Though Valentine’s Day might be right around the corner, love was not in the air between members of the House Committee on Natural Resources during their first organizational meeting, where the committee evaluated and adopted governing rules for the current Congress. With little debate, the majority unanimously rejected all nine proposed Democratic amendments before accepting the new Authorization and Oversight Plan and committee rules.
With consistent pledges by President Trump to address infrastructure, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is gearing up for the opportunity to be at the forefront of national policymaking.
A two-for-one deal on regulations issued by President Donald Trump’s Executive Order last week requires federal agencies to eliminate at least two existing regulations for every new one implemented. This was one of the central themes discussed in a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee that focused on reducing regulatory burdens.
It took only 25 minutes for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to advance 16 bills this week, including several of relevance to the ocean science community. Many of the measures were considered during the 114th Congress, and most had bipartisan support.
What does the Department of Commerce, most often regarded for its responsibility in creating conditions for economic growth and opportunity, have to do with the ocean? Within the department lies the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), placed there by an irate President Richard Nixon to keep it out of the control of the Secretary of the Interior (with whom he was feuding). The result is a commerce department with a wide-ranging spectrum of duties that include monitoring weather, enforcing international trade agreements, and regulating exports. On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a confirmation hearing for Wilbur Ross, President Donald Trump’s Department of Commerce secretary nominee. Mr. Ross is a billionaire investor and a political newcomer with a long history in the steel, textile, automotive, and coal industries.
With the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dominating congressional news this week, one important tidbit might have slipped by – Congress passed a budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 3) that would increase the deficit by $9 trillion from Fiscal Years (FY) 2018-2026.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memorandum last week titled “Promoting Efficient Spending to Support Agency Operations.,” The document builds on years-long efforts to save taxpayer dollars by improving agency operations and efficiency. Section Two of the memo focuses on oversight of expenses related to federally-sponsored and-hosted conferences, which “play an important role in the federal government” through improved collaboration and knowledge sharing.
For a third time, Senate Democrats kept the chamber from moving on the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 5293). In July, efforts to move the bill to the floor stalled out after...
Oceans month 2016 saw the reauthorization of the Freedom of Information Act become law, defense appropriations and COMPETES reauthorization advance, and a number of ocean-related bills be introduced in the House and Senate.
Scientists supported by the Department of Energy likely won’t be happy with Congress’s version of the budget for the agency in fiscal year 2017, which begins 1 October.