1. On June 7, 2017, The House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a markup on eleven energy infrastructure and policy bills. The markup was chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Before the hearing NECA sent a letter to the members of the committee urging them to vote yes on all the bills.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The markup was significant in two ways: 1) most of the bills have been championed by NECA over the past few years, and 2) this is one of the first times this committee has been able to focus on energy legislation, because much of their work was focused on health care legislation. Now that the bills have been approved by the full committee, they will be placed on the official calendar for a vote, at the discretion of Republican House Leadership. There is no timetable yet for when this might happen.
2. President Trump announced on June 5, 2017 that this week would be the White House’s Infrastructure Week. The President participated in a number of engagements in order to further his Infrastructure agenda. NECA also attended today's Roads and Rail Regulatory Reform event with President Trump, Transportation Secretary Chao and Interior Secretary Zinke.
NECA’s Look Ahead: President Trump’s announcement of an infrastructure week is encouraging. It is an opportunity for the administration to demonstrate that despite other legislative challenges, the President still wants to be engaged in restoring the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in conjunction with the Administration, expects significant movement of infrastructure legislation in late September, before the FAA reauthorization deadline.
3. Late last week, NECA, as a member of the Construction Procurement Coalition, sent a letter to members of the House Small Business Committee regarding their support for Rep. Nydia Velazquez’s (D-NY) recently proposed legislation that would exclude the construction industry from the periodic inflation adjustments to procurement thresholds that would trigger the need for bonding under the Miller Act. As the thresholds rise with inflation and procurement prices remain the same, the understanding is that a greater number of small contractors will fall under this law’s requirement to apply for bonding.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA continues to support efforts for bonding reform and will work with Congress to promote small business growth through limiting onerous regulations.