U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene an executive session on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in Dirksen Senate Office Building G50 to consider the following legislative measures and nominations.
- S. 10, South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.)
- S. 481, the Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2019, Sponsor: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
- S. 999, Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
- S. 1069, Digital Coast Act, Sponsors: Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)
- S. 1640, Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)
- S. 2330, Empowering Olympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2019, Sponsors: Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)
- S. 2346, Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act, Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
- S. 1982, Save Our Seas 2.0: Enhancing the Domestic Marine Debris Response Act, Sponsors: Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
- S. 2429, Restoring Resilient Reefs Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Rick Scott (R-Fla.)
- S. 2453, SAVE Right Whales Act, Sponsor: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
- S. 2472, Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility Act, Sponsors: Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
- S. 2525, Guaranteeing Equipment Safety for Firefighters Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)
- S. 2535, Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act, Sponsors: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)
- S. 2597, Learning Excellence and Good Examples from New Developers Act of 2019 (LEGEND Act), Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
- S. 2693, Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Thune (R-S.D.)
- S. 2775, Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education Act of 2019 (HACKED Act), Sponsors: Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.)
- S. 2782, a bill to improve provisions of law relating to sexual harassment and assault prevention at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and for other purposes, Sponsor: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
- S. 2800, NASA Reauthorization Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
- S. 2805, TOD Advancement Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
- H.R. 3153, Expanding Findings for Federal Opioid Research and Treatment Act (EFFORT Act), Sponsor: Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.)
- Nomination of Ian Paul Steff, of Indiana, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service
- Nominations of Michael Graham, of Kansas, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board, to complete a term and for a new term beginning January 1, 2021
- Nomination of Carl Whitney Bentzel, of Maryland, to be a Federal Maritime Commissioner
- Nomination of Theodore Rokita, of Indiana, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors
- Coast Guard Promotions
Executive Session Details:
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Dirksen Senate Office Building G50
*Note: Updated agenda 11/13/19
Results of the markup can be found here.
Chairman Roger Wicker
Today’s agenda covers a wide range of our jurisdiction with many bipartisan legislative measures, nominations, and Coast Guard promotions.
I am pleased that we will consider a bill I have co-authored with Senators Cantwell, Thune, and Rosen, the Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education Act of 2019, or HACKED Act. With the rise of cybersecurity threats in our increasingly digital world, our nation requires a robust and well-equipped cybersecurity workforce. This legislation is an important first step to expand the cybersecurity workforce and provide tools to support necessary education and training.
We will also consider a bill to improve the Fishery Resource Disaster Relief program of the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The fishermen in my home state of Mississippi experienced many hardships this year. Flood waters from record-breaking rains entered the Gulf of Mexico and, because it is fresh water, it destroyed many of Mississippi’s marine wildlife. The freshwater from the Mississippi River also devastated my state’s signature seafood industry. When these types of disasters occur, it is vital to provide relief for those who need it.
I introduced this bill to advance that goal by streamlining the fisheries disaster declaration process and holding the federal government accountable. This bill would mandate strict deadlines to get relief funding more quickly to the people and areas most affected.
Another item I would like to highlight on the agenda is the NASA Authorization Act of 2019. As America prepares to send the first woman to the Moon and plans future missions to Mars, it is important to make sure NASA has the tools necessary to support these efforts. This legislation would give the agency the clear direction needed to advance our nation’s space initiatives and affirm our global leadership in the final frontier.
Finally, today, I had hoped the Committee would consider the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act.
This legislation is intended to extend the key provisions of the Communications Act and Copyright Act to preserve access to broadcast television programming for hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country.
I have indicated a preference for a clean 5-year reauthorization as the best way to preserve a level playing field for comprehensive reform beginning early next year while protecting nearly one million consumers from losing access to broadcast services and to protect against ever-increasing fees.
Over the past few days I have heard from a large number of committee members who have expressed interest in addressing additional reforms in the video market place through this legislative vehicle. In response to members of the committee, we will postpone today’s consideration of the newly entitled STAR Act to another date in the coming weeks.
I look forward to working with members of this committee on both sides of the aisle on this important measure and other measures which may be considered by the committee before the end of the year.
With that, I now turn to my friend and Ranking Member, Senator Cantwell, for her opening remarks.
