waste, Superfund and Oversight Management hearing
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
The President’s climate policies, to be discussed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
Impacts of oil and gas production on rural economies will be discussed in a House Agriculture Committee hearing
Water in the West, in a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans hearing
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Waste prevention, production royalties, and resource conservation, to be discussed in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining hearing regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule