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Congressional actions of interest to the National Park Service from March 29 – April 30, 2021.

New Public Laws

April 14 – The president signed into law H.R. 1868, to prevent across-the-board direct spending cuts. (Public Law 117–7).  This legislation ends the federal discretionary spending caps that have been in effect for the past decade.

Senate Actions

April 12 – The nomination of Robert T. Anderson, of Washington, to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior was transmitted to the Senate.

April 15 – The Senate agreed to S. Res. 159, designating the week of April 17, 2021, through April 25, 2021, as “National Park Week”.

April 15 – The nomination of Tommy P. Beaudreau, of Alaska, to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior was transmitted to the Senate.

April 19 – The nomination of Shannon Aneal Estenoz, of Florida, to be Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Department of the Interior, was transmitted to the Senate.

April 20 – The Committee on Appropriations concluded a hearing to examine the American Jobs Plan, focusing on infrastructure, climate change and investing in our nation’s future, after receiving testimony from Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation; Michael Regan, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce; and Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

April 27 – The nomination of Cynthia Weiner Stachelberg, of New York, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management, and Budget, was transmitted to the Senate.

April 27 – The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: Committee concluded a hearing to examine energy development on federal lands, focusing on the current status of the Department of the Interior’s onshore oil and gas leasing program, after receiving testimony from Nada Wolff Culver, Deputy Director, Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior; Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, Cheyenne; Governor Brian Vallo, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico; Vicki Hollub, Occidental, Washington, D.C.; and Kathleen Sgamma, Western Energy Alliance, Denver, Colorado.

April 27 – The Committee on Environment and Public Works: Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety concluded a hearing to examine S. 283, to establish a National Climate Bank, after receiving testimony from Senator Van Hollen; Rusty Bell, Campbell County Commissioner, Gillette, Wyoming; and public witnesses.  The independent, nonprofit bank must invest in clean energy technologies and infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

April 28 – The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: Committee concluded a hearing to examine the nomination of Tommy P. Beaudreau, of Alaska, to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior, after the nominee testified and answered questions on his own behalf.

House Actions

April 20 – The Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies held a budget hearing on the Department of the Interior. Testimony was heard from Deb Haaland, Secretary, Department of the Interior; and Rachael Taylor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management, and Budget, Department of the Interior.

April 20 – The Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing entitled “Building Back Better: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs Through Offshore Wind”. Testimony was heard from Amanda Lefton, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior; and public witnesses.

April 21 – The Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on:

  • H.R. 820, to establish the New Philadelphia National Historical Park in the State of Illinois as a unit of the National Park System.
  • H.R. 920, to expand the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site currently located in Topeka, Kansas, to include additional sites in Clarendon County, South Carolina, and to establish as affiliated areas specified sites in Farmville, Virginia; Wilmington and Hockessin, Delaware; and the District of Columbia.
  • H.R. 2497, to establish the Amache National Historic Site in the State of Colorado as a unit of the National Park System.
  • H.R. 2626, to redesignate the Pullman National Monument in the State of Illinois as the Pullman National Historical Park.

Testimony was heard from Representatives Neguse, LaHood, Clyburn, and Kelly of Illinois; and public witnesses.

April 27 – The Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing entitled “Accessibility for People with Disabilities on National Parks and Public Lands”.  Testimony was heard from public witnesses.

April 27 – The Committee on Natural Resources: Full Committee held a markup on H.R. 1492, to prevent methane waste and pollution from oil and gas operations; and H.R. 1884, to repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, that authorized a land exchange to allow a large copper mining operation in the Oak Flat area near Phoenix, Arizona that is sacred to native Americans, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The committee also began a markup on H.R. 1503, the “Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2021”.  H.R. 1492 and H.R. 1884 were ordered reported, without amendment.

April 28 – The Committee on Natural Resources: Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing entitled “Wildfire in a Warming World: Opportunities to Improve Community Collaboration, Climate Resilience, and Workforce Capacity”. Testimony was heard from public witnesses.