Washington Week Ahead: Focus on environment, trade

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 - The environment will be among a wide range of issues the House and Senate will consider this week as they prepare for their August recess.

The House Rules Committee on Monday will take a look at the Endangered Species Transparency Act, which would require the EPA to put online the data it uses to support decisions about whether a species should be listed as endangered. The full House may consider the measure later in the week.

On Tuesday, members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be taking questions from the House Energy Committee on issues including the EPA's proposed Clean Power plan. At the same time, a House Natural Resources subcommittee will be reviewing a bill aimed at promoting land conservation. Meanwhile, the Senate Budget Committee will be holding a hearing to review how climate change may affect the federal budget. All this is going on starting at 10 a.m.

And on Wednesday, the House Small Business Committee holds a hearing entitled to look at whether EPA is meeting its obligations toward small businesses. Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe is scheduled to testify.

In Geneva, U.S. trade officials are scrambling to salvage the so-called Trade Facilitation Agreement reached in Bali late last year. The TFA is designed to cut red tape international commerce. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says India's threat to pull back from the agreement is bringing the World Trade Organization to the “brink of crisis.” Negotiators are facing a July 31 deadline in the talks, which are taking place in Geneva. India is demanding that the developed nations rethink proposed restrictions on how much India can spend to buy grain from domestic producers to distribute at low prices to the poor.

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Here's a list at some of the agricultural-related events taking place this week in the U.S. capital and elsewhere:

Monday, July 28

The U.S. Grains Council is holding its 54th Annual Board of Delegates meeting through Wednesday, in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Agricultural Media Summit continues, in Indianapolis, through Wednesday.

12 p.m. The House meets at noon and at 2 p.m. for legislative business. Among the bills to be considered under suspension of the rules include: H.R. 935 - Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013; H.R. 2952 - The Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Act.

4 p.m. USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report.

5 p.m. House Rules Committee holds a hearing on HR 4315, the Endangered Species Transparency Act H313 Capitol.

Tuesday, July 29

9:30 a.m. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will give a speech on trade and development, at the National Press Club in Washington. The event is hosted by Brookings' Africa Growth Initiative. He also is meeting with officials from the American Meat Institute on Tuesday but the event is closed to the media.

10 a.m. DarciVetter, chief agricultural negotiator for the USTR will give a speech titled “U.S. Trade Policy Opportunities and Challenges” at the U.S. Grains Council Board of Delegates Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.

10 a.m. The House meets for morning hour and at noon for legislative business. Among bills to be considered for the rest of the week under suspension of the rules: H.R. 4315 - 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act;

10 a.m. The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit holds a hearing on Coordinating Future Investments in Broadband. 1300 Longworth.

10 a.m. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power holds a hearing at which members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will answer Questions Concerning EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan and other Grid Reliability Challenges. 2123 Rayburn.

10 a.m. The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation holds a hearing to consider legislation including H.R. 4901, aimed at maximizing land management efficiencies, promoting land conservation, generating education funding, and for other purposes. Advancing Conservation and Education Act of 2014.” 1324 Longworth.

10 a.m.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs holds a hearing to examine “Allegations of Corruption at the Export-Import Bank.” 2154 Rayburn.

10 a.m. The House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology holds a hearing to review the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. 2318 Rayburn.

10 a.m. The Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing on “The Cost of Inaction: The Economic and Budgetary Consequences of Climate Change.” 608 Dirksen.

10 a.m. The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on “Tobacco: Taxes Owed, Avoided and Evaded.” Witnesses include John Manfreda, administrator, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. 215 Dirksen.

2 p.m. The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade holds a hearing on “Advancing the U.S. Trade Agenda: Trade with Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act.” 1100 Longworth.

3 p.m. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security holds a hearing on “Opportunities and Challenges for Improving Truck Safety on our Highways.” 253 Russell.

2:30 p.m. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing entitled, “Breaking the Logjam at the Bureau of Land Management: Examining Ways to More Efficiently Process Permits for Energy Production on Federal Lands.” 366 Dirksen

2:30 p.m. The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety holds a hearing “Examining the Threats Posed by Climate Change.” Witnesses include Bill Mook, president of Mook Sea Farm and Raymond Keating, chief economist, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. 406 Dirksen.

2:30 p.m. The Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness holds a hearing on “The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement: Lessons Learned Two Years Later.” 215 Dirksen

 

Wednesday, July 30

The House meets at 10 a.m. for morning hour and at noon for legislative business.

10 a.m. The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture holds a hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the Department of Labor on specialty crop growers. 1300 Longworth.

10 a.m. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee holds a hearing entitled, “EPA's Carbon Plan: Failure by Design.” 2318 Rayburn.

1 p.m. The House Small Business Committee holds a hearing entitled, “Regulatory Overreach: Is EPA Meeting its Small Business Obligations?” EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe is scheduled to testify. 2360 Rayburn.

10 a.m. The Senate Housing, Transportation and Community Development Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development holds a hearing on “The Flood Insurance Claims Process in Communities After Sandy: Lessons Learned and Potential Improvements.” Witnesses include FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. 538 Dirksen.

3 p.m. USDA releases reports on Broiler Hatchery and Peanut Stocks and Processing.

 

Thursday, July 31

9 a.m. The House meets for legislative business.

3 p.m. USDA releases reports on Agricultural Prices and Egg Products.

 

Friday, Aug. 1

No votes are expected in the House.

3 p.m. USDA releases reports on Cash Rents, Dairy Products, Farm Production Expenditures, Land Values and Peanut Prices.

 

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