Jacob Holzman

Ocelots, Butterflies in Path of Border Wall
As DHS waives its way across Texas, Congress is rethinking a thirteen-year-old law

When rains pushed the Rio Grande River to flood stage in 2010, an existing border wall acted as a flood barrier, protecting some lowlands but also trapping some animals. A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club noted the discovery after the flooding of shells from “hundreds” of Texas tortoise, which that state lists as a threatened species.

“Animals caught between the river and the flood wall that could not escape around the edges of the floodwalls likely perished,” said the report. Endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, both small wildcats, also might have died, according to the report.

Trump Tweet Jeopardizes Bipartisan Puerto Rico Bill
Grijalva: ‘It makes people that want to work on compromise become really suspicious’

President Donald Trump’s comments defending his administration’s response to the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico last year may have stymied chances for a bipartisan bill to reduce politicization and patronage at the territory’s publicly-owned electric utility, which some see as a key impediment slowing modernization of the island’s grid.

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah and ranking member Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona both say that action is needed to create safeguards to protect the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority from political influence.

Dems Rip Page From GOP Playbook to Fight Trump’s Pollution Rollback
Markey: ‘We’ll use every tool available to block the Trump administration’s U-turn on fuel efficiency’

Democrats opposed to the Trump administration’s proposal to freeze fuel efficiency standards have limited options to fight back in the halls and floor of Congress, but the one option they do have comes straight from the GOP deregulatory playbook.

Once finalized, Democrats, led by top members on the Environment and Public Works Committee, plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the Trump administration’s fuel efficiency strategy, Sen. Edward J. Markey told reporters on a phone conference in response to the administration’s proposal Thursday.

Feeling Dissed, Puerto Rico Governor May Skip House Hearing
Governor is ‘demanding’ an ‘explicit, public apology’ from Natural Resources chairman over tweet

The governor of Puerto Rico is threatening to withdraw from a scheduled appearance before the House Natural Resources Committee after the panel posted a tweet his office said was “shameful,” “hostile” and “condescending.”

The committee deleted a tweet from its Twitter account July 19 about its invitation for Gov. Ricardo Rossello to testify at a July 25 hearing, following a request from the governor to have it removed. Rossello is a member of both the New Progressive Party and the Democratic Party.

Carson Grilled About Lead Paint and Mold in Public Housing
How to pay prompts heated exchange

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was peppered with questions by lawmakers over the department’s handling of lead paint and mold in public housing, leading to a heated exchange over how to pay for fixing the issue.

At a House Financial Services Committee oversight hearing Wednesday, Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, D-N.Y., quizzed Carson on the Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 funding request, which called for zeroing out the department’s public housing capital fund, a source used for repairs to public housing.