1. Representative Mark Meadows(R-NC) introduced a NECA-supported bill aiming to prohibit the use of reverse auctions on federal contracts for design and construction services. This bill has since been referred to the full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA looks forward to supporting this bipartisan legislation. Reverse auctions have caused unnecessary pressure on contractors forcing them into a ‘race to the bottom’ when bidding on federal contracts.
2. Two major developments have taken place within the Trump administration. As of Wednesday evening, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has been confirmed as Attorney General (AG) and wasting no time, the Governor of that state appointed his replacement, former Alabama AG Luther Strange, into the Senator’s vacant seat. President Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder has postponed his confirmation hearing for the 3rd time with no new date set. Puzder just recently filed the necessary official paperwork with the Office of Government Ethics.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The developments within the President’s cabinet present NECA with a new opportunity to foster relationships with policymakers and to aid electrical contractors nationwide.
3. On February 7, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially notified Congress that they have granted an easement allowing the NECA-supported Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River, allowing for construction of the final 1.5 miles of the more than 1,700-mile pipeline. The decision is in conjunction with President Trump’s executive memorandum issued on January 24th, directing the Corps to grant the easement.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Although not without significant controversy, the administration fulfilled a major campaigned promise to complete the project. The continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline shows the administration’s commitment to invest in infrastructure, create jobs, and reduce dependence on foreign energy.