November 13, 2012

THE WEEK AHEAD

Legislative Focus: Lame-Duck Session, Russian Trade Legislation, Hunters; Land Access

The House convened at 2:00 p.m. today for legislative business and to take up four measures under suspension of the rules. Wednesday, and for the remainder of the week, the House will consider five measures under suspension of the rules and one measure subject to a rule. 

The House plans to take up several bills under suspension of the rules this week, including the European Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act (S. 1956), which would block the European Union from including U.S. airlines in a carbon dioxide emissions trading system; the Asthma Inhalers Relief Act (H.R. 6190), which would authorize the sale of existing stocks of inhalers containing chlorofluorocarbons, and a bill (H.R. 6371) to streamline the wage claims process for federal contractor employees. The House is also set to consider a bill (H.R. 6570) that would consolidate Congressional Budget Office reporting requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

The House also will consider a measure (H.R. 6156) to allow the United States to grant permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status to Russia and Moldova. The measure would strike the Jackson-Vanik Amendment from the Trade Act of 1974 to eliminate an annual review of Russia’s immigration rights prior to granting normal trade relations status. The House Rules committee is scheduled to meet today at 5:00 p.m. to formulate a rule for the floor debate of the bill. 

The Senate convened today at 2:00 p.m. 

The Senate is set to continue debate on the Sportsmen’s Act (S. 3525), which would expand hunters’ access to public lands 


KEY HEARINGS & MARKUPS

Armed Services: House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing titled “Framework for capacity Building Programs and Authorities to Meet 21st Century Challenges.”
Date TBA, Rayburn 2118. 

Environment & Public Works: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on the Water Resources Development Act of 2012.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:30 a.m., Dirksen 406.

Homeland Security: The Transportation Security Subcommittee of House Homeland Security Committee will hold a series of hearings on issues facing the Transportation Security Admistration.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Cannon 311.  

Science, Space & Technology: The Technology and Innovation Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Is Meaningful Use Delivering Meaningful Results?: An Examination of Health Information Technology Standards and Interoperability.”
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Rayburn 2318.

Special Aging: Senate Special Aging Committee will hold a hearing titled “America’s Invisible Epidemic: Preventing Elder Financial Abuse,” focusing on prevention efforts to combat elder financial abuse through new federal, state and private sector initiatives.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m., Dirksen 562.
  

Veterans’ Affairs: The Economic Opportunity Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Review of Veterans Employment Challenges and Initiatives of the 112th Congress.”
Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Cannon 334.


CBO CALCULATES ECONOMIC RESPONSE TO FISCAL CLIFF ALTERNATIVES

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report projecting the economic impact of avoiding different portions of the fiscal cliff. For example, avoiding the sequester cuts and extending Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors would increase domestic product by 0.75 percent. Extending the current tax rates, which are set to expire at the end of the year, would increase economic growth by more than 1.5 percent. 

The report, “Economic Effects of Policies Contributing to Fiscal tightening in 2013,” is one of two reports released by CBO. The other report, “Choices for Deficit Reduction,” examines several methods for reducing the deficit over the next decade.



SENATE PANEL RELEASES WRDA DISCUSSION DRAFT

Last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a discussion draft of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). This bill represents the first time Congressional lawmakers have attempted to pass a WRDA without earmarks for specific projects. WRDA generally authorizes Army Corps of Engineers civil works activities and projects and authorizes new activities that are added to the pool of existing authorized activities. The last WRDA was passed in 2007. The committee will markup the bill in a hearing this week, Thursday, November 15. 



FIRSTNET ANNOUNCES FUTURE MEETING DATES
 
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced future meetings of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) last week. 

FirstNet will hold meetings on December 11, 2012; April 23, 2013; August 13, 2013; and October 15, 2013. All meetings will be open to the public, including members of the press, and will take place in the Herbert C. Hoover Building at the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

In addition, FirstNet will hold meetings on February 12, 2013, and December 17, 2013, in Boulder, Colorado and on June 11, 2013, in San Francisco, California. Detailed meeting agendas and other details will be available here prior to each meeting. More information, including security requirements and contact information, can be found here