Monday, July 22, 2013

Congressional Hearings – Week of 7-21-13

There are only three House hearings and one Senate hearing that might be of specific interest to the chemical safety/security and cybersecurity communities. They involve a TSA markup, a rule for two spending bills, a transportation bill and a cybersecurity bill. A WMD bill will also be considered on the floor of the House.

Spending Bills

The House Rules Committee will meet this evening to try again to formulate a rule for the consideration of HR 2610 (FY 2014 DOT spending bill) and HR 2397 (FY 2014 DOD spending bill). The big holdup here is the question of whether or not to have an open rule (which the Republican leadership has made the norm for spending bills) for the DOD bill. There is a great deal of concern about an amendment defunding the NSA over the recent cyber-snooping disclosure about that agency.

Apparently there has been a resolution as to handle the DOD bill because the Majority Leader’s web site reports that HR 2397 will be considered this week.

TSA Markup

The Subcommittee on Transportation Security of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a markup hearing on Wednesday. One of the bills to be considered will be HR 1204, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2013.


Friday there will be a field hearing in New York City by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation looking at “How Freight Transportation Challenges in Urban Areas Impact the Nation”. There is no witness list yet available so it is hard to tell what might be discussed. Always a possibility is the issue of the risk of hazmat trains transiting urban areas.


The Senate Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing on Thursday looking at “The Partnership Between NIST and the Private Sector: Improving Cybersecurity”. This should be another feel good hearing about the Cybersecurity Framework being developed by NIST under the President’s Cybersecurity EO (EO 13636). No witness list is yet available, but we can expect to see the NIST Director.

WMD Intelligence

There will also be a House floor vote on HR 1542, the WMD Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2013. This bill will be considered under suspension of rules so there will be no floor amendments allowed. There was no committee markup of this bill so there was no chance to add the industrial chemical amendment that I suggested. This bill will pass in a bipartisan vote later today.

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