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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 13 March 2006






Weekly Update 13 March 2006




·         Great Lakes Day

·         Manufacturing Extension Partnership – Letter

·         Community Development Block Grants -- Letter

·         Environmental Management Program – Letter

·         Energy Efficiency – Letter

·         LIHEAP – Senate and House Action and Pending Letter

Great Lakes Day


Regional, national, and binational leaders on Thursday, March 16, will discuss Great Lakes restoration and protection.  Contact:  Joy Mulinex with the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).  Activities include: 

  • 8:00 – 9:30 am – Great Lakes Congressional Breakfast sponsored by the Northeast-Midwest Institute and Great Lakes Commission.  The breakfast reception will be held in 325 Russell Senate Office Building.  For registration, go to https://glc.org/greatlakesday/register.html
  • 10:00 am – 12:30 pm – Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Hearing on the Great Lakes.  Witnesses include three Great Lakes senators, Administrator Stephen Johnson, Ohio Governor Bob Taft, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Tribal Chairman Frank Ettawageshik, and other non-governmental organizations. The hearing will be held in 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building.


Manufacturing Extension Partnership -- Letter


Leaders of the House and Senate Task Forces on Manufacturing – Reps. Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Marty Meehan (D-MA), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Michael Doyle (D-PA), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), and Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Herbert Kohl (D-WI), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Joseph Liberman (D-CT) – are seeking signatures on letters that ask appropriators to support level funding – $106 million – for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program.  MEP is a nationwide network of resources that leverages public and private resources to make a comprehensive range of services and assistance available to smaller manufacturers.  Through this support system, MEP helps manufacturers compete globally, supporting greater supply-chain integration, and providing access to technology for improved productivity.  The signature deadline for the House letter is COB Tuesday, March 14Contacts:  Lisa Mark with the House Manufacturing Task Force (202/226-5181) and Ari Strauss with the Senate Manufacturing Task Force (202/224-0606).


Community Development Block Grants – Letter


Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Rob Simmons (R-CT) are seeking signatures on a letter asking appropriators to provide $4.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program in fiscal 2007. CDBG provides communities with vital tools to help spur homeownership, housing rehabilitation, public improvements, public services, and economic development projects.  The letter’s signature deadline is Wednesday, March 15.  Contact:  Lisa Mark at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-5181). 


Environmental Management Program – Letter


The Upper Mississippi Congressional Task Force is circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter supporting the administration’s request to fund the Environmental Management Program (EMP) at $26.8 million.  The EMP supports habitat restoration projects that mitigate damage to the environment caused by the construction of navigation and flood control projects on the Upper Mississippi River.  The letter also requests restoration of $10 million for the continued operations and maintenance of basin-wide navigation and flood control projects on the lock and dam system.  Contacts:  Mark Lange with Rep. Kind (202/225-5506) or Eric Keber with Rep. Gutknecht (202/225-2472).


Energy Efficiency Funding – Letter


Reps. Michael Castle (R-DE), Mark Udall (D-CO), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), and Bart Stupak (D-MI) are seeking signatures on a letter that supports critical energy efficiency programs within the Department of Energy.  The DOE initiatives that are endangered by reduced funding include:  Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), State Energy Program (SEP), energy efficiency deployment programs, Industrial Technologies Program, Equipment Standards and Analysis Program, Federal Energy Management Program, and Distributed Energy Program.  Also supported is the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which provides unbiased data that helps the U.S. respond effectively to changes and fluctuations in the energy markets.  These programs reduce energy consumption, dependence on foreign oil, harmful pollution, and energy costs.  The letter’s signature deadline is March 14.  Contact:  Lisa Mark with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-5181). 


LIHEAP – Senate and House Actions and Pending Letter


The Senate on March 7 passed S. 2320, the LIHEAP Funding Bill sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).  As modified by an amendment on the floor, the Snowe bill takes the $1 billion in fiscal 2007 LIHEAP funds provided in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and makes it available for use in fiscal 2006, with half the $1 billion released through the state block grant formula and the second half released into the contingency emergency fund, which is released subject to the discretion of the administration. This bill is now awaiting action in the House and may be brought up for consideration as early as the week of March 13.  Reps. Steven LaTourette (R-OH) and Marty Meehan (D-MA), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, recently introduced similar legislation (H.R. 4793).  Contacts:  Ari Strauss with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606) and Lisa Mark with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-5181).


Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Rob Simmons (R-CT), Marty Meehan (D-MA), and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) are seeking signatures on a letter that asks appropriators to provide full funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  The letter’s signature deadline is Monday, March 13.  Contacts:  Steve Boms with Rep. Ackerman (202/225-2601) or Shauna Hewes with Rep. Simmons (202/225-2076).



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