1. Lawmakers on July 6 unveiled a 14-month bill extending policy and funding for the Federal Aviation Administration through September 2017. This bipartisan, bicameral measure provides over a year of stability for the U.S. aviation system and provides important aviation safety, security, and time-sensitive improvements for air travelers while Congress continues to develop a long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
NECA’s Look Ahead: While the measure extends the authorization of the FAA’s programs and the taxes that will fund those programs through September 30, 2017, it does so at current funding levels. NECA advocated for an increase in funding for airport construction, but given the nature of the extension, that battle will have to continue as lawmakers work to figure out how to develop and finance a long-term FAA authorization that meets the necessary construction needs of our nation’s aviation infrastructure.
2. NECA-championed legislation to defund Federal Electrical Commission (FEC) enforcement of the PAC Prior Approval requirement for Fiscal Year 2017 passed the House July 6 by a vote margin of 235-185.
As a founding member of the Prior Approval Reform Coalition (PARC), NECA and nearly 60 associations urged House approval of the amendment offered by Reps. Mark Amodei (R-NV) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) during consideration of H.R. 5485, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2017. The amendment will defund FEC enforcement of its “prior approval” requirement for corporate member trade association PACs for FY17.
NECA’s Look Ahead: This is a huge step forward in fully repealing this burdensome requirement for trade association PACs such as NECAPAC. This requirement discriminates against trade associations by making their PACs the only political committees that must first obtain exclusive permission from member companies before soliciting eligible company employees for support.
3. On June 24, Ways and Means Committee Chairman and leader of the Tax Reform Task Force Kevin Brady (R-TX) unveiled "A Better Way for Tax Reform," a bold Blueprint for pro-growth, comprehensive tax reform. The proposal would make progress on multiple tax reform principles NECA has been championing for over four years. The plan takes a fully comprehensive approach to reform, reduces both the corporate and pass-through rates to more reasonable and similar levels, makes progress on reducing the harmful double tax imposed on corporations, eliminates the estate tax, and eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
NECA’s Look Ahead: You can read the entire plan here, plus there has been a lot of discussion among the tax experts on how it would help to simplify tax collections while encouraging more business investment and job creation:
NECA will continue to comment further on this and other key aspects of the blueprint. It is our take that there is a great deal to support, and much more that needs to be fleshed out in the hope that the final plan can be something NECA supports when Congress decides to act on this reform plan.