Washington Weekly – February 21, 2014

February 21, 2014

The House and Senate were in recess this week. The President announced new executive actions for strengthening patent reform, and issued an executive order aimed at cutting the processing and approval times for small businesses that export American-made goods and services by completing the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016. 

FY2015 Budget

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) confirmed this week that the White House would release its FY15 budget request in two stages. The March 4 release will include the main budget volume, key proposals, summary tables, agency-level information, and the detailed appendix. The March 11 release will include the budget’s historical tables and analytical perspectives volume.

The House Appropriations subcommittees have set their deadlines and issued their instructions to members of Congress for submitting programmatic and language submissions. The deadlines are as follows:

House Appropriations Subcommittee Deadline
Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies Mar. 31
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Mar. 31
Defense Apr. 2
Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Apr. 2
Financial Services and General Government Apr. 2
Homeland Security Mar. 31
Interior Apr. 4
Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies Apr. 4
Legislative Branch Mar. 17
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Mar. 17
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Apr. 4
Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies Apr. 2

The Senate Appropriations subcommittees have not set deadlines yet, and may not do so until after they receive the FY15 budget request from the President.

The House Armed Services committee (HASC) has set the deadline for HASC members to submit legislative/budget proposals to the committee for the FY15 bill as COB on March 10th. Despite the budget being delayed by a month, HASC plans to stick to their usual timeline for markup meaning subcommittee markups could start the last week of April, followed by full committee markup the following week and floor consideration the week of May 19th. As there is a recess week in between potential full committee markup and floor consideration, the schedule may change.

As expected, HASC Chairman Buck McKeon sent a letter to each military service, combatant command, and the National Guard Bureau last Friday asking for an unfunded requirements list for FY15. HASC Ranking Member Adam Smith refused to sign on to the letter with McKeon as he said that the President was already compiling that list. The letters can be found on the HASC website at:


Department of Defense Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy

The Department of Defense (DoD) released its Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy (EMS) this week. DoD is working to identify ways to make more spectrum available for commercial use, and find technologies that enhance spectrum sharing, all while improving how DoD accesses spectrum. The strategy follows the release of a memorandum issued in 2010 by President Obama titled “Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution,” which requires 500 MHz of spectrum be made available for commercial use by 2020 and one issued in June 2013 titled “Expanding America’s Leadership in Wireless Innovation” which directed federal agencies and offices to accelerate efforts to allow and encourage shared access to spectrum allocated for federal use. The strategy did not specifically mention how many MHz it would releases for commercial use. The strategy can be found at:


Political Updates

Freshman Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA) announced that she would not seek reelection in 2014, and instead run for San Bernardino County supervisor. Nagrete McLeod is on the Agriculture and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) an eight-term Democrat, also announced that he would not seek reelection in 2014. Holt is best known for beating IBM computer “Watson” at Jeopardy. He has seats on the Education and Workforce and Natural Resources Committees.

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