1. Members of the House and Senate have introduced a joint resolution of disapproval in an attempt to block the Obama administration’s 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (EO), commonly known as the Blacklisting Rule. The rule would require firms to report previous labor law violations when bidding for work with the federal government. Through the use of the Congressional Review Act, Congress is capable of blocking a federal agency from implementing such orders.
NECA’s Look Ahead: While NECA was optimistic about the original intention of the EO, the subsequent implementing rulemaking created too much uncertainty for NECA contractors, who would be subject to the whims of Labor Department officials who often know little about federal construction contracting.
2. On January 30, President Trump continued his stretch of Executive Orders by signing a broad order requiring that for every new regulation, two previous regulations must be rescinded. The order also makes note that the cost of adding any new regulation must be offset by the two rescinded. The President lauded this order as a victory for small business and for the economy as a whole.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA looks forward to seeing how this executive order will affect the contracting industry and the nature of working with the federal government and will provide further comment to the Administration.
3. On February 1, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held their first hearing, entitled “Building the 21st Century Infrastructure for America”. Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) introduced for the record a NECA signed letter urging the administration to invest in infrastructure. In related news, Elaine L. Chao was confirmed by the Senate, in a 93 to 6 vote, to become Secretary of Transportation. NECA sent a letter of congratulations after she took the oath of office.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Both Congress and the administration are taking serious steps to address the infrastructure problems facing the country. As a priority issue for NECA, we look forward to working with members of Congress, the Administration, and Secretary Chao now that she is officially heading the Department of Transportation. The administration's transportation plan is expected to be released in the coming weeks.