Friday, September 13, 2019

Bills Introduced – 09-12-19

Yesterday with both the House and Senate in session, there were 52 bills introduced. Of those, four will likely receive additional attention in this blog:

HR 4306 To require the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration to conduct an evaluation of the safety, security, and environmental risks of transporting liquefied natural gas by rail, and for other purposes. Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]

S 2469 A bill to amend title 49, United States Code, to require the use of advanced leak detection technology for pipelines, and for other purposes. Sen. Udall, Tom [D-NM]

S 2470 An original bill making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020, and for other purposes. Sen. Alexander, Lamar [R-TN]

S 2474 An original bill making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020, and for other purposes. Sen. Shelby, Richard C. [R-AL]

DeFazio has been fighting a PHMSA special permit for shipping LNG by rail for a couple of months now. This appears to be the latest salvo.

Two of the three spending bills that were scheduled for this week were adopted in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The failure of the Committee to vote on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill reflects the continuing problem the Congress is having with spending bills.

This is going to have an impact on how the Senate deals with the first House spending minibus (HR 2740) that passed in the House in June. Since that minibus included all three of the spending bills mentioned above, the Senate will not be able to take up HR 2740 and substitute language from their three bills (only two have been published). They can either substitute language from the two bills that were adopted by Committee and try to just amend the House language on the LHHE portion of the bill, or just wait until the Committee can reach an internal compromise that would allow the introduction of the Senate LHHE bill. I suspect the later will be the case. If this cannot be accomplished in the next week or so, we have no real chance of seeing spending bills sent to the President and will have to wait for a continuing resolution and an omnibus bill later in the year. Not looking forward to this, haven’t been all year.

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