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Gov't Affairs News

NECA Top Three 5/5/17

May 04, 2017

1. The House passed a $1.17 trillion omnibus bill (FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, H.R. 244) that will fund the government through FY 2017. The bipartisan legislation avoided a government shutdown and gave a legislative win to both the Trump Administration and Congressional Democrats. 

NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA supported the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations Bill and sent a letter to all Members of Congress urging their support. Not only did the passage of the omnibus bill avoid a government shutdown, the bill funded many of NECA's legislative priorities, including increasing federal highway investment to $43.3 billion (the full amount authorized by the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act) and providing an additional $10 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (WIFIA) program. This current funding bill will expire at the end of FY 2017 and the House will have to authorize a budget before the end of September to avoid another shutdown. Although President Trump has called for a shutdown in September, members of the House are reluctant to shut the government down over the President’s legislative priorities, including funding for a border wall or defunding Planned Parenthood.

2. The Republican-controlled House has made serious movement forward on their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. After revealing the repeal bill last Thursday, it has since undergone multiple changes which have been used to bring more moderate Republicans into the fold. The Trump Administration has announced that they now have the 216 votes needed to send the bill to the Senate. 

NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA will monitor this evolving piece of legislation and the many steps it will have to go through if it is indeed going to the House floor and through the Senate. We are greatly concerned that the legislation does not repeal and only delays the Cadillac Tax from 2020 to 2026. That said, even if the bill passes the House, it will undoubtedly be altered in the Senate and will be given back to the House for review.

3. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Subcommittee on Energy, held a legislative hearing titled, “Legislation Addressing Pipeline and Hydropower Infrastructure Modernization” on May 3, 2017.

NECA’s Look Ahead: The hearing examined 10 proposed bills that would promote and modernize the nation’s hydropower and pipeline infrastructure. NECA sent a letter of support for the bills to Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL). NECA urges the subcommittee to advance the bill to the full committee and then to a floor vote in the House.