Washington Weekly – January 23, 2015

January 23, 2015

The House passed HR 161, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, a bill that requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve or deny natural gas pipeline projects within 12 months after receiving a complete application. The House also passed HR 7, a bill making the Hyde amendment permanent. The Hyde amendment prohibits taxpayer-funded abortions. The House took up HR 7 after facing opposition from their own party and putting aside debate on a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks (HR 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act). House Republicans wanted to pass some form of abortion legislation to coincide with March for Life Day. The Senate resumed consideration of S 1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act and voted on several amendments, but not final passage. One accepted amendment offered by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) expressed the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax. And President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.

Border Security

The House Homeland Security Committee met this week and marked up HR 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act. The bill mandates operational control of the Northern and Southern borders within five years, and imposes harsh penalties on political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security if they fail to meet those requirements. The bill also calls for new fencing and infrastructure, requires deployment of specific technological capabilities at various sectors on the Northern and Southern borders, allows for the use of Department of Defense (DoD) excess wartime equipment, authorizes the use of DoD aviation assets to assist the Border Patrol, allows Border Patrol to access federal lands on the border, doubles the authorization for Operation Stonegarden, and requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to implement a biometric exit at all of our nation’s air, land, and sea ports of entry within five years.

The bill was introduced last Friday and passed out of committee this Wednesday by a vote of 18 to 12. Democrats on the committee accused GOP leaders of drafting the proposal without any minority representation and used a number of procedural motions that slowed the markup process. HR 399 is expected to be considered on the House floor next week. House Republicans have not said how this bill fits into their broader immigration reform strategy. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate this week by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Johnson is Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

A copy of HR 399 can be found at:

http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/documents/pdf/HR-399-ANS_xml.pdf

And a copy of the Senate bill can be found at:

http://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/ea4d2b75-55e2-41bb-8020-88ce20a0ff00/johnson-border-security-bill.pdf

House Appropriations Committee

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced the ranking members and democratic membership of the committee’s 12 subcommittees. Under Committee Rules, Lowey, as the Ranking Minority Member of the Full Committee, is authorized to sit as a member of all Subcommittees. The subcommittee assignments are as follows:

Agriculture:

Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Ranking Member

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

Commerce, Justice, Science:

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Ranking Member

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)

Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)

Defense:

Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN), Ranking Member

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)

Energy & Water Development:

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Ranking Member

Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN)

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

Financial Services & General Government:

Rep. José Serrano (D-NY), Ranking Member

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)

Homeland Security:

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Ranking Member

Rep. David Price (D-NC)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)

Interior & Environment:

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ranking Member

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)

Labor, HHS, Education:

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ranking Member

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)

Legislative Branch:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Ranking Member

Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA)

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs:

Rep. Sanford Bishop, (D-GA), Ranking Member

Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA)

Rep. David Price (D-NC)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

State and Foreign Operations:

Rep. Nita Lowey, Ranking Member

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development:

Rep. David Price (D-NC), Ranking Member

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)

Political Updates

Brian Deese will take over for Tony Podesta when he leaves the administration in February. Deese is currently the Deputy OMB Director. Deese’s portfolio will concentrate on the president’s energy policy and climate change initiatives. And Alex Platkin, White House Deputy Research Director, will become Director with the departure of Ben Holzer. Kristen Bartoloni will become the Deputy Research Director.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the nomination of Russell Deyo to be Undersecretary for Management at the Department of Homeland Security and Earl Gay to be Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Ashton Carter will appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee about his nomination for Secretary of Defense on Feb. 4.

President Obama announced his intention to nominate Stan Meiburg as deputy administrator of the EPA. Meiburg is currently serving in that post in an acting capacity. Previously, he served as Deputy Regional Administrator for EPA Regions 4 and 6 and has held several other positions within EPA where he started his career in 1977.

Next Week

The House will consider HR 351, the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act and HR 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act. The Senate will resume consideration of S 1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act.

