1. Sen. McSally Introduces NECA-Sponsored Change Order Legislation
On November 14, Senator Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) introduced two pieces of NECA-supported legislation, both of which are critical pillars to NECA’s legislative efforts on Capitol Hill. The first, the Small Business Payment for Performance Act, would require federal agencies to pay 50 percent of the cost of work completed on a unilateral change order. The second, the Accelerated Payments for Small Business Act, requires the federal government to pay small businesses within 15 days, as opposed to the 30-day terms that are currently in law. Both pieces of legislation have companions in the House of Representatives, where they have garnered strong bipartisan support.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA congratulates Senator McSally for her efforts to rectify the delayed payment practices, which place undue risk on our contractors and force our members to act as banks, fronting the capital for federal projects. We anticipate both of these bills to gain the same degree of bipartisan support their counterparts have seen in the House and we remain optimistic for their overall passage into law.
2. Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Keep Government Open
Congress avoided a government shutdown by passing the NECA-supported Continuing Resolution, H.R.3055 - Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Further Health Extenders Act of 2019.
NECA’s Look Ahead: This bill provides FY2020 appropriations for several federal departments and agencies. It includes four of the twelve regular FY 2020 appropriations bills:
- Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;
- Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;
- Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020; and
- Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020.
The departments and agencies funded in the bill include:
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Justice
- Science-related agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- Department of Agriculture;
- Food and Drug Administration
- Department of the Interior
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Forest Service
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
Congress will have to pass the remaining eight Appropriations or provide another continuing resolution before December 21, 2019, to avoid a government shutdown.
3. Pension Proposal Released
On November 20, Senate Republicans released a pension proposal that will be the starting point for negotiations on pension legislation later this year. As of right now, we are pleased to say that the proposal does include composite plans and we will continue to push for this to remain in the final legislation.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA will continue working with Members of Congress and meeting with congressional leaders to make sure the industry’s needs are met, before final legislation is introduced.