1. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) recently introduced the NECA-supported H.R. 2350, the “Small Business Know-Before-You-Bid Construction Transparency Act of 2017.” This bill seeks to address various issues relating to change-orders that our contractors consistently face. Rep. Bacon’s bill was developed by the Construction Procurement Coalition, of which NECA is a member, and aims to address the length of time it takes the federal government to review, approve, and pay for equitable changes; the validity of payment assurances, such as payment bonds; and the timeliness of monthly payments.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA strongly supports Rep. Bacon’s bill and will work with his office and others to gain support for the legislation.
2. In an effort to help move the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill forward, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, chaired by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) will hold a hearing on May 17, titled “The Need to Reform FAA and Air Traffic Control to Build a 21st Century Aviation System for America”. During the hearing, Chairman Shuster is expected to release a plan to privatize Air Traffic Control (ATC).
NECA’s Look Ahead: Current authorizing language for the FAA expires September 30. Both the House and the Senate are far behind in their respective FAA reauthorization bills compared to last year. Leading up to last year’s reauthorization, Rep. Shuster’s plan to transfer air traffic control (ATC) operations from the FAA to a not-for-profit corporation was a major point of contention. Democrats and some Republicans on the committee are likely to challenge his plan again. With a limited number of legislative days between the hearing and the expiration, an extension past September 30 is highly likely.
3. This week, NECA sent a congratulatory letter to the Department of Labor’s recently confirmed secretary, Alexander Acosta.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Mr. Acosta’s previous service on the National Labor Relations Board and his deep understanding of our industry’s issues leave our organization eager to begin working with his department. In addition, his open-door policy and his early willingness to hear from stakeholders has NECA optimistic for the creation of a strong working relationship.