Washington Weekly – January 16, 2015

January 16, 2015

The House passed HR 203, the Clay Hunt SAV Act; HR 33, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act; HR 185, the Regulatory and Accountability Act of 2015; HR 37, the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act; and HR 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The Senate began consideration of S1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, and invoked cloture by a vote of 63 to 32. The bill is open to amendment, and, as of today, more than 60 amendments were filed.

White House Announcement on Cybersecurity and Data Breach Notification

Cybersecurity Proposal

President Obama announced a new cybersecurity legislative proposal this week. His bill would enable cybersecurity information sharing between the private sector and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), which will then share it in as close to real-time as practicable with other relevant federal agencies. The legislation also encourages the formation of private-sector led Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations. The proposal also enhances collaboration and information sharing amongst the private sector.

Legislative Proposal:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/updated-information-sharing-legislative-proposal.pdf

Section-by-Section Analysis:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/information-sharing-legislation-section-by-section.pdf

Law Enforcement Proposals

The Administration’s proposal contains provisions that would allow for the prosecution of the sale of botnets, criminalize the overseas sale of stolen US financial information like credit card and bank account numbers, expand federal law enforcement authority to deter the sale of spyware used to stalk or commit ID theft, and give courts the authority to shut down botnets engaged in distributed denial of service attacks and other criminal activity. It also proposes updates to the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) so that it applies to cybercrimes, clarifies the penalties for computer crimes, and makes sure these penalties are in line with other similar non-cyber crimes.  Finally, the proposal modernizes the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by ensuring that insignificant conduct does not fall within the scope of the statute, while making clear that it can be used to prosecute insiders who abuse their ability to access information to use it for their own purposes.

Legislative Proposal:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/updated-law-enforcement-tools.pdf

Section-by-Section Analysis:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/updated-law-enforcement-tools-section-by-section.pdf

Data Breach Notification Proposal

The Administration also updated its proposal on security breach reporting standardizing the existing patchwork of 46 state laws (plus the District of Columbia and several territories) that contain these requirements into one federal statute.

Legislative Proposal:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/updated-data-breach-notification.pdf

Section-by-Section Analysis:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/letters/updated-data-breach-notification-section-by-section.pdf

Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit

The White House announced that it would host a summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection on February 13, 2015 at Stanford University. The summit will bring together major stakeholders on cybersecurity and consumer financial protection issues – including senior leaders from the White House and across the federal government; CEOs from a wide range of industries including the financial services industry, technology and communications companies; computer security companies and the retail industry; as well as law enforcement officials, consumer advocates, technical experts, and students. Topics at the Summit will include increasing public-private partnerships and cybersecurity information sharing, creating and promoting improved cybersecurity practices and technologies, and improving adoption and use of more secure payment technologies.

Cybersecurity Education Consortium

Vice President Biden and Department of Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz announced on Thursday that the Department of Energy will provide $25 million in grants over the next five years to support a cybersecurity education consortium consisting of 13 HBCUs and two national labs. The program is intended to help to fill the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals in the US job market. The full list of participating consortium members are:

Virginia

Norfolk State University (lead)

Georgia

Clark Atlanta University

Paine College

Maryland

Bowie State University

North Carolina

North Carolina A&T State University

South Carolina

Allen University

Benedict College

Claflin University

Denmark Technical College

Morris College

South Carolina State University

Voorhees College

Charleston County School District

US Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands

California

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

New Mexico

Sandia National Laboratories

Homeland Security Appropriations

The House passed the $39.7B Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill this week by a vote of 236 to 191. Five amendments aimed at blocking the President’s immigration executive order were agreed to during consideration of the bill on the House floor. Text of the amendments can be found at:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/L?d114:./temp/~bdaxDQA:1[1-5](Amendments_For_H.R.240)&./temp/~bdL4Ys

The inclusion of these amendments containing partisan immigration policy provisions drew a veto threat from the President even though he was supportive of the underlying bill. The Senate is also unlikely to back all of these immigration policy provisions and may not have the 60 votes needed to advance the measure. In addition, the Senate may not take up the measure until the first week of February as they plan to resume consideration of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act next week. The current funding agreement for DHS expires on February 27, 2015 providing five more weeks (both are in recess the week of President’s Day) when the House and Senate are in session before a potential shutdown of DHS. Given the tight timeframe, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has not ruled out the possibility of passing a “clean” DHS spending bill without the immigration amendments.

