1. Sens. Heller (R-NV) and Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the “Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2015,” to repeal the Cadillac Tax, or the 40% excise tax on “high-cost” insurance plans. This bill effectively serves as companion legislation to two House proposals to rescind the tax, which have garnered a total of 236 cosponsors.
NECA Look Ahead: Repealing the Cadillac tax remains one of NECA’s top priorities in this Congress and introduction of Senate legislation brings us one step closer to eliminating it. NECA strongly supports this bill and will continue to lobby for movement on this important issue. Be sure to tell your Senators to support this legislation today!
2. Earlier this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced plans to kick off what would have been at least a two-day markup of the NECA-supported North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act. Unfortunately the bill was pulled from consideration at the last minute due to an impasse over what amendments would be offered in Committee.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Sources report that some committee Republicans want to offer amendments regardless of whether they have Democratic backing. We also understand some committee Democrats would like to take a similar approach. That creates an impasse, because committee Chairman Fred Upton promised Ranking Member Frank Pallone that they would maintain bipartisanship in the committee. We fully expect these issues to be resolved and that the full House will vote on the bill before mid-October.
3. On September 15, 2015, NECA signed onto a letter with the Americans for Transportation Mobility and the Transportation Construction Coalition to the Senate in appreciation of the Senate’s passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA also signed onto a letter to the House urging Congress to pass a six-year surface transportation program reauthorization bill in 2015. NECA expects the House to unveil its own six-year highway bill next month, but finding a revenue source to supplement funding shortfalls from the gas tax remains an obstacle to advancing a long-term measure.