We’re at number 5 (that’s an accomplishment, right?)! Lots of stuff going on in this new Congress:
H.R.810 : National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2015
What: This basically establishes the duties of NASA for 2015
Importance: NASA is a hot issue lately, especially with the privatization of space flight, the mission(s) to Mars, and the never-ending budgetary issues.
H.R.813 : Fixing Operations of Reservoirs to Encompass Climatic and Atmospheric Science Trends Act
What: Allows for the review of water reservoirs in response to weather patterns (basically).
Importance: Perhaps the acknowledgement of climate change?
H.R.831 : Supporting Afterschool STEM Act
H.R.840 : STEM Gateways Act
S.419 : A bill to assist coordination among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics efforts in the States, to strengthen the capacity of elementary schools, middle schools, and secondary schools to prepare students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and for other purposes.
Importance: As my current position is very STEM-oriented, legislation to promote STEM activities is near and dear to my heart (though a longer discussion would be quantity vs quality).
H.R.884 : To direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules relating to listing of the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and for other purposes.
What: Requires USFWS to reissues the final rule delisting the gray wolf under the ESA in certain areas.
Importance: Honestly, I’m not quite sure about this one.
H.R.890 : To correct the boundaries of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Unit P16.
What: Asking the USFWS to adjust boundaries of the Coastal Barriers Resources System.
Importance: The CBRS was one of my primary issue areas at the USFWS so I know that program in and out. I specifically worked with the USFWS program staff and the Representative’s staff on this bill so I’m happy to see it moving along and it’s likely to get passed and signed. Science policy at work!
H.R.912 : To place a moratorium on permitting for mountaintop removal coal mining until health studies are conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, and for other purposes.
Importance: This is interesting because it comes at mountaintop removal from the angle of the effects on human health and not just from the POV that it’s awful for the environment. This is something that I’ve learned over the years: get people to care about the issue no matter what.
H.R.843 : Western Great Lakes Wolf Management Act of 2015
H.R.845 : National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act
H.R.849 : To grant a Federal charter to the National Academy of Inventors.
H.R.856 : Gold Butte National Conservation Area Act.
H.R.894 : To extend the authorization of the Highlands Conservation Act.
H.R.908 : To include the Santa Cruz Redwoods Public Lands in the California Coastal National Monument as a part of the National Landscape Conservation System, and for other purposes.
H.R.944 : To reauthorize the National Estuary Program, and for other purposes.
S.414 : California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act of 2015.
S.462 : A bill to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to publish a health advisory and submit reports with respect to microcystins in drinking water.
S.468 : A bill to provide a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to allow the Director of the Bureau of Land Management and the Chief of the Forest Service to remove Pinyon-Juniper trees to conserve and restore the habitat of the greater sage-grouse and the mule deer.
S.508 : A bill to amend the FLAME Act of 2009 to provide for additional wildfire suppression activities, to provide for the conduct of certain forest treatment projects, and for other purposes.
S.520 : A bill to amend the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act to reauthorize the Act.
S.486 : A bill to amend the Head Start Act to ensure that all children in Head Start and Early Head Start programs are vaccinated, and allow exemptions only for children with underlying medical conditions, for whom vaccines are therefore medically contraindicated.
Importance: The vaccine issue is at the front of everyone’s’ minds recently. Look for more legislation concerning vaccination in the near future.