April 24, 2015
The House passed HR 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act; HR 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act; and HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act. The Senate passed S 178, the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act, and confirmed the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be US Attorney General by a vote of 56 to 43. Vice President Biden will swear in Lynch at the White House on Monday.
The House Appropriations full committee met this week to markup the FY16 Energy and Water and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) bills as well as approve their FY16 302(b) allocations for all of the 12 spending bills. The Legislative Branch appropriations subcommittee also met this week to mark up their FY16 spending bill in subcommittee. And the House will meet next Wednesday, April 29 at 9:30 am to mark up its FY16 Transportation HUD appropriations bill in subcommittee.
Energy and Water
The $35.4B FY16 Energy and Water spending bill is a $1.2B increase over the FY15 enacted level. The bill provides $12.3B for DOE’s nuclear weapons security programs, $5.6B for the Army Corps of Engineers, $5.9B for environmental management activities, $10.3B for energy programs within DOE, $5.1B for science research, $150M for the Nuclear Waste Disposal program, $50M for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue the adjudication of DOE’s Yucca Mountain License applications, and $1.1B for the Bureau of Reclamation. The report accompanying the bill includes language that blocks funding from being used to develop, adopt, implement, administer, or enforce the administration’s proposed Clean Water Rule. A similar rider was included in the House’s FY15 spending bill, but Democrats were able to strip it out during the omnibus negotiations. The report also includes language opposing the administration’s plan to replace Yucca Mountain and language allowing the possession of firearms on Corps of Engineers’ land.
House FY16 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Text:
House FY16 Energy and Water Appropriations Report Language:
Military Construction-Veterans Affairs
The $76.6B FY16 MilCon-VA spending bill is a $4.6B increase over the FY15 enacted level. The bill provides a total of $68.7B for Veterans programs, $7.7B for military construction projects, and $71M for the Arlington National Cemetery. The report language accompanying the bill contains language that may open the door for another round of base closures.
House FY16 MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill Text:
House FY16 MilCon-VA Appropriations Report Language:
The FY16 Legislative Branch bill marked up in subcommittee this week includes $3.3B in spending, excluding Senate-only items. While the bill maintains current funding levels, an increase is included for the Capitol Hill Police to provide for overtime pay and other personnel issues for events such as the Pope’s visit in September. The Library of Congress would also get an increase, as members were concerned about a recent GAO report stating that the library has significant weaknesses across several areas of its technological infrastructure. The bill also continues a pay freeze for members of Congress in FY16. House members’ pay has been frozen since 2010.
House FY16 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Text:
And the committee also approved its FY16 302(b) subcommittee allocations:
|Subcommittee||FY15 House Allocation||FY15 Omnibus||FY16 Allocation (BA)|
|Energy & Water||34,010||34,202||35,403|
House Passes Cybersecurity Bills
Two cybersecurity information sharing bills were considered and passed on the House floor this week – HR 1560, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act and HR 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act. The White House expressed its support (with some caveats) of the two bills earlier this week. After passage, the two bills were combined into one bill and sent to the Senate, but the Senate isn’t expected to consider them. Instead, Senate leadership has said that they intend to consider the Senate Intelligence Committee bill, S 754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). However, the timeline on floor consideration of that bill continues to slip. It may come up after the Senate has completed consideration of the Iran and Trade bills.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) produced a side-by-side comparison of the two House bills:
Department of Defense Releases Cyber Strategy
The Department of Defense (DoD) released their cyber strategy this week, which focuses on building cyber capabilities and organizations for DoD’s three primary cyber missions, which are:
- DoD must defend its own networks, systems, and information.
- DoD must be prepared to defend the United States and its interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence.
- If directed by the President or the Secretary of Defense, DoD must be able to provide integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.
In the cyber strategy, DoD sets five strategic goals for its cyberspace missions:
- Build and maintain ready forces and capabilities to conduct cyberspace operations;
- Defend the DoD information network, secure DoD data, and mitigate risks to DoD missions;
- Be prepared to defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. vital interests from disruptive or destructive cyberattacks of significant consequence;
- Build and maintain viable cyber options and plan to use those options to control conflict escalation and to shape the conflict environment at all stages;
- Build and maintain robust international alliances and partnerships to deter shared threats and increase international security and stability.
The strategy also discusses the Cyber Mission Force, which will be comprised of cyber operators organized into 133 teams, primarily aligned as follows:
- Cyber Protection Forces will augment traditional defensive measures and defend priority DoD networks and systems against priority threats;
- National Mission Forces and their associated support teams will defend the United States and its interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and
- Combat Mission Forces and their associated support teams will support combatant commands by generating integrated cyberspace effects in support of operational plans and contingency operations.
DOD Cyber Strategy:
DOD Cyber Strategy Fact Sheet:
FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) subcommittees met this week to mark up their sections of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The full committee will meet next Wednesday to mark up the bill.
Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee Mark:
Military Personnel Subcommittee Mark:
Readiness Subcommittee Mark:
Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee Mark:
Strategic Forces Subcommittee Mark:
Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee Mark:
The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) said that he expects his subcommittees will begin marking up their portions of the NDAA either next week or the week after. The SASC voted this week to hold its FY16 NDAA markup in closed session. While the full committee will conduct its markup behind closed doors, McCain said that the subcommittees would be able to hold their markups in an open session if they so desired.
