Homeland Security and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 24 May 2023 14:00:00 GMT

FY24 Full Committee Markup – Homeland Security and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Bills.

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Mark (summary).

The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill provides a non-defense discretionary total of $25.313 billion for programs under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee, $532 million (2.1%) below the FY23 enacted level and $3.622 billion (12.5%) below the FY24 President’s Budget Request.

$12 billion of the budget is seen by USDA as climate-related, including:
  • $4.6 billion of the Forest Service budget
  • $3.2 billion of the Natural Resources Conservation Service budget
  • $2.2 billion of the Farm Service Agency budget
  • $1.3 billion in rural development services
  • $0.5 billion in scientific research programs
Homeland Security Subcommittee Mark.

The Homeland Security bill includes $91.511 billion in total discretionary appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security, including $62.793 billion within the bill’s allocation, $5.837 billion in discretionary appropriations offset by fee collections, and $20.261 billion as an allocation adjustment for major disaster response and recovery activities. The total, within the allocation, is $2.090 billion above the Fiscal Year 2023 level. For FEMA, the subcommittee mark provides $26.062 billion, which is $388.6 million above FY23 and $178.4 million above the request. It eliminates funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter-Humanitarian Program and its successor, the Shelter and Services Program, which administers funds to local governments and nongovernmental organizations to provide assistance to migrants and people experiencing homelessness.

The FY FEMA 2024 budget request is $30.2 billion, including $20.3 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund and $4.8 billion for the National Flood Insurance Program.

The FY 2024 Budget includes an increase to create a full-time, dedicated policy and coordination office to lead FEMA’s focus on climate adaptation, impacts, and lead coordination with FEMA program offices, the Federal Interagency, and SLTT partners in support of FEMA’s programs.

Reintroduction of the Green New Deal Resolution

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 20 Apr 2023 16:00:00 GMT

During Earth Week and on the four-year anniversary of the Green New Deal Resolution, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) will reintroduce the resolution at a press conference at the Senate Swamp on THURSDAY, April 20th at 12:00 PM. Senator Markey will also join Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17) to announce new legislation focused on tackling the intersecting climate and public health crises.

The lawmakers will be joined by Green New Deal members of Congress and labor, health, climate, and justice advocates to celebrate the intersectional coalition’s achievement in getting the Inflation Reduction Act passed—the federal government’s largest-ever investment in climate and clean energy—while outlining the fight ahead to deliver a just, Green New Deal future that upholds the promise of the resolution and the movement that it inspired.

  • Senator Edward J. Markey
  • Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Representative Ro Khanna
  • Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07)
  • Representative Greg Casar (TX-35)
  • Representative Jamaal Bowman (NY-16)
  • Representative Maxwell Frost (FL-10)
  • Representative Delia Ramirez (IL-03)
  • Representative Robert Garcia (CA-42)
  • Representative Becca Balint (VT)
  • Kaniela Ing, National Director of the Green New Deal Network
  • Sara Nelson, President of Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
  • Dr. Colleen Achong, SEIU Healthcare, Committee of Interns and Residents
  • Jacqui Patterson, Executive Director of the Chisholm Legacy Project and Climate Justice Alliance member

WHEN: THURSDAY, April 20th at 12:00 PM

WHERE: Senate Swamp, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

Legislative Field Hearing on H.R. 215 "WATER for California Act" and H.R. 872 "FISH Act"

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 11 Apr 2023 21:00:00 GMT

On Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. PDT, at the World Ag Expo, 4500 S Laspina St # 214, Tulare, CA 93274, the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a legislative field hearing on the following bills:

  • H.R. 215 (Rep. Valadao) “Working to Advance Tangible and Effective Reforms for California Act” or the “WATER for California Act”.
  • H.R. 872 (Rep. Calvert) “Federally Integrated Species Health Act” or the “FISH Act”.

