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NECA Legislative Update: Top Three 1/26/18

Jan 25, 2018

1. After a three day shutdown of the federal government, the House and Senate finally came to an agreement and voted on the NECA-supported continuing resolution H.J.Res.125 - Making an extension of continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes. This bill will fund the government at FY 2017 levels until midnight on February 8, 2018. This CR did not address the DACA issue, but it did take up a top NECA legislative priority, the punitive excise tax or “Cadillac Tax” on the 178 million Americans who participate in employer-provided healthcare plans nationwide. In a significant victory for NECA, the new law delays the “Cadillac Tax” until 2022.

NECA’s Look Ahead:

Now that the CR is officially extended, this will give lawmakers the additional time needed to reach a deal on DACA. Also, Congress will need to raise the budget caps so that House and Senate appropriators can write the final details for the omnibus spendingbill. Given that immigration discussions are tied to the CR, we expect another short-term CR will be voted on to extend the February 8 deadline.

2. On January 22, despite a heavily coordinated education campaign that involved a significant amount of on the ground lobbying, congressional intervention, grassroots advocacy, and communications, President Trump imposed a 30 percent tariff, with a four-year phase down to 15 percent, on solar cells and modules. NECA CEO John Grau released this statement condemning the move.

NECA’s Look Ahead:

Dozens of members of Congress joined NECA in opposition to the tariffs. NECA will continue to work with the Administration and key Congressional leaders to remedy the situation. We will continue to update you with details and possible solutions as our meetings progress.

3. President Donald Trump is expected to release his long-awaitedinfrastructure plan sometime next week in conjunction with the State of the Union joint session of Congress. A leaked copy of the Trump Infrastructure Outline has been circling through D.C. for the past week.

NECA’s Look Ahead:

The leaked outline of the plan seems to confirm that the federal government would take a back seat in funding its own infrastructure initiative. The outline is the most substantial infrastructure document from the Administration to date. Although the document is a very interesting insight into the Administration’s goals for infrastructure, it leaves out an exact dollar amount for infrastructure investment. Under the initial calls by President Trump to move a $1 trillion dollar plan, it has been thought that the Administration would instead invest $200 billion in new federal spending and gain $800 billion from outside investments. NECA will continue to monitor this infrastructure plan and looks forward to analyzing the official plan once it is released in the coming weeks.