Department of Energy Quadrennial Energy Review
The Department of Energy released the initial installment of its first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) this week. This report focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities and identifies opportunities and vulnerabilities of these systems.
Highlights from each of the chapters in this year’s QER, include:
Ensuring the Resilience, Reliability, Safety, and Security of TS&D Infrastructure
- Establishing a competitive program to accelerate pipeline replacement and enhance maintenance programs for natural gas distribution systems.
- Supporting the updating and expansion of state energy assurance plans, and establishing a competitive grant program to promote innovative solutions to enhance energy infrastructure resilience, reliability, and security.
- Analyze the policies, technical specifications, and logistical and program structures needed to mitigate the risks associated with loss of transformers.
Modernizing the Electric Grid
- Providing state financial assistance to promote and integrate TS&D infrastructure investment plans for electricity reliability, affordability, efficiency, lower carbon generation, and environmental protection.
Promoting grid modernization.
- Improving grid communication through standards and interoperability.
Modernizing U.S. Energy Security Infrastructures in a Changing Global Marketplace
- Investing to optimize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR’s) emergency response capability.
- Updating SPR release authorities to reflect modern oil markets.
- Supporting fuels diversity through research, demonstration, and analysis.
Improving Shared Transport Infrastructures
- Supporting a new program of competitively awarded grants for shared energy transport systems.
- Supporting alternative funding mechanisms for waterborne freight infrastructure.
Integrating North American Energy Markets
- Establishing programs for academic institutions and not-for-profits to develop legal, regulatory, and policy roadmaps for harmonizing regulations across borders.
- Increasing the integration of energy data among the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
- Promote Caribbean energy TS&D infrastructure.
Addressing Environmental Aspects of TS&D Infrastructure
- Improving quantification of emissions from natural gas TS&D infrastructure.
- Supporting funding to reduce diesel emissions.
- Enacting financial incentives for the construction of CO2 pipeline networks.
Enhancing Employment and Workforce Training
- Supporting an energy-job skills training system through the interagency Skills Working Group.
- Expanding support for an open-source learning community to develop, facilitate, and expand use of state-of-the art courses in energy-related fields.
- Facilitating national credentials for energy occupations.
Siting and Permitting of TS&D Infrastructure
- Enacting statutory authorities to improve coordination across agencies.
- Prioritizing meaningful public engagement through consultation with Indian Tribes, coordination with state and local governments, and facilitation of non-Federal partnerships.
- Expanding landscape and watershed-level mitigation and conservation planning.
A copy of the QER can be found at:
The administration also announced two executive actions to modernize and enhance the resilience of the grid:
Executive Action 1: Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing a new Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience that will improve U.S. energy infrastructure resilience against extreme weather and climate change impacts with the leading providers of electricity services. The partnership will begin with a convening at DOE with CEOs from the following 17 companies on April 30, 2015. The participating companies represent a broad array of investor-owned, Federal, municipal, and cooperative utilities, including:
- Con Edison
- Dominion Virginia Power
- Great River Energy
- Hoosier Energy
- Iberdrola USA
- National Grid
- New York Power Authority
- Pacific Gas and Electric
- PEPCO Holdings
- Public Service Electricity and Gas
- Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
- San Diego Gas and Electric/Sempra
- Seattle City Light
- Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
- Xcel Energy
Executive Action 2: Funding for Rural Electric Infrastructure
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing $72 million to support six new rural electric infrastructure projects including major investments to drive solar energy. The loans will be used for transmission line improvements, including smart grid projects. For nearly 80years, USDA’s Electric Programs have financed safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to help strengthen rural economies. Today’s announcement reinforces that commitment.
Department of Defense Rapid Innovation Fund
The Department of Defense (DOD) released a broad agency announcement (BAA) last week seeking offers for their Rapid Innovation Funding. The Rapid Innovation Fund’s goal is to transition innovative technologies that resolve operational challenges or save costs into DOD acquisition programs. Those selected for award may receive up to $3M, and there is preference given to small businesses. Approximately $225M was appropriated in FY15 for the fund. White papers (1st phase) must be submitted by June 15. Full proposals (2nd phase) are by invitation only. Offers in white papers should resolve operational challenges or other critical national security needs as characterized by the DOD Components’ requirements. The requirements can be found in Section 13.0 in this link to the BAA:
DHS Acquisition Innovations in Motion (AIiM)
DHS released an announcement to industry this week regarding their Acquisition Innovations in Motion (AIiM). At the February 25, 2015 DHS Strategic Industry Conversation event in DC, DHS Secretary Johnson and Deputy Secretary Mayorkas said that DHS would continue to engage with industry and pursue acquisition initiatives over the course of the year to improve their business processes. Through AIiM, DHS has developed a series of initiatives and industry engagement events and conversations focused on reciprocal learning between DHS and industry. The link below contains a high level calendar of events that DHS will continue to update.:
The updates will be available at:
Questions about the AIiM initiative can be directed to the DHS Industry Liaison, Harrison Smith (Harrison.Smith@hq.dhs.gov).
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced on Sunday that he plans to seek reelection in 2018 and does not intend to run for governor next year.
The President nominated Adam Szubin to be Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes at the Treasury Department.
The House will consider the FY16 Energy and Water and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs appropriations bills as well as a potential FY16 budget resolution conference report. The Senate will resume consideration of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act and vote on the nomination of Dava Newman to be Deputy Administrator of NASA.