It may still only be 2014 on your Gregorian calendar, but for the political gossip press, it might as well be 2016 because it seems like all they can talk about is the presidential election that is 2.5 years away.
For example, pundits were abuzz when Hillary Clinton made an unfortunate Putin/Hitler comparison last week. And just outside of Washington, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference just wrapped up, where a whopping 26 candidates were in the presidential straw poll, which was won by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Good to see the field narrowing on the GOP side, or something.
Luckily, not all of Washington lives in this fantasyland where only presidential elections matter. Some of us (I’m looking at you, ACLU Washington Legislative Office) actually do substantive stuff in the off years, like, you know, advancing ACLU’s public policy priorities with lawmakers and the Administration.
Here is just some of what these busy bees are up to this week.
Tuesday, March 11th
The House Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on proposed fiscal 2015 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security. Secretary Jeh Johnson will be testifying.
The Senate Armed Services Committee will meet to hear testimony from Adm. William H. McRaven, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, who oversees part of the drone program.
Wednesday, March 12th
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) are expected to introduce the Fair Employment Protection Act, a legislative fix to the Vance Supreme Court decision. A press conference will follow the introduction of the legislation.
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges will hold a panel on “A More Effective JJDPA: The Role of an Educated Judiciary” to discuss federal programs and resources that assist juvenile and family court judges working to improve juvenile justice policies and practices.
The Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the Arizona border surveillance technology plan.
Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson and Legislative Assistant Robyn Greene will speak to a class of international students at the U.S. Naval War College about U.S. surveillance law.
The House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing on “The Rise of 3D Printing: Opportunities for Entrepreneurs.”
Thursday, March 13th
Legislative Counsel Jennifer Bellamy will be speaking at the Discipline Disparities Research to Practice Collaborative’s congressional staffers’ briefing on “Eliminating Disparities in School Discipline: What Works.”
The House Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on proposed fiscal 2015 appropriations for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
The United States Sentencing Commission will hold a public hearing on the 2014 proposed amendments to the sentencing guidelines. The ACLU will be submitting testimony on the proposed amendments on March 18th.
The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services will hold an all-day meeting, which will include briefings on issues related to women in combat.
The Senate Armed Services Committee will meet to hear testimony from Gen John F. Kelly, Commander of US Southern Command who oversees the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
The Senate HELP Committee will likely hold a hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act in March.