Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act (PROSWIFT Act)
H.R. 5260 passed the Science, Space and Technology Committee on January 9, 2020. S. 881 passed the House on September 16, 2020 and became PL 116-181 on October 21, 2020.
• Strengthens space weather research by directing federal agencies to develop new tools and technologies to improve forecasting and measure space weather disturbances and their potential impacts on Earth. The bill will require the first ever space weather user survey to understand the needs of users of space weather products and incorporate those needs into an integrated strategy across the federal government to address space weather research and observational needs. Importantly, this legislation will integrate the expertise of the academic community and the commercial space weather sector in the development and execution of the integrated strategy.
Guaranteeing Equipment Safety for Firefighters Act
H.R. 7560 was passed as an amendment to H.R. 6395, the FY21 NDAA, and was included in PL 116-260.
• Authorizes a study to better understand the prevalence and concentration of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the personal protective equipment worn by firefighters as well as firefighters’ risk of exposure to these harmful chemicals. The provision will also fund additional research to improve the safety of firefighting equipment for our firefighters.
Nuclear Workers' Ombudsman Extension Act
A version of H.R. 6009 was passed as an amendment to H.R 6395, the FY21 NDAA, and permanent authorization was included in PL 116-260.
• Permanently extends the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA) Office of the Ombudsman, which expired in October 2020. The Ombudsman’s office helps former nuclear weapons workers navigate the complex claims process under EEOICPA.
Thin Film Solar Energy Research
Amendment adopted during SST Markup of H.R. 3597, the Solar Energy Research and Development Act. Included in House passage of H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, on September 24, 2020. A version of our amendment was included in the Energy Title of the end of year package, PL 116-260.
• We offered an amendment on behalf of Ascent Solar in Thornton which would encourage Department of Energy research on thin film solar technologies and perovskites which Ascent Solar focuses on. This would support additional research at NREL and advance the technology.
Distributed Wind Energy Research
Amendment adopted during SST Markup of H.R. 3609, the Wind Energy Research and Development Act. Included in House passage of H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, on September 24, 2020. A version of our amendment was included in the Energy Title of the end of year package, PL 116-260.
• We offered an amendment on behalf of the Distributed Wind Energy Association and Primus Wind in our district to enhance the research at the Department of Energy on small and medium wind turbines including for micro-grid use. This would support additional research at NREL and advance the technology.
Bankruptcy Administration Improvement Act
Lead Cosponsor of H.R. 8895 with Rep. David Cicilline. Companion bill S. 4996 passed and became P.L. 116-325.
• This package makes administrative improvements to the bankruptcy trustee system, increases fees for bankruptcy trustees, and expands the number of bankruptcy judges to improve the bankruptcy system.
Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act)
H.R. 1595 passed the House on September 25, 2019 by a vote of 321-103. Also passed as a component of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act, on May 15, 2020, and H.R. 925, the updated Heroes Act on October 1, 2020.
• Harmonizes federal and state law by prohibiting federal banking regulators from taking punitive measures against depository institutions that provide banking services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses and ancillary businesses (e.g. electricians, plumbers, landlords, etc.) that serve them. The bill establishes a safe harbor for any depository institution that chooses to provide banking services to a cannabis-related legitimate business that holds and maintains a license from a state or local government to engage in manufacturing, growing, or producing cannabis, as well as any business that handles, sells, transports, displays or distributes cannabis or cannabis products. It was the first time Congress passed any stand-alone cannabis reform legislation.
Coronavirus Relief for States Act
H.R. 6592 was partially included in passage of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act, on May 15, 2020.
• The bill provided $500 billion in relief for states distributed based solely on population. The Heroes Act included $500 billion for states with a different allocation formula.
Relief for Small Businesses and Nonprofits Act
H.R. 6361 passed the House as a component of H.R. 6800, the Heroes Act on May 15, 2020, and H.R. 925, the updated Heroes Act on October 1, 2020.
• Protects small businesses and non-profits from debt collection during the pandemic and creates a facility at the Federal Reserve to provide relief to creditors during that time.
Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Equity Act
H.R. 6452 passed the House in H.R. 7617, the FY21 THUD Appropriations package, on July 31, 2020, and as a provision in H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, which passed the House on July 1, 2020.
• Requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to refund credit risk premiums, including to Colorado’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) with respect to their RRIF loan for the Denver Union Station project. This provision would allow RTD to receive a refund of $29 million plus interest for their 2010 loan.
USGS Science Center Construction
Amendment to H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, which passed the House on July 1, 2020
• Authorizes construction of a new United States Geological Survey (USGS) building to support energy and minerals research which will replace aging office and lab facilities for more than 150 USGS scientists in Colorado.
Funding for Weather Modeling including the Earth Prediction Innovation Center
Amendment to H.R. 2157 providing supplemental disaster appropriations in FY2019 which passed the House on May 10, 2019. Our amendment passed by a roll call vote of 247-165.
• Increased funding for NOAA’s weather forecasting by $5 million to support accelerated development of the Earth Prediction Innovation Center.
Battery Storage Energy Research Definition
Amendment to H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, on September 24, 2020. This amendment was not included in the final package which became law.
• We offered an amendment on behalf of Tri-State Generation and Transmission and the National Rural Electrical Co-Operatives Association to try and expand the definition of energy storage projects beyond just “direct heating and cooling” purposes for transportation or other energy storage projects.