Saturday, April 26, 2014

Congressional Hearings – Week of 4-27-14

Congress comes back to Washington after its two week Easter Recess with a full slate of hearing. Three House hearings and one Senate hearing this week will be of specific interest to readers of this blog even though one of those is a closed hearing about which we will never know the details. The cybersecurity budget, TSCA reform, CFATS authorization and TSA oversight are the topics of interest. Oh, and the DOD FY 2015 authorization bill (which may contain cybersecurity language) is wending its way through multiple subcommittees this week.

Cybersecurity Budget

The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a closed hearing on Tuesday to look at the cybersecurity budget for DHS. The three witnesses all come from the National Protection and Programs Directorate which has primary responsibility for the DHS cybersecurity mission both within the government and supporting critical infrastructure. This meeting was originally scheduled for April 8th.

TSCA Reform

The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold another hearing on the Chemicals in Commerce Act (no bill number yet as it hasn’t actually been introduced) on Tuesday. A new draft version of the bill will be considered; the Committee has thoughtfully provided a ‘redlined’ version showing changes from the previous public draft.

Witnesses for this hearing will include:

• Calvin Dooley, American Chemistry Council;
• Beth Bosley, Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates;
• Mark Greenwood, Greenwood Environmental Counsel;
• Len Sauers, Proctor & Gamble Company;
• Steven Goldberg, BASF;
• Andy Igrejas, Safer Chemicals and Healthy Families;
• Michael Moore, National Conference of State Legislatures 

CFATS Reauthorization

The House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a markup hearing on Wednesday looking at three bills; two of which are of potential interest to readers of this blog. They are HR 3283 (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2013) and HR 4007 (Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014).

No amendments are currently listed for the CFATS bill and substitute language is being offered for the public warning system bill. Both bills were previously marked up (HR 3283 and HR 4007) but the Committee web site does not provide copies of the version of HR 4007 that will actually be considered by the Committee (it doesn’t’ provide a marked-up copy of HR 3283 either but the substitute language makes that a moot point).

As mentioned earlier HR 4007 appears to be on the fast track in the Committee. I would not be surprised to see this on the House floor next month.

TSA Oversight

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will conduct an oversight hearing on the DHS Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday. As is typical for this type hearing the major focus will be on air passenger security issues (including airport perimeter security given recent incidents) but there is a good chance that rail and truck security issues will be raised, including some long over due rulemakings. Administrator Pistole is the only scheduled witness.

DOD FY 2015 Authorization

The House Armed Services Committee will look at HR 4435, the DOD FY 2015 authorization bill this week in a series of subcommittee hearings on Wednesday and Thursday. I don’t see any one hearing that will specifically address cybersecurity issues, so I’ll just list the hearings.

Floor Actions

There is nothing currently scheduled for consideration on the floor of the House this week of specific interest to readers of this blog. Who knows what Sen. Reid (D,NV) will bring to the floor of the Senate beyond the expected series of nomination considerations.

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