Monday, December 5, 2016

Committee Hearings – Week of 12-04-16

The House and the Senate are both in Washington for what could be the last week of the 114th Congress. As you would suspect, the hearing schedule is light, but there is one hearing on transportation security that might be of interest to readers of this blog.

Transportation Security

The Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will be holding a hearing on Wednesday on “Assessing the Security of Our Critical Transportation Infrastructure”. This hearing will focus on surface transportation. The witness list includes:

• John Roth, Inspector General, DHS;
• Chief Neil Trugman, Interim Chief of Police, Amtrak
• Mr. Chris Spear, President and CEO, American Trucking Association
• Mr. Tony Straquadine, Manager of Commercial and Government Affairs, Alliance Pipeline;
• Mr. Tom Belfiore, Chief Security Officer, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Obviously, nothing will come of this hearing this session, but the information will carry over to help shape how the staff deals with transportation security issues in the next session. As is usual, watching the questions is more important than listening to the testimony.

On the Floor

The only thing currently of specific interest to readers of this blog to be scheduled to be voted on in the House and Senate this week is the Continuing Resolution to continue funding the government past the current FY 2017 funding that expires on December 9th. The current ‘plan’ is to pass a short-term measure to carry the current funding rate some time past the Trump inauguration to allow the new President to have input on the final FY 2017 spending bill.

The House Majority Leader does note that the current schedule of items to be considered under suspension of the rules may not be complete. We will have to watch for changes on a daily basis. I half expect HR 6381, the DHS ‘improvement’ bill, to be added to the list.

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