Washington Waves
Washington Waves

Congress Expected To Address Funding, WRDA In Lame-Duck Session

Washington, D.C.—Following their break for Thanksgiving, lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol and continue working on a lame-duck agenda that includes must-pass legislation.

Topping that agenda will be legislation—probably an omnibus package—to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2023, which began October 1.A current stopgap measure keeping federal agencies open expires December 16.

With a legacy that stretches back more than 60 years, an annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also will be viewed by many as a must-pass measure during the lame duck session.

Adding to its significance for the waterways industry, the current NDAA is expected to include a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). A popular piece of legislation that easily draws huge support from both parties, a biennial WRDA has been passed by Congress in recent years.

Key backers want to keep that streak going.

House Leadership

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California announced the end of her historic two-decade run in Democratic leadership and then helped guide her party toward a smooth transition to a new team of leaders.

Meanwhile, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, also from California, continued to look for enough votes to ensure he will become the next House speaker in January.

“For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic Caucus,” said the 82-year-old Pelosi, the first woman to hold the third-ranking constitutional office in the U.S.

One day later, she saluted Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, who quickly announced he would run to succeed her as Democratic leader in the next Congress.

Reps. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California will run for the next two leadership posts.

If elected, Jeffries would become the first member of color to serve as a top party leader in either chamber.

NMC Data Glitch

The National Maritime Center (NMC) announced that beginning on November 15, course completion data uploaded to the Homeport application, referred to as MTAD, failed to transfer to the mariner’s training record in the Merchant Mariner Licensing and Documentation system.

“Data uploaded to MTAD is not lost and will match to the mariner’s training record as soon as system connectivity is restored,” NMC stated.

“Training providers should continue to upload data and provide students with an approved course completion certificate for submittal with their credential application.”

 NMC also encouraged training providers to save a copy of the confirmed MTAD upload with course records.

For more information, contact the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mailing IASKNMC@uscg.mil or calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).