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Weekly Legislative Activities Report

National Park News

The Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs puts out weekly reports on hearings, new legislation and other activities on the Hill. This report covers the week ending on Friday, September 20th.

In order to obtain the full text of any of the bills that appear below, click on the following link: http://thomas.loc.gov/ . That will take you to Thomas, the Library of Congress legislative tracking system. Enter the bill number in the “Search Bill Text” block, being sure to also click on the “Bill Number” option below the block.

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New Public Laws

On September 18th, the President signed into law the following bills of interest to the National Park Service:

  • S. 157 (Murkowski, R-AK), a bill to provide for certain improvements to the Denali National Park and Preserve in the State of Alaska, and for other purposes.  The law authorizes the Secretary to issue permits for micro-hydro projects in the Kantishna Hills area, to conduct a land exchange between the NPS and Doyon Tourism, Inc, and to issue right-of-way permits for a natural gas transmission pipeline within the park.  It also designates the Talkeetna Ranger Station as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.  It is P.L. 113-33.
  • S. 304 (Cochran, R-MS), a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey to the State of Mississippi 2 parcels of surplus land within the boundary of the Natchez Trace Parkway, and for other purposes.  It is P.L. 113-35.
  • S. 459 (Johnson, D-SD), a bill to modify the boundary of the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in the State of South Dakota, and for other purposes.  It is P.L. 113-36.

Floor Action

On September 19th, the Senate passed with an amendment, by a vote of 97-2, H.R. 527 (Hastings, R-WA-4), to amend the Helium Act to complete the privatization of the Federal helium reserve in a competitive market fashion that ensures stability in the helium markets while protecting the interests of American taxpayers, and for other purposes.  The bill as amended by the Senate provides $50 million for NPS deferred maintenance, subject to a 50 percent match of nonfederal funds.

On September 20th, the House passed by a vote of 230-189, H.J. Res. 59 (Rogers, R-KY-5), making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.  As passed by the House, the bill provides funding for federal agencies at the current FY 2013 sequester spending level through December 15, and prohibits funding for the Affordable Care Act.

Committee Activity

On September 17th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Wyden) held a hearing to consider the nomination of Michael L. Connor to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior.

On September 19th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Wyden) held an oversight hearing “To examine wildlife management authority within the State of Alaska under the Alaska National Interest Lands Act and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.”

New Bills Introduced     

The following new bills of interest to the NPS were introduced:
  • H.R. 3110 (Young, R-AK-At Large), to allow for the harvest of gull eggs by the Huna Tlingit people within Glacier Bay National Park in the State of Alaska.
  • H.R. 3131 (Sablan, D-MP), to authorize studies of certain areas for possible inclusion in the National Park System, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1520 (King, I-ME), a bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the York River and associated tributaries for study for potential inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
  • S. 1521 (Murkowski, R-AK), a bill to prohibit Federal agencies from requiring seafood to be certified as sustainable by a third party nongovernmental organization and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 3139 (Sarbanes, D-MD-3), to amend the Chesapeake Bay Initiative Act of 1998 to provide for the reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network.

Upcoming Committee Activity

Nothing to report.

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For additional information, please visit the Legislative and Congressional Affairs Office website at http://www.nps.gov/legal/



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