NATaT Weekly Legislative Report

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NATaT Weekly Legislative Report

April 23, 2024

Congressional Outlook

The Senate is in session while the House is in recess this week.

The House worked over the weekend, passing the National Security Act, 2024 (H.R. 815). The emergency aid package passed with bipartisan support as four stand-alone bills (H.R. 8034, H.R. 8035, H.R. 8036, and H.R. 8038), which now heads to the Senate for final approval as one larger, consolidated package. Six months after President Biden requested the package, Congress is inching closer to passing the $95.3 billion supplemental spending bill, which includes $60.8 billion for Ukraine, $26.4 billion in aid to Israel and humanitarian aid to Gaza and other areas of conflict, $8.1 billion in support to Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific countries, and sanctions on Russia, Iran, and China. Finally, the bill forces the divestiture of Chinese-owned TikTok, or the social media app would receive a ban in the U.S. The House voted on all of these measures separately on Saturday, with strong ­bipartisan support for each bill.

On Tuesday, the Senate will reconvene at 10am ET to work quickly to pass the national security legislation now combined as one final package. Senators are giving up part of their recess week, so many expect them to bypass the 30-hour rule to finish voting by Tuesday evening. There is opposition from both sides of the aisle, including a push for an amendment process and procedural motions. If Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) opts for amendments, expect Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to offer an amendment to ensure that loan provisions to Ukraine are repaid toward the national debt and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to offer an amendment providing stipulations for the Israeli aid portion of the package. All of the amendments offered will likely be rejected, sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law after final passage occurs.

As a critical part of the government funding cycle, Congress will begin working on the 12 appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2025. The Senate last week released guidance and deadlines for Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) requests for FY 2025. Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) shared the guidance highlighting minimal changes and deadlines for members to submit requests to the committee, with deadlines ranging from May 8 to May 15. Newly minted House Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) has been vocal about changes to the Community Project Funding (i.e., the CDS equivalent in the House) process, avoiding “political” project requests. Chair Cole acknowledged that because Congress is quickly falling behind on the process, changes to the CPF process would be limited. Still, it is reported that House Republicans may remove a critical account for many non-profit organizations, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Economic Development Initiative (EDI) account. Removing the EDI account for non-profits would result in a major shift in earmarks for many organizations around the country. In FY 2024, the HUD EDI account funded nearly $3.3 billion worth of projects ($2.2 billion originating in the House) and was the largest source of earmarks. After the House banned all earmarks in the Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee bill for FY 2024, many lawmakers turned to the EDI account to fill the void for cities, counties, other local government agencies, and nonprofits.

When Congress returns on April 29, the two chambers will have until Friday, May 10 to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years. While the full House already passed its version of the bill last July, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act

(H.R. 3935), only the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has, thus far, advanced the Senate’s version of the legislation, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 (S. 1939). Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) recently indicated that she and Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have been “making real progress in the negotiations.” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Commerce’s Aviation subcommittee chair, on Thursday said right now negotiations are happening between leadership and the so-called “four corners” of Commerce and the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee (Cantwell, Cruz, and T&I Committee Chair Rep. Sam Graves [R-Mo.] and Ranking Member Rep. Rick Larsen [D-Wash.]) and that subcommittee chairs like herself are not involved.

Bills and Regulations of Interest to You


H.R. 8041Driving Forward ActRep. John Carter (R-TX-31)Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to extend the duration of the exemption from pre-trip vehicle skills testing for school bus drivers.
H.R. 8042Bill to fund community paramedicine programsRep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-5)Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to qualified entities to support community paramedicine programs.
H.R. 8047 & S.4154Bill promoting conservation and recreationRep. Ann Kuster (D-NH-2) & Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT)Supports communities that host transmission lines and to promote conservation and recreation.
H.R. 8056 & S.4139Digital Skills for Today’s Workforce ActRep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7) & Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)Amends the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to establish a digital skills at work grant program.
S.4140Grid Reliability and Integrated Data (GRIData) ActSen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)Requires the Secretary of Energy to identify, analyze, and share available data for the purpose of improving the reliability and resilience of the electric grid.
S.4143Bill to lower flood insurance premiumsSen. Rick Scott (R-FL)Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an above-the-line deduction for flood insurance premiums.
H.R. 8074 & S.4187Forever Chemical Regulation and Accountability ActRep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-4) & Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)Phases out production of nonessential uses of perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances, to prohibit releases of all perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances.
H.R. 8076 & S.4173Clean Water Standards for PFAS ActRep. Chris Pappas (D-NH-1) & Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)Establishes effluent limitations guidelines and standards and water quality criteria for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
H.R. 8079 & S.4173Drought Resilient Infrastructure ActRep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ-4) & Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ)Provides for water conservation, drought operations, and drought resilience at water resources development projects.
S.4157Improving Corps Civil Works Compensatory Mitigation ActSen. Alex Padilla (D-CA)Amends the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 to improve compensatory mitigation.

DOT request RFI from public on the best approach to identify critical freight facilities and corridors that will make up a National Multimodal Freight Network (NMFN) that is vital to achieving the national multimodal freight policy goals of the United States.

Emergency Response Standard

Proposed Regulation
Comment Deadline
FCCThe Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency AlertsFCC seeks comment on a proposal to adopt a new Emergency Alert System (EAS) event code for the delivery of critical messages to the public over television and radio about missing and endangered persons.May 20, 2024. Reply Comments Due June 17, 2024
HUDReducing Barriers to HUD-Assisted HousingThe proposed amendments would revise existing regulations that govern admission for applicants with criminal records or a history of involvement with the criminal justice system and eviction or termination of assistance of persons on the basis of illegal drug use, drug-related criminal activity, or other criminal activity.June 10, 2024
DOTNational Multimodal Freight NetworkJune 11, 2024
OSHAThe proposed rule would expand the scope of OSHA's standard to include a broad range of hazards emergency responders encounter during emergency response activities and would bring the standard in line with FEMA’s National Response Framework. It would also modernize the standard to align with the current industry consensus standards issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on the safe conduct of emergency response activities.June 21, 2024
DOCAI and Open Government Data Assets Required for InformationThis Request for Information (RFI) seeks valuable insights from industry experts, researchers, civil society organizations, and other members of the public on the development of AI-ready open data assets and data dissemination standards.July 16, 2024
FEMAIndividual Assistance Program EquityAmending its regulations governing the Individual Assistance program to increase equity by simplifying processes, removing barriers to entry, and increasing eligibility for certain types of assistance under the program.July 22, 2024


Week in Review

House passes $95.3B aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

Senate kills the articles of impeachment against Alejandro Mayorkas

Senate approves extension of FISA surveillance just after deadline

Cole eyes axing HUD earmarks for nonprofit organizations