Week in Brief

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Powers’ “Washington Week in Review,” a weekly newsletter that provides updates on recent activities in Congress and federal agencies, as well as a look ahead at upcoming events and looming regulatory deadlines. 


Tuesday, June 5

Wildland Fire: The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on managing wildland fires, with Ms. Vicki Christiansen, Interim Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, appearing to testify.

Water Resources: The House Committee on Rules considered rules governing floor consideration of the “Water Resources Development Act of 2018” (H.R.8) and the “Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019” (H.R.5895).

Senate August Recess Canceled: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) canceled three of four weeks of the Senate’s August recess citing “historic Democrat obstruction” and the need to advance appropriations bills and address the backlog in presidential appointees and judicial nominations.

Wednesday, June 6

Tara Sweeney: The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs favorably reported the nomination of Tara Sweeney to be Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs.  Her nomination now goes to the full Senate for its consideration.

Natural Resources: The House Committee on Natural Resources considered and favorably reported six bills, including the “Juab County Conveyance Act of 2017” (H.R.3777), the “Rural Broadband Permitting Efficiency Act of 2018” (H.R.4824), and the “Desert Tortoise Habitat Conservation Plan Expansion Act, Washington County, Utah’’ (H.R.5597).

Energy Development: The House Committee on Natural Resources held a legislative hearing on various drafts of Onshore Energy Development Bills.

Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations: The House Committee on Appropriations approved the fiscal year 2019 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill allocating $35.2 billion to fund programs in those agencies.

WRDA: The House passed the “Water Resources Development Act” by a 408-2 vote.  The biennial measure would provide the Army Corps of Engineers with the authorization to maintain the nation’s water infrastructure, and the Senate is expected to take up its own version of the legislation this summer.

Thursday, June 7

Water Infrastructure: Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and John Barrasso (R-WY) announced Indian-related provisions included in “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018” (S.2800), which is pending in the Senate. (Calendar No. 425).


Monday, June 4

Department of the Interior: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the issuance of a $1.1 million Reclamation Contract to the Navajo Nation Tribal Government.


House Committee on Natural Resources
Full Committee Markup on various Indian-related bills, including the “Tribal Recognition Act of 2017” (H.R.3744), “Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018” (H.R.5787), and “Restoring Accountability in the Indian Health Service Act of 2018” (H.R.5874).
June 13, 2018, 10:15 a.m., 1324 Longworth House Office Building

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry
Business Meeting on 2018 Senate Farm Bill
June 13, 2018, 9:30 a.m., 328A Russell Senate Office Building

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Oversight Hearing on “GAO High Risk List: Turning Around Vulnerable Indian Programs”
June 13, 2018, 2:30 p.m., 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Full Committee Markup of the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill
June 14, 2018, 10:30 a.m., 106 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Tribal Consultation on the Proposed Reorganization of the Department of the Interior
June through September, 2018

Washington Week in Review: Developments Affecting Tribal Communities is a weekly update of the top news impacting tribal communities and organizations compiled by the Powers Indian Tribal Governments Practice. For more information, contact Noor Adhoob at 202-349-4265.

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