NATaT Weekly Legislative Report

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Weekly Legislative Update

February 20, 2024

Congressional Outlook

Congress is in recess this week. Upon their return, Congress will face tight deadlines to complete government funding to avoid a government shutdown.

On January 19, President Biden signed into law the Further Additional Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 (P.L. No: 118-35), which extended the enacted FY23 funding levels for federal agencies in the Agriculture-FDA, Energy & Water, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-HUD Appropriations bills from January 19 to Friday, March 1. The remaining federal funding for the other eight appropriations bills would provide government funding from February 2 to Friday, March 8. That leaves Congress just ten days before the first federal agencies of the “laddered continuing resolution (CR)” face a government shutdown. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) faces pressure from the most conservative wing of House Republicans to shut down the government on March 1. Even with agreed upon topline numbers of $1.7 trillion, many policy provisions or “riders” will be core to negotiations as Congress hopes to resolve funding by March 1 and 8. Transportation-HUD Appropriations Chair Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) shared a positive sign on the progress of the funding bills.” We’ve reached an agreement on the numbers, the distribution inside the bill, the community funding projects and priorities,” said Rep. Cole.

Many sticking points around the rest of Congressional action between the chambers stem from international aid. The Senate passed the National Security Act, 2024 (H.R. 815) that would send $95.3 billion in foreign aid to Ukraine ($60 billion), emergency aid to Israel ($14 billion), and assistance to Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region ($4.8 billion.) The vote was 70 - 29, with 22 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) House Speaker Johnson immediately rejected the international assistance proposal,casting doubt over whether Congress would pass funding ahead of the November elections. Speaker Johnson said, “[In] the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” signaling that the House will most likely not take up the Senate’s attempt at providing funding. Currently, there is a discharge petition from House Democrats (H.Res.350) that would need Republican support to force a vote on the bill. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), a proponent of the bill, has spoken with House Republicans about the prospects of supporting a discharge petition.

Bills and Regulations of Interest to You


H.R. 7325Community Housing Act (CHA)Rep. Becca Balint (D-VT)To increase and preserve the national affordable housing supply, paths to homeownership, and perpetual affordability through shared equity housing and community land trust models, investigating landlord price fixing, and providing relief for rural renters
H.R. 7328Bill to increase supply and affordability of housingRep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-10)Developing new approaches for increasing and diversifying the supply of housing and for meeting the challenges of housing shortages, housing affordability, and traffic congestion.
H.R. 7350

The Accessibility and Inclusion to Diversify (AID) Local Government Leadership ActRep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA-4)Provides local governments with an ongoing accommodations fund to ensure current and future elected officials with disabilities have access to needed accommodations to perform their dutiesH.R. 7360Promoting Affordable Childcare for Everyone (PACE) ActRep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY-24)Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase and make fully refundable the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, to increase the maximum amount excludable from gross income for employer-provided dependent care assistance.H.R. 7346Climate and Health Protection ActRep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14)Amends the Public Health Service Act to provide for the continued implementation of the Climate and Health program by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.H.R. 7362The Satellites Preventing Agricultural Crises and Emergencies (SPACE) ActRep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1)Creates cooperative agreements to share satellite-based data, research, and reports between USDA and land-grant colleges and universities with wildfire research programs.H.R. 7382Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand ActRep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX-8)Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to include an additional permissible use of amounts provided as grants under the Byrne JAG program.

Proposed Regulation
Comment Deadline
CEQEnvironmental Justice ScorecardFeedback on Phase One of the Environmental Justice Scorecard, which will inform future versions of the Environmental Justice Scorecard.February 24, 2024
DOTImplementation of IIJA programs RRIF and RIFIADOT proposes to implement provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the “IIJA”) that expand or modify the authorities applicable to the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (“RRIF”) and Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (“TIFIA”) programs, by amending the RRIF program and TIFIA program regulations.February 26, 2024
NSF National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST), requests input from all interested parties to inform the development of a National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy (Strategy), covering the genetic lineages, species, habitats, and ecosystems of United States (U.S.) ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters. February 28, 2024
DOANational Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation ServiceNRCS plans to revise the conservation practice standards in the NHCP. This notice provides an overview of the planned changes and gives the public an opportunity to offer comments on the specific conservation practice standards and NRCS's proposed changes.March 4, 2024
CensusProviding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded ResearchThe document outlines the Census Bureau's plan for implementing new requirements to manage the public access of scientific data and publications. Public comments received on the Public Access Plan will inform Census Bureau as it develops policies and procedures to implement the Plan.March 12, 2024
EPA Initiation of Prioritization Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) EPA seeks comment on prioritization process for five chemical substances as candidates for designation as High-Priority Substances for risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) March 18, 2024
FCC The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Prevention and Elimination of Digital Discrimination Establishes a framework to facilitate equal access to broadband internet access service by preventing digital discrimination of access. March 22, 2024 (effective date)
NIHInform Development of the FY 2026-2030 NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related ResearchRequires the Office of AIDS Research to develop a comprehensive plan, reviewed annually and revised as appropriate, that establishes HIV/AIDS research priorities and serves as a guiding framework for allocation of HIV/AIDS funding across NIH.April 1, 2024
FEMAStandard Flood Insurance Policy, Homeowner Flood FormRevises the Standard Flood Insurance Policy by adding a new Homeowner Flood Form and five accompanying endorsements. The new Homeowner Flood Form would replace the Dwelling Form as a source of coverage for homeowners of one-to-four family residences.April 8, 2024
Corps of EngineersGuidelines for Federal Investments in Water ResourcesProvides a framework to govern how the Corps would evaluate proposed water resource investments, including identification of which Corps programs and activities are subject to the Principles, Requirements, and Guidelines.April 15, 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

Biden campaign to use State of the Union address as reset

White House criticizes House Republicans for inaction on Ukraine aid

Senate passes $95 billion package with aid for Ukraine and Israel

Congress nears WIC deal, with a catch