Ranking Member Maria Cantwell
Senator Maria Cantwell
Opening Statement at Commerce Mark-Up
November 13, 2019
CANTWELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for that statement on the STELAR legislation. I know how hard everybody has worked in this committee to try to bring attention to very important regional issues that they have regarding this act and its effect on their consumers. So I look forward to working with you on that and hopefully getting a resolution before the end of this year or making sure that we have certainty in the new year.
I want to thank many of our colleagues for today’s mark-up. I want to thank Senator Klobuchar for her leadership on the carbon monoxide testing, sustainable chemistry and research, Portable Fuel Container Safety Act. Very much appreciate her leadership. I want to thank Senator Baldwin for her leadership on the Digital Coast Act, which provides access to data tools that will help coastal communities better understand storms, water resource management, and emergencies. And I guarantee you, for a state like Washington, it’s a very important tool that already some exist but this will certainly enhance them even more.
I want to thank Senator Schatz for his yeoman’s work, literally, on helping us restore our nation’s coral reefs and improving weather forecasting models with the Legend Act. Thank you for that leadership. I want to thank our colleagues Senators Booker and Blumenthal for their work on the Right Whale Act. With only 400 Northern Atlantic right whales left, it is important to move forward on resolutions on this particular species.
And I’m particularly pleased to see the NASA reauthorization on this mark-up, and I appreciate the hard work that went into getting this bill ready. I certainly want to thank our colleagues, Senators Cruz and Sinema, for their hard work and leadership as it relates to this legislation. With its passage, we will keep the International Space Station operating through 2030 and authorize important steps of lunar surface missions and keep NASA on the path to Mars. This time, women will be included at every step of the lunar exploration program – something that we’re excited to see and believe has been long overdue.
Our state has a large and growing commercial space industry, and this bill will also help further facilitate the growth in promising sectors through public-private partnerships and collaborations. Again, Senator Cruz and Sinema worked hard on these bills in providing the capability that our aviation and subcommittee on space needs. But within this bill there’s also great work by our colleagues, Senator Duckworth on toxic chemical cleanup, Senator Markey on non-pollutants of nuclear materials, Senator Peters on planetary defense, Senator Udall on commercial satellite communications, and Senator Blumenthal regarding spacesuits. So, everybody in the committee played a very valuable role in getting this NASA legislation before us.
I urge my colleagues to also support the bipartisan HACKED Act, which is sponsored by the Chairman and Senator Rosen and Senator Thune. I’m happy to join them on that. This bill provides critical workforce training needed to start filling the 300,000 cyber openings across the country, including 6,300 in the state of Washington. These jobs are incredibly critical to any organization, public or private, operating in the information age. Yet, we dramatically have a workforce shortage in the skill levels that are required. So this legislation will enhance the education and training programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and DOT to specifically help us focus on cybersecurity.
I also urge my colleagues to support the bipartisan fishery disaster bill, which the chairman introduced and I cosponsored. This legislation will help improve the federal fishery disaster management program that impacted fishermen in coastal communities so that they will get financial relief faster. This is so important because, as this committee and Congress has acted in the past, not all the funding has been redirected to those most impacted. And as we all know, fisheries issues impact lots of different aspects of our community. But certainly the commercial and recreational fishermen deserve to be compensated as well and with communities on our Pacific Coast that are very dependent on charter activities, I want to make sure in case of a disaster, that they too can apply and receive funding.
I also ask my colleagues to support the legislation to designate – that I introduced – to combat sexual harassment and sexual assault at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This bill closes loopholes in NOAA’s sexual harassment and assault policy that limited NOAA’s ability to have investigation. This very much mirrors what we did in the Coast Guard, and that’s because, obviously, these agencies are dealing with people that are in very remote locations and consequently we need to make sure that there are processes here that can take place.
Mr. Chairman, I’ll save the rest of my comments about the rest of the legislation. I’m pleased to keep working with Senators Sullivan, Blumenthal, and Schatz on the Save Our Seas Act. And I strongly urge our committee to keep working with various people on that legislation. Happy to support the majority of the nominations today. I won’t be supporting Mr. Rokita. You know, I’m very concerned about Amtrak funding writ large, and I want to see people who are enthusiastic about Amtrak funding.
So, with that Mr. Chairman I’ll turn it back to you.