1. On March 14, 2018, the Joint Select Committee on Multiemployer Pensions held its first organizational session. The meeting consisted of introductory opening statements from all members of the committee and ended in under two hours. Each member stressed the grim outlook for certain characteristics of the multiemployer system and the need to address these issues before they compound upon one another.
NECA’s Look Ahead: While the focus for this committee is appearing to center around the failing Central States Teamsters plan, NECA remains committed towards encouraging members of the Select Committee to adopt the language offered in the GROW Act (HR 4997) introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) earlier this year. In addition to our efforts, we encourage all NECA members to both visit our new pension reform webpage and write your members of Congress to adopt this language.
2. With the government expected to run out of funding on March 23, 2018, both House and Senate Leadership and members of the Appropriation Committee are continuing to negotiate the legislative language that will make up the omnibus package designed to fund the government through the current fiscal year ending on September 30, 2018.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA has been weighing in with stakeholders on our top priorities for the omnibus, the most significant being funding for federal infrastructure projects. NECA has also met with stakeholders on the possibility of including the GROW Act, which would modernize the multiemployer pension system, in the package. Additionally, NECA has advocated for the simplification of unnecessarily burdensome compliance requirements for the administration of NECA PAC. Negotiations are expected to continue until next week. The House and the Senate are planning to pass a single bill, which would avoid the need for a conference committee, and avoid another government shutdown on March 23.
3. Senate Democratic leadership released a tax and infrastructure plan they have pledged to implement if they regain control of the chamber in November.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The plan proposes reinstating a top individual tax rate of 39.6 percent, which was lowered to 37 percent under the new law. The plan would increase the corporate tax rate from 21 percent under the new law to 25 percent. It would also reinstate the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax to the 2017 levels. This tax plan is a direct contradiction to many of NECA’s top tax priorities. NECA will continue to advocate for a tax code that is both fair and supports a business-friendly atmosphere.