1. On September 29, NECA submitted testimony along with the Campaign for Quality Construction for a hearing held by the House Small Business Subcommittees on Contracting and Workforce, and Investigations, Oversight and Regulation in support of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673. The Subcommittees called the hearing to examine the U.S. Department of Labor and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s implementation of the Executive Order for small businesses that provide goods and services to the federal government.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The testimony notes that effective qualification screening of federal construction contractors and subcontractors will yield returns to taxpayers through improved project performance. It further notes that the Executive Order’s provisions related to misclassification of employees as independent contractors will ensure fair competition and will stem abuse of workers’ rights laws. NECA will continue to work with the Administration and with Congress to ensure a workable set of procedures, regulations, and laws to raise qualification standards in the federal market and attract top quality performers.
2. On September 30, The House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), approved, in a 32-20 vote, to consider the NECA-supported H.R. 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015. The legislation focuses on modernizing infrastructure, improving energy efficiency and updating other federal energy policies. Although the Senate bill had some bipartisan support during August negotiations, and an early draft of the House bill cleared a subcommittee on a unanimous vote in July, Energy and Commerce Democrats were mostly opposed to the final legislation.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the ranking Democrat on the committee, said Republicans included a series of “significant and controversial changes” in the final bill. During the hearing, he faulted the bill for omitting funding for new infrastructure projects or pipeline repairs and replacement. Despite opposition, the bill is scheduled for consideration by the full House.
3. The 2015 NECA National Convention in San Francisco begins this weekend and we are excited to announce great opportunities to get involved with NECAPAC and government affairs!
NECA’s Look Ahead: Be sure to attend the NECA Government Affairs Update on Tuesday, October 6 at 8:00 AM for an overview on politics, legislative issues, and NECAPAC. Then, be sure to attend an education session on Monday, October 5 at 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM entitled, The Obama Administration and the Workplace: Issues for Today’s Electrical Contractor. For NECAPAC, there will be three prize drawings each day of the Trade Show for an Apple Watch, Bose Wireless Headphones, and a Cabela’s gift card. Stop by the NECAPAC Booth #1731 at the NECA Show!