Sunday, July 14, 2013

Committee Hearings – Week of 7-14-13

It looks like the hearing list is getting shorter as the summer recess approaches and we are still dominated by spending hearings, three this week in the Senate. The House only has one hearing of note for my readers, a hearing on the Cybersecurity Framework development. The House will also consider a pipeline safety bill on the floor this week.


The Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday on "Oversight of Executive Order 13636 and Development of the Cybersecurity Framework". Calling this an ‘oversight’ hearing might be a bit of a stretch since this is the implementation of an Executive Order, not implementing a congressional mandate. No witness list is currently available, but I would suspect that NIST and NPPD will provide at least two of the witnesses.

Pipeline Safety

According to the Majority Leader’s web site the House will consider HR 2576, the Pipelines Incorporation by Reference bill, on Tuesday. Readers will remember that this bill was introduced and reported out of committee last week so it is safe to say that the bill is on the fast track. This simple bill will almost certainly pass with nearly universal support. The only question now is if there is someone with pull in the Senate who can get this bill to the floor, it will probably pass with unanimous consent.

Senate Spending Bills

Constitutionally speaking these Senate originated spending bills are a bit of an anomaly. All spending bills must originate in the House according to §7 of the Constitution so the Senate typically considers its bill and then substitutes the final language of the Senate bill for the language in the respective House bill. The House then either concurs with the Senate changes (not often lately), revises and sends the bill back to the Senate (an even more unlikely response), or takes the bill to Conference with representative of both Houses ironing out the differences behind closed doors.

There will be three Senate hearings this week on two spending bills. There will be both a subcommittee hearing (Tuesday) and a full Appropriations Committee hearing (Thursday) for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations bill. This bill will include spending for NIST and thus the Cybersecurity Framework even if it is not specifically listed. The same full committee hearing will also look at the approval of the Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations bill after a subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.

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