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Capitol Hill: An Inside Perspective. Kelly Reed Legislative Assistant Senator Russ Feingold Warning: My views, and mine alone. What Am I Talking About?. Understanding the Hill WRDA CWRA. Understanding the Hill. Know the environment Understand the role of the staff

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capitol hill an inside perspective

Capitol Hill:An Inside Perspective

Kelly Reed

Legislative Assistant

Senator Russ Feingold

Warning: My views, and mine alone

what am i talking about
What Am I Talking About?
  • Understanding the Hill
  • WRDA
  • CWRA
understanding the hill
Understanding the Hill
  • Know the environment
  • Understand the role of the staff
  • Understand a Member of Congress’ decision-making process
the hill understand the role of staff
The Hill: Understand the Role of Staff
  • House vs. Senate
  • Age/Experience varies
  • Smart, capable, ambitious…
  • Politically savvy
  • Fierce loyalty to member and party
  • Often well-versed in issues but rarely experts
  • Very little time to delve
  • Not particularly well-paid
the hill understand the role of staff1
The Hill: Understand the Role of Staff
  • Filter the incoming flow of information
  • Write speeches
  • Prepare for committee hearings & markups
  • Coordinate with other offices
  • Meet with constituents & interest groups
  • Draft legislation
  • Advise member on strategy, politics, substance
  • Respond to constituent inquiries & concerns
the hill decision making process
The Hill: Decision-Making Process
  • Who does action help/hurt in the district/state?
  • How relevant to member’s priorities?
  • How fit with member’s overall political philosophy and prior record?
  • How does this affect the party?
  • How will the media and public react?
  • What do influential groups (LCV, Chamber of Commerce, States) think about the issue?
the hill legislative process
The Hill:Legislative Process
  • A New Day, New Priorities
  • Bill Sponsor and Cosponsors?

(or other legislative vehicle? Move ahead two spaces)

  • Committee?
  • Votes?
  • Administration Veto?
overview of the clean water authority restoration act
Overview of the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act
  • Why is bill needed?
  • What does bill do?
  • What does bill NOT do?
overview of the clean water authority restoration act1
Overview of the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act
  • Why is bill needed?
    • Supreme Court decisions
    • Result = Potential for decreased CWA protections
    • Result = Confusing and costly permitting
  • What does bill do?
  • What does bill NOT do?
overview of the clean water authority restoration act2
Overview of the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act
  • Why is bill needed?
  • What does bill do?
    • CWA of 1972: “navigable” = “all waters of the United Sates”
    • CWARA: “all waters of the United Sates” = regulatory definition used by EPA and Corps
  • What does bill NOT do?
overview of the clean water authority restoration act3
Overview of the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act
  • Why is bill needed?
  • What does bill do?
  • What does bill NOT do?
    • Does not change the existing permitting process
    • Does not change the EPA and Corps’ existing regulations
    • Does not prohibit development or other activities that discharge pollutants into waters
    • Does not change the current exemptions related to farming, forestry, and infrastructure maintenance
    • Does not override state and local authority to provide additional protections to covered waters.
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