House FY15 DHS Appropriations Bill Text:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20150112/BILLS-114-HR240-IH.pdf

House FY15 DHS Appropriations Explanatory Statement:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20150112/114-HR240-ES.pdf

House Armed Services Committee Organization Meeting

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) met this week to organize for the 114th Congress. HASC Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-CA) offered four committee resolutions that were adopted by the committee during the meeting. One resolution shifted oversight of the military intelligence program to the full committee from the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee. Chairman Thornberry said that he wants to increase exposure of all committee members to the intelligence community. Thornberry chaired the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee during the 113th Congress, and has served on the House Intelligence Committee.

Links to the adopted committee resolutions can be found at:

http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/hearings-display?ContentRecord_id=1430C0E8-390F-4E61-828B-B59035A7E5E5

House and Senate Committee Assignments

House Appropriations GOP Subcommittee Assignments

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) announced Republican appropriators subcommittee seats this week, assigning more senior members to the more powerful spending panels. The complete subcommittee roster can be found at:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=393934

House Homeland Security Committee (Democrats)

The Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), announced the subcommittee Ranking Members and the new Democratic membership of the Committee for the 114th Congress.

Subcommittee Ranking Members:

Border and Maritime Security – Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX)

Counterterrorism and Intelligence – Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY)

Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection & Security Technologies – Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA)

Emergency Preparedness, Response & Communications – Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)

Oversight and Management Efficiency – Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)

Transportation Security – Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY)

Homeland Security Committee Democratic Members (12):

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)

Rep. James R. Langevin(D-RI)

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY)

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA)

Rep. William R. Keating (D-MA)

Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX)

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY)

Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-CA)

House Intelligence Committee

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced the appointment of members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Republicans

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)

Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)

Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT)

Democrats

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Ranking Member

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL)

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)

Rep. André Carson (D-IN)

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL)

Senate Appropriations Committee

Agriculture Subcommittee

Chairman: Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Ranking Member: Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee

Chairman: Richard Shelby (R-AL)

Ranking Member: Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Defense Subcommittee

Chairman: Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Ranking Member: Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Energy and Water Subcommittee

Chairman: Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Ranking Member: Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Financial Services Subcommittee

Chairman: John Boozman (R-AR)

Ranking Member: Christopher Coons (D-DE)

Homeland Security Subcommittee

Chairman: John Hoeven (R-ND)

Ranking Member: Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Interior Subcommittee

Chairman: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Ranking Member: Tom Udall (D-NM)

Labor HHS Subcommittee

Chairman: Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Ranking Member: Patty Murray (D-WA)

Legislative Branch Subcommittee

Chairman: Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Ranking Member: Brian Schatz

Military Construction Subcommittee

Chairman: Mark Kirk (R-IL)

Ranking Member: Jon Tester (D-MT)

State Foreign Operations Subcommittee

Chairman: Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Ranking Member: Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Transportation HUD Subcommittee

Chairman: Susan Collins (R-ME)

Ranking Member: Jack Reed (D-RI)

Senate Armed Services Committee

Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) named the subcommittee leadership for the committee.

Airland Subcommittee

Chairman: Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Ranking Member: Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee (now including cybersecurity)

Chairman: Deb Fischer (R-NE)

Ranking Member: Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Personnel Subcommittee

Chairman: Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Ranking Member: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee

Chairman: Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

Ranking Member: Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Seapower Subcommittee

Chairman: Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Ranking Member: Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Strategic Forces Subcommittee

Chairman: Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Ranking Member: Joe Donnelly (D-IN)

Political Updates

Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced today that she is resigning effective the end of February. Tavenner oversaw the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the federal health insurance marketplace. She joined the administration in February 2010.

