COVID-19 Emergency Aid Package:
Senate Energy Legislation:
The Senate is set to take up energy legislation to spur carbon capture, grid modernization and security, while increasing U.S. international competitiveness and investing in clean energy technologies. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said it represents the best chance in more than a decade to modernize U.S. energy policy and includes more than 50 energy-related bills that were reported out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee through 2019.
After running into some issues last week and a push for amendments to the bipartisan energy bill, on Thursday, Murkowski threw her support behind 18 provisions from senators across the ideological spectrum, saying she would package them as a modified substitute amendment.
However, Democrats are expected to push for 2 additional amendments on energy efficiency and reducing the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
ABC will continue to monitor the progress of this legislation.
National Apprenticeship Act Reauthorization:
On March 4, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment held a hearing entitled “Reauthorizing the National Apprenticeship Act: Strengthening and Growing Apprenticeships for the 21st Century.” The National Apprenticeship Act, also known as the Fitzgerald Act, has not been reauthorized since its enactment in 1937 and the Subcommittee released a discussion draft bill to reauthorize the act ahead of Wednesday’s hearing. ABC is looking to submit comments on the discussion draft this week.
Also, during the hearing, Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson highlighted the important work being done by the ABC Metro Washington Chapter in providing pre-apprenticeship opportunities incarcerated individuals to prepare them to become productive contributors to their communities.
Reminder that the 2019 Grassroots Award application is live and available for completion by chapters. The form can be accessed here (abc.org) or here (National Connections). The deadline for completing the application is Friday, March 6th. If you have any questions, please reach out to Patrick McCarty (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Election Update – The Nevada Caucuses:
Continuing the push of a bipartisan $287 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill, the Senate will hold a hearing series on the reauthorization of surface transportation. This week, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Public Transportation Stakeholders’ Perspectives.”
Meanwhile, the House will also hold hearings this week in coordination with House Democrats’ $760 billion framework with no determined funding source. Those hearings include: The House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure Hearing: Moving America's Infrastructure Forward, and a House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Hearing: "Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2020.
Presidential Budget Request Hearings:
As is the annual tradition, the House and Senate will host the several agency heads in their committee rooms over the next couple weeks to further explain their agency’s plan and priorities in presidential budget request. This week, Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Secretary Betsy DeVos of the Department of Education and, and newly appointed SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, will be among the administration officials testifying in the respective committees on the FY2021 budget request.