Sunday, September 15, 2013

Congressional Hearings – Week of 9-15-13

Actions to be taken in the House this week will determine whether or not the House will take their scheduled district work week next week, the 2014 spending bills or a continuing resolution need to be passed before October 1st or the government will be shut down pending congressional action. With that hanging overhead there are a number of congressional hearings scheduled for the week, some of which will be of interest to the chemical safety and security and cybersecurity communities.

Terror Threat

The Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on "Understanding the Threat to the Homeland from AQAP". No witness list is available yet so there is no telling if they are looking at potential cyber or chemical threats or something more conventional.

Markup Hearings

On the same day the Homeland Security Committee will hold a markup hearing on two bills, HR 2952 and a bill yet to be introduced. The new bill, expected to be introduced Tuesday by Rep Clarke (D,NY), will address cybersecurity workforce issues in the federal government. A committee draft is available.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be holding a business meeting on Monday evening. There is no agenda available yet so we don’t know which bills will be marked up or even if there will be any legislation considered.

Transportation Safety and Security

On Wednesday the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will be holding a hearing on "Implementing MAP-21's Provisions to Accelerate Project Delivery". There are no details or witness list available, so it is difficult to determine which MAP-21 provisions will be addressed in this hearing.


The House Majority Leader’s web site continues to show the consideration of a continuing resolution (CR) later in the week, but there are no indications which of the two competing resolutions (or perhaps a third one) will actually be considered. We can expect to see a Rules Committee hearing. The House Republican leadership is trying to get a consensus bill passed that has some chance of passage in the Senate or can be hammered into an acceptable bill in conference. The right-wing activist portion of the Republican majority is trying to get a CR passed that would stop all funding for ‘Obamacare’.  That would lock up in the Senate and probably bring the government to at least a short period shutdown.

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