Hearing memo

Invited witnesses:
  • Debra Haaland, Secretary, Department of the Interior (or their designees from the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Gina Raimondo, Secretary, Department of Commerce (or their designee from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
  • Charlton Bonham, Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Tony DeGroot, Farmer, DG Bar Ranches, Hanford, California
  • Aaron Fukuda, General Manager, Tulare Irrigation District, Tulare, California
  • Jason Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, Friant Water Authority, Lindsay, California
  • Jeff Sutton, General Manager, Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, Willows, California
  • Chris White, Executive Director, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority, Los Banos, California
  • Additional witnesses TBA

H.R. 215, sponsored by the entire House California Republican delegation, extends West-wide water storage provisions such as Section 4007 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act (Subtitle J of Public Law 114-322) through December 31, 2028. Some of the projects authorized under these provisions include: Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project in California (additional 634,000 AF of storage), Sites Reservoir Storage Project in California (1.5 million AF of storage), Los Vaqueros Reservoir Phase 2 Expansion in California (additional 115,000 AF of storage), Cle Elum Pool Raise in Washington state (additional 14,600 AF of storage) and Anderson Ranch Dam Raise in Idaho (additional 29,000 AF of storage). The WIIN provision allows a non-governmental entity to request and be the non-federal partner for federally owned surface storage projects.

In addition, the bill would require the CVP and SWP to be operated consistent with the 2019 BiOps and Preferred Alternative, set during the Trump administration. The bill would allow for modification of CVP and SWP operations based on any agreement that is reached on a voluntary basis with CVP and SWP water contractors. It would also prohibit any water supply costs from being imposed on any entity due to agreements with other parties unless voluntarily agreed to.

In addition, the bill would require the federal government to provide the maximum amount of water practicable to CVP and SWP water contractors consistent with the 2019 BiOps. The bill includes safeguards for SWP water contractors. Specifically, if California reduces water supplies to SWP water contractors as a result of actions directed by H.R. 215, then any increase of water supplies received by CVP water contractors must be divided between the two projects. H.R. 215 would amend the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, P.L. 117-58) to make the Shasta Dam Raise eligible to receive water storage project funding in that law. IIJA included $1.15 billion for storage projects but made the Shasta Project ineligible. Lastly, it would direct the Secretary of the Interior to complete the fish, wildlife, and habitat restoration programs required under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA or P.L. 102-575) within 2 years of enactment of this Act.

H.R. 872, authored by Representative Calvert (R-CA), has six cosponsors: Reps. Jim Costa (DCA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Mike Simpson (RID) and Michelle Steele (R-CA). H.R. 872 would consolidate the ESA functions of NOAA and the Department of the Interior (Interior) relating to the conservation of anadromous and catadromous fish, making Interior solely responsible for managing these species. This legislation will allow one wildlife management agency (USFWS) to evaluate impacts on species interacting in a shared ecosystem and determine a holistic management approach.

Unleashing American Power: The Development of Next Generation Energy Infrastructure

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 23 Mar 2023 18:00:00 GMT

This hearing will serve as a legislative hearing for three bills that would authorize research, development, and demonstration activities carried out or supported by the U.S. Department of Energy in the areas of grid security, hydrogen, and pipelines. Attached are discussion drafts of bills under consideration.

Opening Statements:
  • Subcommittee Chairman Brandon Williams
  • Chairman Frank Lucas
  • Spencer Nelson, Managing Director – Research and New Initiatives, ClearPath
  • Dr. Richard Boardman, Directorate Fellow, Idaho National Laboratory, Energy and Environmental Science & Technology
  • Cliff Johnson, President, Pipeline Research Council International
  • Dr. Arvind Ravikumar, Co-Director, Energy Emissions Modeling and Data Lab Research Associate Professor, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, the University of Texas at Austin
  • Jason Fuller, Chief Energy Resilience Engineer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Press Conference to Introduce A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 22 Mar 2023 15:30:00 GMT

On World Water Day, Wednesday, March 22, at 11:30 a.m. Eastern at the House Triangle, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) will be joined by Vice Ranking Member Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Calif.), Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and environmental justice leaders for a press conference to announce introduction of the newly named A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act. Ranking Member Grijalva will also announce Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) as the new lead cosponsor of the House bill.

The press conference will highlight key provisions of the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act, the most comprehensive federal environmental justice legislation to date. Environmental justice leaders will also be in attendance to speak to the impacts of environmental injustices on their communities and the pressing need for federal legislative action.

After the press conference, speakers and additional environmental justice community leaders will be available to press to discuss the legislation and its impact in more detail.

  • Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, 7th District of Arizona, Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
  • Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove, 37th District of California, Vice Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
  • U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, State of Illinois
  • U.S. Senator Cory Booker, State of New Jersey
  • Faith Harris, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light
  • Elise Joshi, Gen-Z for Change

Community environmental justice leaders available for interview post-press conference:

  • Russell Armstrong, Hip Hop Caucus
  • Dana Johnson, WeAct
  • Angelo Logan, Liberty Hill Foundation
  • Jo & Joy Banner, The Descendants Project
  • Michele Roberts, Environmental Justice Health Alliance 
  • Rudy Arredondo, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
  • Mark Magaña, Green Latinos, Founding President & CEO

Congressional Climate Camp: Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 09 Mar 2023 19:00:00 GMT

What to learn more about climate policy? But not sure where to start? We have you covered. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to join us for our start-of-the-new Congress briefing series, Climate Camp. We will go over the basics of the legislative process, highlighting key areas and opportunities for climate mitigation and adaptation policy.

Our fourth session in EESI’s Congressional Climate Camp series is on implementing the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. These laws provide billions of dollars to confront the climate crisis and strengthen critical infrastructure. Panelists will provide an update on the status of their implementation, describe how state and local governments and organizations are accessing funds, and explain the oversight role Congress must play to maximize these investments.

  • Dr. Henry McKoy, Jr., Director, Office of State and Community Energy Programs, U.S. Department of Energy
  • David Terry, President, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)
  • Sarah Kline, Consultant, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Kevin Rennert, Fellow; Director, Federal Climate Policy Initiative, Resources for the Future
  • Duanne Andrade, Executive Director, Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
  • Jana Barresi, Head of Washington, D.C., Office, Lowe’s Companies Inc.

This event, at 2168 Rayburn, 2 PM-3:30 PM, is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to expedite check-in.

A live webcast will be streamed at 2:00 PM EST at www.eesi.org/livecast.

Markup of Pro-Oil and Gas Industry Legislation

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 28 Feb 2023 15:00:00 GMT

On Tuesday, February 28, 2023. at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security will meet in open markup session in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building to consider the following.

Legislation to be considered includes:
  • H.R. 1068, Securing America’s Critical Minerals Supply Act. This legislation would amend the Department of Energy (DOE) Organization Act to require the Secretary of Energy to conduct an ongoing assessment of the nation’s supply of critical energy resources, the vulnerability of the critical energy resource supply chain, and the criticality of critical energy resources in the development of energy technologies. It would also direct the Secretary to strengthen critical energy resource supply chains by diversifying sourcing and increasing domestic production, refining, and processing of resources. Under this legislation, the term “critical energy resource” means any energy resource that is essential to the energy sector and energy systems of the United States and the supply chain of which is vulnerable to disruption. (Rep. Bucshon introduced this legislation.)
  • H.R. 1121, Protecting American Energy Production Act. This legislation would prohibit a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing unless such moratorium is authorized by an Act of Congress. The legislation also establishes the sense of Congress that States should maintain primacy for the regulation of hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas production on state and private lands. (Rep. Duncan introduced this legislation.)
  • H.R. 1085, Researching Efficient Federal Improvements for Necessary Energy Refining (REFINER) Act. This legislation would require the Secretary of Energy to direct the National Petroleum Council to issue a report examining the importance of petrochemical refineries to energy security. The report must also contain an analysis of the capacity of such refineries and opportunities to expand capacity, as well as analyze risks to refineries. (Rep. Latta introduced this legislation.)
  • H.R. 1058, Promoting Cross-border Energy Infrastructure Act. This legislation would establish a more uniform, transparent, and modern process to authorize the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of international border-crossing facilities for the import and export of oil and natural gas and the transmission of electricity. The legislation would replace the existing Presidential Permit process that has been established through Executive Order with a statutorily directed process. Under the legislation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would be authorized to review applications for cross-border oil and natural gas pipelines, and DOE would be authorized to review applications for cross-border electric transmission facilities. Substantially similar legislation passed the House in the 115th Congress with a bipartisan vote. (Rep. Armstrong introduced this legislation.)
  • H. Con. Res. 14, a resolution expressing disapproval of the revocation by President Biden of the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. (Rep. Lesko introduced this legislation.)
  • H. Con. Res. 17, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the Federal Government should not impose any restrictions on the export of crude oil or other petroleum products. (Rep. Guthrie introduced this legislation.)
  • H.R. 1130, Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act. This legislation would amend the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to repeal all restrictions on the import and export of natural gas. Under current law, the NGA prohibits the import or export of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), without completing a lengthy approval process conducted by DOE. The legislation would align the NGA with the existing national policy on the import and export of other fossil fuels, including crude oil and petroleum products. (Rep. Johnson introduced this legislation.)
  • H.R. 1115, Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act. This legislation would improve coordination among Federal and State agencies reviewing applications for the construction of interstate natural gas pipelines. The legislation would strengthen FERC’s lead agency role under the NGA by requiring schedules, concurrent reviews, and provisions to resolve disputes among permitting agencies. Substantially similar legislation passed the House in the 115th Congress with a bipartisan vote. (Rep. Burgess introduced this legislation.)
  • H.R. 1160, Critical Electric Infrastructure Cybersecurity Incident Reporting Act. This legislation would amend the Federal Power Act (FPA) to authorize DOE to promulgate regulations to require critical electric infrastructure owners and operators to share information regarding cybersecurity incidents with DOE. The provisions within the FPA that would be amended by this legislation originated from authority DOE was granted in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) that was signed into law in 2015. The FAST Act designated DOE as the “Sector-specific agency” for energy sector cybersecurity, granted DOE authority to address grid security emergencies, and granted FERC, in consultation with DOE, authority to protect, share, and designate critical electric infrastructure information. (Rep. Walberg introduced this legislation.)

Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility and Less Mining

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 10 Feb 2023 22:30:00 GMT

Join the Climate and Community Project for a briefing and happy hour to discuss its latest report, “Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility and Less Mining.”

Where: Friday, February 10 at 5:30PM

When: Creative Grounds DC, 1822 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20002

Please be ready to show proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination.

We need to decarbonize the US transportation sector — one of the top contributors to our country’s GHG emissions. Decisions made now will affect the speed of decarbonization and the mobility of millions — and decarbonization will transform global supply chains, with implications for climate, environmental, and Indigenous justice beyond US borders. Join us for a discussion with Dr. Thea Riofrancos, lead author of Climate and Community Project’s latest report Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility with Less Mining, to consider the future of the transportation system, futures of lithium mining, and how we make it just and equitable for all.


Climate Disaster Resilience and Other Legislation

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 28 Sep 2022 15:00:00 GMT

Business meeting page

  • Colleen J. Shogan to be Archivist of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration
  • Vijay Shanker to be an Associate Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • Laura E. Crane to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • Leslie A. Meek to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • Veronica M. Sanchez to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • Errol Arthur to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • Kendra D. Briggs to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • Carl Ezekiel Ross to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • S. ___, Federal Contracting for Peace and Security Act
  • S. 4828, Governmentwide Executive Councils Administration and Performance Improvement Act
  • S. 4894, Improving Government Efficiency and Workforce Development through Federal Executive Boards Act
  • S. 4893, Lobbying Disclosure Improvement Act
  • S. ___, Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act of 2022�
  • S. ___, Department of Homeland Security Seal Protection Act
  • S. ___, Securing Open Source Software Act of 2022
  • S. 4882, Fire Grants and Safety Act
  • S. 4528, Improving Digital Identity Act of 2022
  • S. 4816/H.R. 7337, Access for Veterans to Records Act of 2022
  • S. 4328, Fire Suppression Improvement Act
  • S. 4399, All-American Flag Act
  • S. ___, Invent Here, Make Here for Homeland Security Act
  • S. ___, Protecting the Border from Unmanned Aircraft Systems Act
  • S. ___/H.R. 6461, National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act of 2022
  • H.R. 7777, Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Training Act
  • H.R. 5689, Resilient Assistance for Mitigation for Environmentally Resilient Infrastructure and Construction by Americans (Resilient AMERICA) Act
  • H.R. 6824, President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition Act
  • H.R. 7211, Small State and Rural Rescue Act
  • H.R. 3544, Computers for Veterans and Students (COVS) Act of 2022
  • H.R. 4209, DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act
  • H.R. 6873, Bombing Prevention Act of 2022

H.R. 5689, the Resilient Assistance for Mitigation for Environmentally Resilient Infrastructure and Construction by Americans (Resilient AMERICA) Act, addresses disaster resilience issues and expands coverage for hazard mitigation.

