NotedDC — Dems warn NDAA measure could stifle climate goals

Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) is seen during a press conference on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 to discuss the Protect Children Through Safe Gun Ownership Act.
Greg Nash

Some House Democrats are warning the Senate and White House that an amendment added to the $840 billion defense authorization bill would stifle the party’s renewable energy goals.

FIRST IN THE HILL: Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) told NotedDC he will vote against the bill Thursday night because of an amendment that would ban offshore wind developers from using construction boats with multinational crews. 

The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would require that these boats — necessary to construct wind turbines — be staffed by Americans or citizens of the boat’s origin country.

Proponents of the amendment argue that foreign-owned boats with lower paid workers are taking away jobs from Americans. But opponents maintain the U.S. doesn’t have enough of those specialized boats or workforce in the first place.

Auchincloss, a Marine veteran, is sending a letter with 30 other House Democrats to the Senate Commerce Committee requesting it remove the amendment.

“By prohibiting the use of these [vessels] in the short term, we sacrifice all of the jobs that would have existed during the lifetime of these projects, including for maintenance and operations,” Auchincloss wrote in the letter provided first to The Hill.

Some others who signed on: Democratic Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), David Cicilline (R.I.), Sean Casten (Ill.), Ayanna Pressly (Mass.) and David Trone (Md.).

“If Senator Cantwell and the White House are serious about clean energy, this language should change,” a Democratic aide said, referring to Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). “The ball’s now in their court.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling last month to limit the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency already stymies the Biden administration’s efforts to combat climate change, and Democrats have raised alarms about their agenda lagging.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said he would work with the Senate to ensure that the amendment would not “impede” offshore wind projects.

Welcome to NotedDC: Your guide to politics, policy & people of consequence in D.C.

In today’s issue: We’ll explore other elements of the mammoth defense policy bill, and former President Trump‘s latest tease about 2024.

Plus: Material from the Jan. 6 House select committee that has yet to be released.


The bill, which reliably passes every year to direct the Pentagon’s funding, is playing a more significant role this year in shaping how the U.S. military interacts in NATO, given the war in Ukraine.

The House funded the bill with $37 billion more than President Biden initially requested, citing the need for more aircraft, ships and assistance to Ukraine. Lawmakers proposed an eye-popping 1,200 amendments, voting on 650 of them.

Some notable amendments: 

  • One from Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) that “compels government officials to prepare a report on instances of white supremacy and neo-Nazi activity in uniformed services and federal law enforcement.”
  • One from Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) that would establish a secure system for reporting on UFOs, improving Congress’ ability to learn more about them.
  • One from Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Anthony Brown (D-Md.) and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) that would give the mayor of D.C. authority over the city’s national guard rather than the federal government.  

🎤 Trump teases 2024 announcement amid firestorm

Former President Trump says he’s made up his mind on whether to run for president again in 2024. Now the big question is: When will he announce it? 

“Do I go before or after [the midterms]? That will be my big decision,” Trump told New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi.

  • Trump — while not explicitly revealing his decision — suggested announcing before the midterms would dissuade other candidates from launching their bids, since recent polls show him leading potential opponents by double digits.
  • As our colleague Alex Bolton reported this month, some Republicans fear that an early announcement could upend their midterm strategy, considering their focus is on President Biden’s handling of the economy and inflation.

Trump’s tease of potentially announcing a third White House bid comes as the Jan. 6 House select committee unveils mounting evidence against the former president for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

And signaling to some that he’s ready to return to politics with full force, Trump is addressing a summit hosted by the America First Policy Institute at the end of the month in Washington.

🔥 Jan. 6 panel to unveil more on Trump role

The Jan. 6 House committee is promising to keep the spotlight on Trump’s role in the Capitol attack, an issue that will be front and center if he runs again in 2024.

Members of the panel have signaled they plan to release more material surrounding what happened after Trump left his nearby rally and his statement to supporters amid the Capitol riot later in the day.

“Mr. Kinzinger and I plan to go through that 187 minutes,” Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) told ABC News on Wednesday about what the committee will focus on next. 

Our colleagues Rebecca Beitsch and Mike Lillis point out that the committee bumped evidence on Tuesday that could’ve tied Trump more precisely to violent extremist groups and instead showed testimony from White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

“It was in the original script, but we pulled some back just because of the timing,” committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told our colleagues Wednesday.

2024 WATCH

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) met with fellow Democrats on the Hill Thursday during his whirlwind trip to the nation’s capital.

  • The meeting came a day after Newsom was seen at the White House, where he met with first lady Jill Biden to discuss the president’s “ambitious agenda.”
  • The trip to D.C. is stoking even more speculation that the Golden State governor may make a run for president in 2024.

Newsom told our colleague Alex Bolton that he does not support expanding the Supreme Court, an issue that is sure to be hotly debated between progressives and moderate Democrats in the primaries.

But the governor said he supports abolishing the filibuster, a move that President Biden recently endorsed as an exception to codify abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

If you missed it: Our colleague Amie Parnes dove deep into the chatter around Newsom. 


How do you feel about online security? Please take a moment to complete a brief survey from The Hill. As a thank you for your time, we’ll enter you for a chance to win a $250 donation to your favorite charity. Take the survey here.

The Hill poll: Cortez Masto leads in Nevada

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto leads her Republican opponent former Attorney General Adam Laxalt by 3 points, 44 to 41 percent, in an Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey, though 9 percent are undecided.

“Cortez Masto holds the support of minority voters in Nevada: 61% of Asian voters, 51% of Black voters, and 46% of Hispanic voters. On the other hand, Laxalt has plurality of White voters’ support at 46%,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College polling. 

The poll also found that a third of voters approve of the job President Biden is doing, while 57 percent disapprove. And Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) has a 40 percent approval rating, while 48 percent disapprove. 


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea Clinton are teaming up for a new docuseries on “gutsy women” they call their “personal heroes.”

There will be a lot of celebrities: reality TV star Kim Kardashian, comedian Amy Schumer, rapper Megan Thee Stallion and actors Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson.

Read more about the series.

🏊🏻‍♂️ US athletes compete in Israel

President Biden on Thursday met with about 250 U.S. athletes attending the Maccabiah Games in Israel, telling those gathered: “I’m so damn proud of you.”

Known as the “Jewish Olympics,” the games are open to Jewish athletes around the globe and Israeli athletes, with about 10,000 athletes from over 60 countries this year.

On the next leg of his overseas trip, Biden will head to Saudi Arabia on Friday, with pressure growing on him to bring up the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Have some news, juicy gossip, insight or other insider info? Send us tips: Elizabeth Crisp and Kelsey Carolan. And encourage friends to sign up here:

We’ll see you next week!


Tags 2024 presidential election Biden Climate change Jake Auchincloss Jan. 6 Capitol riot Maria Cantwell NDAA Nevada Senate race Peter DeFazio

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