Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Bills Introduced – 3-5-24

Yesterday, with both the House and Senate in session, there were 67 bills introduced. One of those bills may receive additional attention in this blog:

HR 7556 To establish a working group to coordinate regulatory oversight of liquefied natural gas facilities, and for other purposes. Weber, Randy K. [Rep.-R-TX-14]

I suspect that this bill is designed to overcome the recent Administration ‘pause’ in licensing exports of LNG. If that is the sole purpose of this bill, I will not be covering it here. I will cover it if there are substantial changes to the way that LNG facilities are regulated.

Mention in Passing

There are two bills that were introduced in the House yesterday that I would like to mention in passing:

HR 7528 Comment Integrity and Management Act of 2024 Higgins, Clay [Rep.-R-LA-3]  (Text available)

HR 7540 To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide protections for nonviolent political protesters, and for other purposes. Greene, Marjorie Taylor [Rep.-R-GA-14]

HR 7528 is an attempt to deal with the issue of mass comments on new federal regulations and regulation changes. As I have noted on a number of occasions agencies are not required to weigh the number of comments they receive, just respond to issues raised. This bill would make it easier for agencies to ‘consider’ mass comments, by not having to read each one. Subsection (c) addresses a newer and essentially separate issue of computer (AI) generated comments, requiring a report by GAO to congress on the issue. This is an topic that needs some serious consideration. I suspect that this particular bill will not receive the attention it deserves.

Rep Greene is well known for her support of the poor folks who have been caught up in the grossly misunderstood peaceful demonstration on Capital Hill on January 6th (and I typed that with a straight face), and I suspect that this bill is simply another effort to encode that support. But one would have to be careful on how such legislation is worded as it could end up protecting those nasty antifa demonstrators that have disrupted so much of the country (SIGH).

The Dog Did Not Bark

Pardon the Sherlock Holmes reference. I was expecting to see the introduction of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024, that I discussed on Monday. It was not. This is not a good sign, as it probably means that some changes are being made to the agreed upon language. Late date changes to bills like this frequently derail the admittedly backroom deals that would allow such bills to pass. And it may be too late to recraft such a deal and have a bill ready that could be passed by Friday. This could also upset the already more difficult discussions on the minibus for the other six spending bills that are continuing.

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