Congress Reopens to The Public and State Of The Union Date Set for Feb. 7th PLUS Annual Schedule of Water Organization Fly-Ins AND New KWIC Quick Guide!
We are now at the start of a new two-year Congress - the 118th. January is typically a time for:
swearing in new Members of Congress (who also need to quickly hire new staff - it's a little like starting up a new business!)
selecting Leadership who then make Committee Assignments (including those Committees and Subcommittees responsible for the dozens of federal water programs in various agencies), and
extending the Constitutionally mandated address to Congress by the President known as the State of the Union.
With a little delay due to the 15 rounds of votes needed to elect a new Speaker of the House, the House of Representatives now has its new leadership in place, and the State of the ("#SOTU") has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 9pm Eastern, to be immediately followed by the Response to the State of the Union by the opposing party. These two speeches provide a good indication of what to expect in the coming year, along with the President's Budget - which traditionally is introduced in the US Senate on the first Monday of February - which, this year, would be February 6th, although it will also be a little later than usual this year.
You can watch (or rewatch) coverage of President Biden's 2023 State of the Union and Republican Response by Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders on YouTube. Pick your favorite news channel - below is the link for the coverage by CBS News.
After that, Congress will be "off to the races" with bills introduced in both houses (some of which has already started), assigned to and considered by subcommittees and committees, with Members and Staff finding co-sponsors and other supporters for the bills they support (or oppose), preparing and introducing amendments, with the surviving legislation debated and voted on the Floor of that house before starting the process again in the other house (i.e. House and Senate) until both houses agree on legislation (sometimes requiring conferences of members from both houses), at which point it goes to the President to be signed into law.
If you'd like a refresher on Water In Congress, check out our "Keys to Water in Congerss Webinar (a little dated but still informative!):
One of the first steps Speaker Kevin McCarthy has taken has been to reopen Congress (including the Office Buildings) to the Public without a staff escort. If you haven't been to DC lately, you may not realize that, between COVID-19 and the January 6th Insurrection, Congress has been closed to the public without a staff escort. This Congressional Escort requirement created some extra steps for Water Citizens who come to Capitol Hill as water experts, advocates or activists.
This includes the many water organizations that organize annual visits by their members to meet with Federal Policymakers and Members of Congress - often referred to as "FLY-INs" - which will run from February thru April (plus some later fly-ins like Capitol Hill Oceans Week). These events are scheduled early in the Congressional Calendar in order to have the most impact on the development of legislation. Once the bills have been voted out of their Subcommittees and Committees, it's harder to change them.
>> CLICK HERE for WaterCitizen's 2023 Annual Fly-In and Select Association Event Calendar
PLUS download your free copy of WaterCitizen's 2023 Keys to Water In Congress "Quick KWIC Guide to Congressional Committees Addressing Water Issues"
CLICK HERE for WaterCitizen's 2023 Annual Fly-In and Select Association Event Calendar
PLUS the 2023 Keys to Water In Congress "Quick KWIC Guide to Congressional Committees Addressing Water Issues