The House and Senate are in session. The next two weeks are a critical time for Congress leading up to the month-long August recess.
Congress has made significant progress on the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process as lawmakers attempt to fund the federal government before the September 30, 2023 deadline. Currently, all twelve House Appropriations subcommittees have approved and marked up their respective FY 2024 appropriations bills, including eight at the full committee level, while the full Senate Appropriations Committee has approved and marked up five FY24 spending bills thus far. On Thursday, Senate appropriators will complete a full markup of the Transportation-HUD, Energy-Water, and State-Foreign Operations bills, with upper chamber appropriators planning to complete their process by the end of July. Leading lawmakers in the House are preparing floor votes on the FY24 Agriculture-FDA and Military Construction-VA appropriations bills during the week of July 24.
The House will vote this week on their version of the Federal Aviation Administration’s reauthorization bill, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935). The House Rules Committee is meeting this afternoon to consider which of the 375 total amendments will receive floor consideration. Amendments span a myriad of issues, with pilot training, pilot retirement, and expansion of the number of long-haul flights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport as major issues represented. Expect a House floor vote on H.R. 3935 this Thursday. The Senate’s FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 (S. 1939) markup is still pending, and many believe it will happen soon. The main reason the Senate’s version of the FAA reauthorization remains in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is due to disagreements over raising the pilot retirement age from 65 to 67. Aviation Subcommittee Chair Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) recently mentioned a “breakthrough” in negotiations citing the rise in pilot retirement age in exchange for not altering the existing rule on the total accrued flight time of 1,500 hours by potential commercial pilots. Notably, House and Senate leaders will need to meet in conference to work out differences in their versions of the bill, with one of the key differences being overall FAA funding. The House has allocated $103 billion to the FAA over the next 5 years, while the Senate settled at $107 billion.
The House will consider 3 suspension bills, including the Senate-passed Providing Accountability Through Transparency Act of 2023 (S. 111), which requires the notice of a proposed rule by a federal agency to include the internet address of a summary of the rule, with the summary being 100 words or fewer, written in plain language, and posted on regulations.gov. The Senate will vote on their version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (S. 2226). The legislation includes $876.8 in discretionary military and national security spending. The House passed its version of the FY24 NDAA last week, authorizing $874.2 billion in funding on a 219 -210 vote. The Senate will also consider Rachel Bloomekatz to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit.
For the remainder of the week, the House will hold several hearings, including an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the “Examining Emerging Threats to Electric Energy Infrastructure”; The full House Appropriations Committee will hold markups of the FY24 Transportation-HUD and Interior-Environment Appropriations bills. In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee will hold a markup on “Energy and Water Development, State and Foreign Operations, and Transportation Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bills;” a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Water and Power Subcommittee hearing on Pending Bureau of Reclamation Legislation;” and an Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee hearing examining “Rural water, focusing on modernizing our community water systems.”
Bills and Regulations of Interest to You
Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Reauthorization Act
Rep. David Joyce (R-OH-14)
Extends funding through fiscal year (FY) 2028 for SIREN Act grants to rural fire and EMS agencies nationwide. The funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) goes toward supporting rural EMS agencies in training and recruiting staff, conducting certification courses, and purchasing equipment.
Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Grant Program Act of 2023
Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI-11)
Creates a grant program in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for wireless EV charging projects.
Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basins Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Reauthorization Act
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO-3)
Reauthorizes the Bureau of Reclamation to provide cost-shared funding to implement the endangered and threatened fish recovery programs for the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basins.
Streamlining Federal Grants Act of 2023
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
Improves the effectiveness and performance of certain Federal financial assistance programs, and for other purposes.
National Wildland Fire Risk Reduction Program Act
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-18)
Improves the Federal effort to reduce wildland fire risks, and for other purposes.
Cumulative Impacts Act
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-12)
Establishes a Federal program of cumulative impact assessments under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, and protections for environmental justice and frontline communities overburdened by air and water pollution.
Voluntary Groundwater Conservation Act
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Creates a new voluntary groundwater easement program at the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) within the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP).
Water Infrastructure Enhancement Act of 2023
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-TX-28)
Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to establish a program to provide grants to suppliers of water for the purpose of making infrastructure improvements to public water systems, and for other purposes.
Proper Leadership to Align Networks (PLAN) for Broadband Act
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to develop a national strategy to close the digital divide and a plan to implement it.
Council on Environmental Quality
Proposes equitable and just practices to advance safety, health, and prosperity for communities residing near the ocean, the coasts, and the Great Lakes and for the whole country, now and for future generations.
July 24, 2023
FEMA is reviewing the input on implementation of Community Disaster Resilience Zones Act of 2022 for potential improvements to FEMA’s resilience zones.
July 25, 2023
The FAA is reviewing our noise policy as part of our ongoing commitment to address aircraft noise.
July 31, 2023
The EPA attempts to provide innovative approaches necessary to reduce and recover plastic materials and improve economic, social, and environmental impacts.
July 31, 2023 (Extended from original June 16)
The IRS issued proposed regulations on direct pay and transferability mechanisms that will help local governments and other eligible entities access clean energy tax credits.
August 14, 2023
Army Corps of Engineers
The Corps is requesting proposals for the pilot program for carrying out projects under a continuing authority program for economically disadvantaged communities.
August 21, 2023