Monday, September 5, 2011

Congressional Hearings: Week of 09-06-11

Congress comes back from their summer recess this week, the Senate on Tuesday and the House on Wednesday. With less than a month until the start of FY 2012 and no spending bills passed, Congress has its work cut out for the month. There are only three hearings currently scheduled dealing with issues of concern to the chemical or cyber security communities; two spending hearings and a replay of a hearing originally scheduled before the break.

DHS Spending Bill

The House passed their version of the DHS spending bill, HR 2017, back in June and the Senate has yet to publish their version of the bill that will be substituted for the House version on the Senate floor. This is one of those silly things that the Founding Fathers inadvertently started when they required that the House initiate any spending bills.

The Homeland Security Subcommittee of Senate Appropriations Committee will be meeting Tuesday to mark up their, as of yet unnumbered, version of the Senate bill. The full Committee will meet the next day to place their mark on the bill as well as two other spending bills. Since the Senate has not produced a DHS spending bill in two years, it is a little difficult to guess how well this abbreviated process will work. Of course, we can expect that the committee staff has been working the bugs out while the Senators were back home.

GPS Interference

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will be holding the hearing that was originally scheduled for August 3rd dealing with the impacts of the Lightsquared Network on federal science activities.

As I noted in my blog about the original hearing, this will be focusing on federal R&D efforts so it may be a bit of a reach to hope that it might address the ICS timing issues that might be impacted by the GPS interference that has been reported to be associated with the design of this new broadband network. Mr. Anthony Russo, the Director of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, might provide some insight into the effects of the interference on the timing services. If it’s not mentioned in his prepared testimony, I doubt that anyone will ask questions about this issue.

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