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Ross D. Franklin / AP

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) submitted an amendment last week to the House Rules Committee for the federal government's 2018 spending bill that would prevent any appropriated funds from being used toward the government's National Climate Assessment.

What the NCA does: From the 2014 assessment: "This National Climate Assessment collects, integrates, and assesses [climate change] observations and research from around the country, helping us to see what is actually happening and understand what it means for our lives, our livelihoods, and our future." It is supposed to be published every four years.

Why it matters: While Biggs' amendment was one of hundreds that will be considered when the House takes up the bill next week, it was singled out in a congressional update email sent yesterday to senior management of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research — the federal government's foremost environmental research arm.

Biggs' own words on climate change: "I do not think that humans have a significant impact on climate. The federal government should stop regulating and stomping on our economy and freedoms in the name of a discredited theory." Neither Biggs' office nor the NOAA immediately responded to a request for comment on his amendment.

Why NOAA might be concerned: Just days ago, the Trump administration disbanded a key advisory committee for the NCA designed to help public and private officials interpret and incorporate the report's long-term recommendations, per WaPo. Though the NOAA said that the fourth NCA "remains a key priority," the White House clearly isn't on the same page.

Go deeper

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per authorities and a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court is set to hear a challenge Wednesday to a vaccine mandate planned for New York City school employees.

Why it matters The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system. But a judge on Friday temporarily blocked the measure, per AP.

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City.. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.