Antonio Weiss took himself out of contention to become the Treasury Department’s Undersecretary of Domestic Finance this week asking President Obama to not renominate him for consideration in the new 114th Congress. Weiss’ nomination had drawn criticism from a number of progressive members of Congress including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who thought that Weiss did not have enough regulatory experience. Warren was also concerned that the head of investment banking for Lazard would be too deferential to the finance industry. Instead, Weiss will serve as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.

Newly elected Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.

The President nominated Alissa Starzak to be General Counsel of the Department of the Army replacing Brad Carson who resigned.

The Republican National Committee set its 2016 convention dates this week. The convention will be held in Cleveland, OH from July 18 to July 21, 2016. These dates are more than a month earlier than the convention that was held in 2012.

Next Week

The House will take up HR 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and HR 161, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act. The Senate will resume consideration of S1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act.

Washington Weekly – January 9, 2015

January 9, 2015

The House and Senate convened and gaveled in the 114th Congress this week, adopting new rules packages and swearing in newly elected members. The President returned from his Hawaiian holiday, but quickly hit the road to preview his State of the Union themes. First up in the House was HR 22, the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015, a bill exempting veterans and reservists from being counted as full-time employees under Obamacare. The bill passed under suspension of the rules. The House also passed HR 30, the Save American Workers Act; HR 3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (but fell short of a veto override); HR 37, the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act; HR 23, the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization; and HR 26, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. The Senate also passed HR 26, which now goes to the President for his signature, and began consideration of S1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act. And the Office of Management and Budget announced this week that the White House will release its fiscal year 2016 budget on Monday, February 2, meeting the mandated deadline for the first time in five years.

Leadership Elections

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was re-elected speaker of the House this week, overcoming an effort by House conservatives to oust him as speaker. Boehner garnered a total of 216 votes out of 408 cast. The 25 Republicans not voting for Boehner either voted present or voted for other candidates. Two members of the Senate received one vote each for speaker, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), as did retired four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. A number of House Democrats from New York missed the vote as they attended the funeral of former NY Governor Mario Cuomo on Tuesday.

In the Senate, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was sworn in as the Senate President Pro Tempore this week making him third in line to the Presidency after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. Since 1890, the most senior senator in the majority party has generally been chosen to be the President Pro Tempore.

Senate Committee Assignments

The Senate approved organizing resolutions this week affirming 114th Congress committee assignments for the majority and minority.

Majority Committee Assignments:

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=330 

Minority Committee Assignments:

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/?p=329

FY15 Homeland Security Appropriations

Eleven of the 12 FY2015 appropriations bills were included in the FY15 omnibus appropriations measure, which was signed into law on December 16 and became Public Law No. 113-235. The Department of Homeland Security was the only federal agency that didn’t get a full appropriations measure as part of this omnibus spending deal. DHS was funded through February 27, 2015 in the omnibus bill allowing Republicans more time to craft a response to President Obama’s immigration executive order. House Republicans released a $39.7B spending bill this afternoon that they are planning on considering on the House floor next week. The House Rules Committee will consider the bill on Monday, and it is expected that a few amendments will be made in order to be offered on the House Floor.

House FY15 DHS Appropriations Bill Text:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20150112/BILLS-114-HR240-IH.pdf

House FY15 DHS Appropriations Explanatory Statement:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20150112/114-HR240-ES.pdf

2015 Key Dates

Now that the new Congress has convened, here are some key dates to keep in mind for 2015:

Jan 20            State of the Union Address

Feb 2              President’s FY16 budget request due to Congress

Feb 27           FY15 DHS appropriations continuing resolution expires

March 15       Debt ceiling suspension expires, Treasury can use extraordinary measures to buy more time

March 31       “Doc Fix” expires

April 15          Budget resolution deadline for Congress (no penalty if missed)

May 31           Surface Transportation authorization expires

June 1            USA Patriot Act provisions expire

June 30         Export Import Bank charter expires

October 1      Fiscal Year 2016 begins

Senate Appropriations Ranking Members

Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced the subcommittee ranking members this week.

