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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 15 March 2004

Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update – 15 March 2004



  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • Great Lakes
  • Upper Mississippi River




The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force will reconvene on Thursday, March 18, under the new leadership of co-chairs Reps. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Robert Scott (D-VA), Tom Davis (R-VA), and Chris Van Hollen (R-MD).  The breakfast reception and working meeting will run from 8:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.  Members and staff will discuss the creation of a legislative agenda for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Click here for a list of current legislative initiatives and appropriation opportunities associated with the Chesapeake Bay.


Contact:  Peter Marx at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/464-4008)





Reps. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Bart Gordon (D-TN), chairman and ranking member of the House Science Committee, and Reps. Marty Meehan (D-MA) and Jack Quinn (R-NY), co-chairs of the House Manufacturing Task Force, are seeking signatures on a letter asking the president to reprogram fiscal 2004 funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).  This key program that supports small businesses was slashed, and unless funding is restored quickly state centers will close and U.S. manufacturing firms will lose support.


Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), co-chairs of the Senate Manufacturing Task Force, also are circulating a letter seeking $106.6 million for MEP in fiscal 2005.  Reps. Meehan and Quinn are seeking signatures on a similar letter in the House.  The pro-manufacturing MEP program generates $11.93 in tax revenue for every dollar appropriated.


Contacts:  Michael Beckerman with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496) and Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).





The House Manufacturing Task Force also is circulating a letter supporting appropriations for the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA) program administered by the Department of Commerce.  The modest increase to $16 million will directly assist small and medium-sized manufacturers and, as a result, thousands of American jobs will be created and saved.  TAA helps manufacturing firms that have experienced a loss of jobs and sales because of foreign imports.  The program provides technical assistance associated with marketing, financing, and production.


Contact:  Michael Beckerman with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496).





The Senate Great Lakes Task Force is circulating a letter seeking authorizations to be included in the Water Resources Development Act.  These requests include allowing in-kind contributions for the John Glenn Great Lakes Basin Program and the Great Lakes Fishery & Ecosystem Restoration Program, extending the authorizations for existing programs like the Great Lakes Remedial Action Plans & Sediment Remediation, and authorizing the construction and improvement of the Chicago Ship & Sanitary Canal Dispersal Barriers.


The House and Senate Great Lakes Task Forces also are seeking signatures on letters that support appropriations for regional projects and programs.  Click here for budget numbers associated with those Great Lakes initiatives.  Senate offices interested in signing these authorization and appropriation letters should contact Joy Mulinex at the Great Lakes Task Force (202/224-1211).


Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and John McHugh (R-NY) on Monday, March 15, are hosting a briefing on Great Lakes water levels.  The International Joint Commission is starting year four of a five-year review on the management of water levels and flows throughout Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  


The March 15 briefing will begin at 2:00 pm in room HC-7 of the U.S. Capitol.  Contacts are Sally Schaeffer with Rep. Slaughter (202/225-3615) and Chris Mathey with Rep. McHugh (202/225-4611).





The Northeast-Midwest Institute on Tuesday, March 23, will host a briefing on the draft recommendations being developed by the Army Corps of Engineers for ecosystem restoration on the Upper Mississippi River System.  Speakers will include representatives from the Corps, Fish and Wildlife Service, Nature Conservancy, and Upper Mississippi River Basin Association.  A House briefing on March 23 will be held from 9:00 am until 10:00 am in 2253 Rayburn House Office Building; the time and place of the Senate session will be announced later.   


Contact: Allen Hance with the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/464-4015).