Monday, March 23, 2015

Committee Hearings – Week of 3-22-15

With both the House and Senate in Washington this week the budget remains a big topic, both in Committee and on the Floor of the House. In addition there will be hearings on cyber security, UAVs and railroad safety.

Budget Hearings

Of specific interest to readers of this blog will be hearings on the budgets for


The House Rules Committee will also be holding a hearing this evening on the consideration of the Budget Resolution later this week by the Whole House.

It has been a while since there has actually been a budget resolution signed by the President. It will be interesting to see if the House can put together a bill that the Republican almost-controlled Senate can bring to a vote under regular order.


The Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday on "H.R.__, Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015". A committee draft is available, but I have not yet had a chance to review it.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

The Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will be holding a hearing on Tuesday on “Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Key Considerations Regarding Safety, Innovation, Economic Impact, and Privacy”. The witness list includes:

• Margaret Gilligan, Federal Aviation Administration;
• John B. Morris, Jr., National Telecommunications and Information Administration;
• Gerald Dillingham, Government Accountability Office;
• John Villasenor, The Brookings Institution;
• Paul Misener, Amazon, Inc.; and
• Jeff VanderWerff, the American Farm Bureau Federation

Looking at the witness list it would not seem that UAV operations over critical infrastructure will get much in the way of mention at this hearing.

Railroad Safety

The Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee will hold a business meeting on Wednesday that will include a markup of S.650, the Railroad Safety and Positive Train Control Extension Act.

I have just briefly reviewed this bill and, as expected, it would extend the current positive train control (PTC) installation deadline from December of this year until 2020 and provide authority to the Secretary of Transportation to further extend that deadline on a case-by-case basis until 2012.

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