Senate Nuclear Option Exposes Lack of Experience While ENR Considers Increased US Oil Production

Tuesday in Washington:

Lack of Experience Starting to Show:

Following three hours of deliberation in the Old Senate Chamber last night, the Senate continues to struggle with an effort brought forward by Majority Leader Harry Reid to change the Senate rules with respect to filibusters of political nominees.  Proponents of the change say it is needed to help alleviate historic and unrelenting gridlock.  Opponents claim it will undermine minority rights in the Senate and fundamentally alter the tenor of the chamber by giving additional power to the party in the Majority.  The Senate last changed parties in 2006.  Of the Senate’s 100 members, 46 have been serving less than six years, including 32 of the 54 members Democratic Caucus. So, the majority of the Majority seeking to expand the power of the Majority have never been in the minority.  The Senate could attempt to execute this option as early as this morning.

In other Senate news, Rep. Ed Markey will be sworn in to the Senate this morning at the Chamber’s newest member.  Additionally, Senator Reid filed cloture on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to serve as the next administrator of the EPA, setting up a potential vote on Thursday.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of expanded oil and gas production on fuel prices this morning.

The House will be taking up three bills under suspension of the rules today.  The bills include:  H.R. 2576, to modify requirements relating to the availability of pipeline safety regulatory documents; H.R. 1848, the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013; and H.R. 2611, to designate the headquarters building of the Coast Guard on the campus located at 2701 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue Southeast in the District of Columbia as the “Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building.”  Also of note, the House Energy and Commerce will begin a two day mark up of legislation today including measures to restrain the EPA and expedite approval of new pipelines.

Other Items of Interest:

House to Hold Two Days of Hearings on RFS: The Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee announced it will hold two days of hearings to get stakeholder input on the Renewable Fuels standard on July 23rd and July 24th.

Important Events and Hearings:  

DOE Hosts Meeting of the National Petroleum Council:  Today at 9 AM at the St. Regis Hotel at 923 16th Street, the Energy Department (DOE); Office of Fossil Energy will hold a meeting of the National Petroleum Council. The event will be available via webcast at:

Senate Committee Reviews Impact of Expanded Oil and Gas Production on Fuel Prices:  Today at 10 AM in 366 Dirksen, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on how United States gasoline and fuel prices are being affected by the current boom in domestic oil production and the restructuring of the United States refining industry and distribution system. Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration; Jeff Hume, vice chairman for strategic growth initiatives at the Continental Resources, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla.; Bill Klesse, chairman and CEO of the Valero Energy Corporation, San Antonio, Texas; Dan Gilligan, president of the The Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Arlington, Va.; Chris Plaushin, director of federal relations for the American Automobile Association, Healthrow, Fla.; and Faisel Khan, managing director for integrated oil and gas research at Citigroup Inc., New York, N.Y., will testify. Additional information can be found at:

Senate Appropriations Committee Marks Up CJS Bill: Today at 10 AM in 192 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the FY2014 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.

DOE Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee Meeting:  Today at 12:45 PM at 1000 Independence Ave., the Energy Department (DOE); Office of Fossil Energy will hold a meeting of the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee to discuss committee comments on draft methane hydrate roadmap, committee recommendations and receive public comments.

House Markup of Energy Bills:  Today and tomorrow in 2123 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a full committee markup of H.R.1582, the “Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013”; H.R.1900, the “Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act”; H.R.83, to require the Secretary of the Interior to develop an action plan to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States; H.R.2094, the “School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act”; H.R.698, the “HIV Organ Policy Equity Act”; and H.R.2052, the “Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2013.” Additional information about the markup can be found here:

New Member of the Day: US Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN)

Committee Assignments:  Education and Workforce, Homeland Security, and Ethics

Chief of Staff: Mel Raines
Legislative Director: Megan Savage
Twitter: @SusanWBrooks

Experience: After receiving her undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio, Rep. Brooks pursued a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Indiana University Indianapolis School of Law. Before joining the House of Representatives, Susan served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ivy Tech Community College.  While there, she implemented workforce development strategies aiming to enhance job training and placement for thousands of Indiana residents. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Susan as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.  She earned recognition as Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis during the Steve Goldsmith administration, where she provided oversight on public safety operations and drove community dialogue on vital civic issues. S he also practiced law at the Indianapolis firm of Ice Miller and also served as a criminal defense attorney for Indianapolis based McClure, McClure and Kammen.

Importance: Congresswoman Susan Brooks represents the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight counties throughout the central part of Indiana. It was concern about the country’s debt and deficit and its effect on the labor market that prompted her to run for Congress in the first place. During her race, she made headlines by dismissing Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, saying she wouldn’t sign pledges of any kind.  Her background in education and her focus on jobs makes her a strong advocate for STEM education and preparing students for actual careers in an increasingly competitive job market.  She believes that there is a federal role in education to ensure our students are able to compete globally.

If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Previous updates and new Member profiles can be viewed at HBW Resource’s new Intelligence Tab at: Hope you all have a great day.


Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
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Cell: 202-277-3927
Twitter: @mzehrhbw