Agriculture

Ranking Member: Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Commerce, Justice, Science

Ranking Member: Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Defense

Ranking Member: Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Energy and Water

Ranking Member: Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Financial Services

Ranking Member: Christopher Coons (D-DE)

Homeland Security

Ranking Member: Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Interior

Ranking Member: Tom Udall (D-NM)

Labor HHS

Ranking Member: Patty Murray (D-WA)

Legislative Branch

Ranking Member: Brian Schatz

Military Construction

Ranking Member: Jon Tester (D-MT)

State Foreign Operations

Ranking Member: Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Transportation HUD

Ranking Member: Jack Reed (D-RI)

As for the subcommittee chairmen, the ranking Republican appropriators for the subcommittees in the last Congress are now expected to claim the gavels. But a few subcommittee chairmanships are up for grabs as members have either retired or departed the committee.

Senate Armed Services Committee Leadership

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released its list of subcommittee chairmen and ranking members this week. While SASC Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) had considered adding a new subcommittee for cybersecurity, he instead opted to add the cybersecurity portfolio to the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee as the panel is restricted to six subcommittees by Senate rules. The new subcommittee chairmen and ranking members are as follows:

Airland Subcommittee

Chairman: Tom Cotton (R-AR)

Ranking Member: Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee

Chairman: Deb Fischer (R-NE)

Ranking Member: Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Personnel Subcommittee

Chairman: Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Ranking Member: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee

Chairman: Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

Ranking Member: Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Seapower Subcommittee

Chairman: Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Ranking Member: Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Strategic Forces Subcommittee

Chairman: Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Ranking Member: Joe Donnelly (D-IN)

Cybersecurity

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), the former ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee reintroduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) this week. The bill provides legal safe-harbor for companies sharing cyberthreat information with the federal government and each other. Privacy advocates are concerned that the bill could give NSA more access to the private information of Americans. Ruppersberger said that he was reintroducing the bill because of the severe cyber attack on Sony by North Korea. CISPA passed the House last spring.

Political Updates

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced this week that she would not seek re-election in 2016. Boxer is the junior senator from California and was first elected in 1992. She holds the ranking member position on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Speculation over who will run for her seat centers on four candidates: Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California; Gavin Newsome; current Lieutenant Governor of California and former mayor of San Francisco; Tom Steyer, a wealthy hedge fund manager and environmentalist; and Antonio Villaraigosa, the former Mayor of Los Angeles.

President Obama nominated Allan Landon to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Landon is a Partner in Community BanCapital and was the former CEO of the Bank of Hawaii.

The President also nominated David Cohen to be Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Cohen is currently the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Department of the Treasury. Before joining the Treasury Department, Cohen was a partner in the law firm of WilmerHale, where he focused on complex civil litigation, white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and anti-money laundering counseling.

And, the President submitted the following nominations to the Senate this week: Therese McMillan to be Federal Transit Administrator, Dava Newman to be Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Marisa Lago to be a Deputy United States Trade Representative, and Russell Deyo to be Under Secretary for Management at the Department of Homeland Security.

The White House also announced that Debra Eschmeyer will be joining the staff as the Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition policy replacing Sam Kass who departed in December. Eschmeyer co-founded FoodCorps, a national AmeriCorps service program whose members teach hands-on lessons about food and nutrition; build and tend school gardens; teach cooking lessons; and help change school cafeteria menus to give kids healthy food.

Next Week

The House will only be in session Monday through Wednesday, and during that time will consider HR 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act; HR 37, the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act; and legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security. The Senate will resume consideration of S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act.