1. House and Senate committee leaders are in the "final stages" of drafting a short-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that would keep the agency running through the end of 2017.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The bill will address airport security concerns raised in light of recent terror attacks, and will likely include provisions on the government's role in regulating drones. It will not, however, include more controversial issues such as privatizing the nation’s air traffic control or extending NECA-supported tax benefits for energy industries, an outcome some members were hoping for since the FAA is funded mainly through tax revenue. NECA will continue to advocate for these important tax breaks and our sources indicate this issue will likely be addressed in a year-end package of some sort.
2. Efforts continue on the NECA-supported Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and 28 fellow Republicans sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) calling for a vote to take place before Congress adjourns for the summer on July 15.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Support for this year’s WRDA bill is noteworthy as the legislation is a careful compromise that includes an overhaul of the nation's municipal water programs, and $220 million in aid for Flint, Mich. and other communities struggling with aging and failing water infrastructure. NECA will continue to advocate for passage of this legislation this year.
3. The Departments of Education and Labor issued final regulations implementing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
NECA’s Look Ahead: WIOA is bipartisan legislation designed to help workers compete in today’s workforce, close the skills gap, and provide greater accountability. NECA is reviewing the final rules to ensure they adhere to the letter and intent of the law and preserve the integrity of our joint apprenticeship programs.