The bill

  • increases from 6% to 15% the estimated aggregate amount of grants that may be set aside for national public infrastructure pre-disaster hazard mitigation assistance;
  • makes private nonprofit facilities eligible for technical and financial assistance for implementing cost-effective pre-disaster hazard mitigation measures;
  • provides funding for water resources development projects; and
  • expands the use of hazard mitigation assistance to cover certain activities pertaining to wildfires, tsunamis, and ice storms.

Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must set aside 10% of funds made available for any given year to further the implementation and enforcement of the latest published editions of relevant consensus-based building codes.

FEMA must require as a condition of providing nonemergency financial assistance for construction projects costing at least $1 million that the steel and iron used in the projects be produced in the United States, with certain exceptions.

FEMA must carry out a residential resilience pilot program to provide grants for residential resilience retrofits (e.g., elevation of homes, floodproofing measures, wildfire retrofit and mitigation measures, and wind retrofits).

The Government Accountability Office must study the challenges to states and territories in obtaining funds under public assistance alternative procedures.

H.R. 6461, the National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act, requires the Federal Government to produce a national climate adaptation and resilience strategy.

S. 4882, the Fire Grants and Safety Act;, authorizes appropriations for the United States Fire Administration and firefighter assistance grant programs.

S.4328, the Fire Suppression Improvement Act, sets the federal cost share of fire management assistance at 75% of the eligible cost of such assistance and permits a state or local government to use such assistance for the predeployment of assets and resources. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must complete a rulemaking to provide criteria for the circumstances under which it may recommend that the President increase the federal cost share.

H.R. 7211: Small State and Rural Rescue Act

This bill addresses requests for, and other matters pertaining to, disaster assistance provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with a focus on small states and rural communities.

The bill expands the duties of FEMA’s Small State and Rural Advocate to include assistance for states in the collection and presentation of material in the disaster or emergency declaration request relevant to demonstrate severe localized impacts within the state for a specific incident.

Additionally, the Government Accountability Office must review FEMA’s implementation of its final rule regarding factors considered when evaluating a governor’s request for a major disaster declaration. In particular, the review must focus on requests for a major disaster declaration authorizing individual assistance.

PROMESA and LUMA Energy’s Contract (Postponed)

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 22 Sep 2022 14:00:00 GMT

The Committee on Natural Resources Office of Insular Affairs will hold a hybrid oversight hearing on “PROMESA and LUMA Energy’s Contract.” Scheduled for Thursday, September 22, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. ET, in room 1324 Longworth House Office Building and via Cisco Webex, the hearing has been postponed because of the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Fiona.

The hearing will feature testimony from key stakeholders regarding the implementation of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) and discuss H.R. 7409TRUST for Puerto Rico Act to dissolve the Oversight Board. The hearing will also examine LUMA Energy’s contract to manage, operate, and rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric power transmission and distribution system.


Panel I: PROMESA and H.R. 7409
  • Pedro Pierluisi, Governor of Puerto Rico
  • José Luis Dalmau, President, Puerto Rico Senate
  • Rafael “Tatito” Hernández, Speaker, Puerto Rico House of Representatives
  • David A. Skeel Jr, Chair, Financial Oversight and Management Board
  • Jessica E. Méndez-Colberg, Attorney, Bufete Emmanuelli, C.S.P.
  • Cecille Blondet, Executive Director, Espacios Abiertos
  • Maryln Goyco-García, Puerto Rico Campaign Coordinator, Center for Popular Democracy
Panel II: LUMA Energy’s Contract
  • Fermín Fontanés, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority
  • Josué Colón, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority
  • Edison Avilés-Deliz, Chair, Puerto Rico Energy Bureau
  • Wayne Stensby, President & CEO, LUMA Energy Corporation
  • Ruth Santiago, Attorney & Environmental Policy Expert
  • Ingrid Vila Biaggi, President, CAMBIO

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