2017–09–01: The Week Ahead.
News from D.C. on issues and activities of interest to Trout Unlimited.
Welcome to September!
The next few weeks are going to look a lot like THIS as Congress comes back into session and we will do our best to keep in touch with news and updates.
BIG UPS & SHOUT OUTS:
- Happy Public Lands Month! TU kicks off “Thirty Great American Places” campaign. You all received an email from Chris Wood this morning, so I won’t repeat it here. Check out the campaign. Spread the word. Post. Tweet. Vine. Shimmy. Shout. Celebrate. GreatAmericanPlaces.tu.org
Check back over the next thirty days to see the places we chose from Washington, Colorado, West Virginia, Georgia…greatamericanplaces.tu.org
- Action alerts currently running for BRISTOL BAY (deadline 10/10) and CLEAN WATER RULE (deadline 09/27).
In the decades we've been in business here at Trout Unlimited, we've seen politics come and go. Whether you're from a…standup.tu.org
IT HAPPENED THIS WEEK:
Congress will need to fund emergency response / recovery. This will dramatically shift the anticipated battle over gov funding and Trump’s border wall when the Congress returns next week (see below).
Climate, budget and related concerns: the tragedy in Texas creates questions related to recent budget cuts to HUD, FEMA and other key programs as well as 45s recent action to rollback Obama era regs regarding climate risk management, flood insurance and post-flood redevelopment. Anticipate continued focus on pre-disaster mitigation and role of climate change in infrastructure and budget discussions.
- Politico: How Washington Made Harvey Worse: A federal insurance program made Harvey far more costly — and Congress could have known it was coming (Michael Grunwald; 08/29/2017)
- The Economist: How government policy exacerbates hurricanes like Harvey (09/02/17)
- The Hill: Congress Must handle the looming housing crisis after http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/348860-congress-must-handle-the-looming-housing-crisis-after
- NYT: Hurricane Harvey Shifts Political Winds in Washington (Carl Hulse, 08/31/2017)
Congress will return on September 4th to a heavy agenda. Here’s what’s on tap:
Big Picture: Congress aims to complete an FY18 spending plan, negotiate a plan to raise the debt ceiling, fix Health Care and reform the tax code. All in September. Also, 45 insists the wall must be funded. All of this against the background of escalating drama with N.Korea; TrumpCamp-Russia investigations; DACA repeal/reform; etc. etc. #NBD
FY18 Budget and Debt Ceiling: These are the biggest “must resolve” issues for September, so here is a bit more detail:
- Sept. 30: date that current government funding will expire. New spending plan must be passed to avoid a government shutdown. Continuing resolution is an option. Packaging pieces of spending plans that Congress could agree on (minibus) is an option. Shutting the government down over a border wall is (hopefully) not an option. More on the budget/appropriations process.
- Sept. 29 is the estimated date that the U.S. will reach the current debt ceiling, although this date may come sooner due to Hurricane Harvey costs.
Congress was gearing up for a battle over government funding and Trump’s border wall that could have led to a government shutdown and roiled financial markets later this month. Those fights are off the table now as focus turns to Harvey aid, though they could return at the end of the year (Axios).
- Are the debt ceiling and the FY18 budget/spending plan the same issue? No, but much of the politicking and horse-trading is connected. Here’s a helpful summary of what is at stake with the debt ceiling issue: https://www.axios.com/if-the-u-s-cant-pay-its-bills-2476745343.html
On the Horizon for TU in DC:
In addition to the big picture landscape described above, in the coming weeks, TU will be focused on a handful of key priorities including responsible energy development, including the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) and possible movement of a Senate energy package; Mining reform and advancing solutions for Good Samaritan cleanups at abandoned mines; forestry issues including solutions to fire borrowing and improved forest management; and the ongoing discussions related to reauthorization of the Farm Bill and the numerous land and water conservation programs included in that package.
Also, we continue to await news on the details of Secretary Zinke’s National Monuments review.
Today the Department of the Interior issued a press release noting that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has…www.tu.org
This Week - agenda items of note:
- Tue. 09/05: House Rules Committee meets Tuesday evening to set parameters of debate and amendments for spending package including EPA and Interior funding.
- W. 09/06 @ 10a: House Natural Resources subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on three mining related bills.
A House Natural Resources subcommittee will discuss three energy-related bills, including one sponsored by Budget…www.eenews.net
- Th. 09/07 @ 10:30a: Senate Nomination hearing to consider DOI, FERC Nominees.
Next Week — on tap for next week (or two):
- 09/09/12–09/14: AKBBAY: TU’s Austin Williams hits D.C. for meetings re: Bristol Bay and Pebble Mine
- Th. 09/14: House Outdoor Recreation Caucus Panel Discussion: Veterans and the Outdoors. Hosted by Reps. Simpson and Polis; Steve Moyer will attend and speak on behalf of TU and the Veterans Service Program.
Throughout its history, our nation has been blessed with an extraordinary band of men and women who have sacrificed so…www.tu.org
- 09/18–09/21: TU-Costa 5 Rivers Native Trout Odyssey team in D.C. Will meet with USFS and members of Congress to discuss public lands and other topics.
"The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the…www.tu.org
- 09/25–09/27: MINING: Steve Moyer and Jason Hatch will attend the National Mining Association Conference in Lexington, KY. Stay tuned for additional info.
- 09/27: CLEAN WATER RULE comment deadline
- 09/28–10/01: TU Annual Meeting in Roanoke, VA
- 10/10: BRISTOL BAY comment deadline
Additional news of note
Nom-Dram: Appointments and Transition news of note:
- TU Bids Farewll to USFS Chief Tidwell
Tom Tidwell is retiring as Chief of the US Forest Service. It is difficult to overstate the importance of the 191…www.tu.org
Senate takes up nominations for FERC, Interior: This week, the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider the following nominations:
- US Department of Interior: Mr. Joseph Balash to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management.
- US Department of the Interior: Mr. Ryan Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior.
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Senate will hold a confirmation hearing this week to consider two FERC nominees: Kevin McIntyre, a Jones Day energy lawyer, and Richard Glick, a Democratic Senate aide. [Hearing: Thursday, Sept. 7, at 10:30 a.m. in 366 Dirksen].
- US Environmental Protection Agency, EPA’s top water chief: David Ross. Mr. Ross currently serves as an assistant Wisconsin attorney general. He has been a top state lawyer for both Wyoming and Wisconsin and for law firms in D.C. and helped on challenges to EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule.