I missed last week (oops), so here is round 3 of environmental/ecological/conservation-related legislation that was introduced over the past two weeks:
S.188 : A bill to ensure that oil transported through the Keystone XL pipeline into the United States is used to reduce United States dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
What: Ensuring that if the Keystone XL bills ever become law, as much oil as possible goes straight to use in the U.S.
Importance: It’s an interesting approach because it was introduced by a Senator that voted “nay” for the passage of the bill that would approve the pipeline at all.
S.292 : 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act
S.293 : A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to establish a procedure for approval of certain settlements.
What: The text of the bills hasn’t been released yet.
Importance: I list this here because there has been more legislation concerning the ESA introduced in the past few weeks than in the first few months of the 113th Congress.
S.228 : National Monument Designation Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015
What: Limits the power of the President to designate national monuments.
Importance: Places more power in the hands of Congress and less with the President for such actions.
H.R.528 : To direct Federal public land management officials to exercise their authority under existing law to facilitate use of and access to Federal public lands for fishing, sport hunting, and recreational shooting, and for other purposes.
H.R.564 : To amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to reduce predation on endangered Columbia River salmon and other nonlisted species, and for other purposes
H.R.461 : Wild Game Donation Act of 2015
What: Alters the guidelines for considering donations of wild game when listing deductions on your tax return.
H.R.524 : To prohibit the Federal Government from mandating, incentivizing, or coercing States to adopt the Common Core State Standards or any other specific academic standards, instructional content, curricula, assessments, or programs of instruction.
H.R.540 : To restore the integrity of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes.
H.R.552 : To amend the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to eliminate all Federally-imposed mandates over the local budget process and financial management of the District of Columbia and the borrowing of money by the District of Columbia.
What: Living in D.C. has really given me some perspective on the constant battle between the local and federal governments. This is another bill to reinforce the District’s desire to have more autonomy from the federal government.
Importance: I really think that someday, D.C. will be a state. It likely won’t be any time soon. It may not even be in my lifetime. But these types of bills lay the groundwork for some action to happen.
H.J.RES.26 : Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to limit the number of years Representatives and Senators may serve.