Monday, September 20, 2021

Committee Hearings – Week of 9-19-21

This week with the House and Senate both in Washington, and lot of controversial stuff on the legislative agenda for the next two weeks, the hearing agenda is relatively lite. We do have two hearings on the homeland security threat, an important Rules Committee Hearing, one cybersecurity hearing, and a confirmation hearing for three CSB nominees this week.

Homeland Security Threat

On Tuesday the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Threats to the Homeland: Evaluating the Landscape 20 Years After 9/11”. The witness list includes:

• Alejandro N. Mayorkas, DHS,

• Christopher A. Wray, FBI, and

• Christine Abizaid, National Counterterrorism Center

On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland: 20 Years After 9/11”. The witnesses will be the same as above.

While cybersecurity and right-wing extremists will certainly be mentioned, I expect that in both of these hearings we will see the most sound and fury in discussions about the al Qaeda threat from Afghanistan.

Rules Committee

Today the Rules Committee will meet to formulate the rule for three measures that will be taken up by the House this week, two of those will be of interest here:

• HR _____— An act making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022, and for providing emergency assistance, and for other purposes

• HR 4350— National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022

There is no text currently available for the Continuing Resolution. This is coming early enough, though, that I expect that the Democrats will try to load it up some since they can always come back next week with a cleaner, less controversial version that could pass in the Senate next week and still not worry about shutting down the government.

The reported language for HR 4350 is available, and I will have more on that later today. At least 852 amendments have been submitted for consideration, I am not even going to bother trying to look at those in any detail. The Rules Committee will sort and pare that down to a more reasonable number to be considered on the floor of the House.

Cybersecurity Hearing

On Thursday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “National Cybersecurity Strategy: Protection of Federal and Critical Infrastructure Systems”.

The witness list includes:

• Chris Inglis, National Cyber Director

• Jen Easterly, CISA,

• Christopher DeRusha, OMB

While it will be fairly wide ranging, I expect to hear significant discussion about mandatory breach notification rules.

Confirmation Hearing

On Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a business meeting. The meeting will include votes on three nominations for the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). The nominees are:

• Stephen A. Owens,

• Jennifer B. Sass, and

• Sylvia E. Johnson

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