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Top Three 5/19

May 19, 2017

1. Infrastructure Week was held this May 15-19, 2017 in Washington D.C. and across the country. NECA actively participated in many meetings and discussions involving the anticipated infrastructure package. NECA sent a letter to all 535 Members of Congress encouraging the passage of a comprehensive and well-funded infrastructure package. NECA also participated in a press conference with the Construction Employers of America, Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) to discuss the need for infrastructure investment.

NECA’s Look Ahead: It is clear that the Trump administration is continuing to work on this framework of the plan and will continue to develop it over the coming weeks. At the same time, the House will reportedly craft legislation over the summer with votes expected late September. It is anticipated that the FAA Reauthorization may be used as a vehicle to pass a comprehensive infrastructure package.

2. NECA has been asked to testify before two major subcommittees of the House Small Business Committee next week concerning the administration of change orders on Federal construction projects and the effects they have on payment and project completion. NECA Contractor Greg Long from Long Electric in Napa California is scheduled to speak before the committee next Thursday, May 25 at 10:00 AM. You can view the hearing live through the webcast link provided here.

NECA’s Look Ahead: This is yet another tremendous opportunity for NECA and its members to communicate directly with policy makers as subject matter experts on a topic that continually affects the important work NECA contractors perform.

3. The window of opportunity for Congressional Republicans to utilize the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn Obama Administration-era regulations came to a close this week. The CRA allowed Congress to overturn the previous administrations regulations within a certain time frame. Immediately following the close of this opportunity, Senate Republicans wasted no time in making the revisions they made more permanent while adding further roadblocks for making new regulations. Two of these reform bills are of particular interest: 1) the REINS Act (S.21) which seeks to amend the CRA to require Congress to vote to approve major regulations and 2) the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (S. 951) which would require agencies to issue a public notice that explains the problem they intend to address and invite the public to comment before issuing a rule.

NECA’s Look Ahead: While each regulation may hold its own merits, NECA will continue to study the Congressional Review Act, its effects, and the effects of these proposed bills on our industry.