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The Senate and House appropriations measures (S 1800; HR 3049) to fund the Agriculture Department that await consideration by their respective chambers won’t be approved in their current forms, but provide a sense of funding intentions for the Republican-led Congress, including areas of alignment with the White House.
The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, in a rare display of bipartisan cooperation this past week, votes 18-4 to approve a sweeping energy policy reform bill. The bill’s sponsors, committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA), are expected to shepherd the measure to passage when it hits the Senate floor.
The roundtable discussion builds off the committee’s ongoing efforts to underscore what some argue is the potentially devastating impact on jobs and economic growth in many areas of the country that could result from EPA’s proposed revisions to the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground level ozone. Indeed, the agency’s critics suggest this could be the EPA’s most expensive regulation ever.
Strong House approval of the proposed "Private Investment in Housing Act" paves the way for certain acceptance in the Senate and eventual White House validation. The initiative would establish a Pay for Success (PFS) demonstration program to improve energy efficiency at government-subsidized apartment complexes.
Some of the original revenue-raising proposals were extremely controversial, including a plan to take money from the Social Security Trust fund that would otherwise have been paid to people with outstanding arrest warrants.
The House has overwhelmingly approved (385-34) an $8 billion bill which would extend transportation funding until the end of October. The measure is now before the Senate. And, if that chamber fails to act, the federal Highway Trust Fund will be out of money effective Aug. 1.
The Senate and House appropriations committees finalize their FY 2016 funding measures (S 1695; HR 3020) to fund the Department of Labor. Both bills now face the uphill battle of being cleared by their respective chambers.
In response to the May 19 pipeline rupture that spilled an estimated 2,400 barrels of crude oil along the California coastline near Santa Barbara, the House Energy & Commerce subcommittee on energy and power convenes a July 14 hearing to examine the incident, as well as the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) implementation of the Pipeline Safety Act of 2011.