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Capitol Hill: An Inside Perspective

Capitol Hill: An Inside Perspective

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Capitol Hill: An Inside Perspective

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  1. Capitol Hill:An Inside Perspective Kelly Reed Legislative Assistant Senator Russ Feingold Warning: My views, and mine alone

  2. What Am I Talking About? • Understanding the Hill • WRDA • CWRA

  3. Understanding the Hill • Know the environment • Understand the role of the staff • Understand a Member of Congress’ decision-making process

  4. The Hill:Know the Environment It’s a zoo here!

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. Thanks for listening. Questions?

  10. Overview of the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act • Why is bill needed? • What does bill do? • What does bill NOT do?

  11. 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?

  12. 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?

  13. 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.