Sunday, January 13, 2013

Congressional Hearings - Week of 1-13-13

The House comes back to Washington this week, but the Senate is still out until the Inauguration next week. Not much on the Congressional docket this week as ‘organization’ is the key. There is one hearing of potential note; the House Rule Committee looks at HR 152, the second half of the Sandy recovery legislation.

Rules Committee

The House Rules Committee will meet on Monday evening to formulate the rule for the consideration of HR 152, Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013. There are two competing ‘amendments in the form of a substitute’ that will apparently be considered on the House floor and over 90 other amendments have already been offered for consideration. None of them address the issue of assisting the recovery of security at CFATS or MTSA covered facilities.

More Sandy Recovery

There is another Sandy recovery bill that will make its way directly to the floor this week. The Majority Leader’s web page notes that there are plans to bring an as yet un-introduced “Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013” to the floor Monday under suspension of the rules. While there is not a GPO copy of the bill available yet (since it hasn’t been officially introduced) the unofficial version is available via the House Documents Repository.

This bill from Rep. Denham (R,CA) is the typical revision to the FEMA recovery procedures that we see after any major catastrophe. It’s an effort to address some of the recovery issues that were seen after Sandy. This would be the ideal place to address the issue of providing facilities with federally mandated security programs assistance with re-establishing their security measures after a declared emergency from a natural disaster.

Unfortunately there is no such language in the bill and the way it will be considered on Monday will not allow for any amendments; too bad this did not go through the Committee review process.

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