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Legislative Update

Gov't Affairs News

NECA Urges Congress to Address Critical Issues Before Year End

Dec 11, 2015

Congress entered the closing days of the first session of the 114th Congress to address two final pieces of legislation of major concern to NECA contractors. The first is a year-end omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government through the end of fiscal year 2016. The other measure is a tax package that would extend and make permanent several major business tax breaks and delay implementation of the so-called “Cadillac Tax.”

On December 8, 2015, NECA went on the record and urged Congress to address several critical issues that must be addressed before the end of 2015. In a letter sent to all 535 offices on Capitol Hill, NECA urged Congress to address the following NECA-priority issues:

  • Fund the federal government and all federal construction programs through the end of fiscal year 2016;
  • Extend and make permanent many of the important tax incentives of primary concern to NECA contractors that are currently scheduled to expire after December 31, 2015; and,
  • Support repeal of the 40 percent (or so-called "Cadillac") tax on high-end health care plans.

NECA’s Look Ahead:  NECA has been meeting with Congressional Leaders advocating for these critical priorities for the past several weeks. Congress approved a short-term funding bill that will now keep the government open through December 16, giving negotiators time to come to an agreement. The deal would provide $1.1 billion to fund the government through September 30, 2016.

Also under consideration is a deal on multiple tax provisions scheduled to expire on December 31st. NECA recently met with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and he said he and party leaders continue to negotiate the parameters of a large-scale tax package that could be in the $800 billion range. The measure would make permanent several key NECA-supported tax breaks including the research and development tax credit and the Section 179 small-business expensing deduction. Furthermore, the deal would extend for a minimum of two years and possibly as long as five years other NECA priorities such as the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar installations and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) supporting the development of renewable energy facilities. In what could be a major win for NECA contractors, the deal would likely include a two-year delay on implementation of the Cadillac tax from 2018 to 2020. 

Should the talks collapse on the large-scale tax deal, House leaders introduced a smaller scale two-year bill that would extend all tax “extenders” through the end of 2016 and will likely include the two-year delay of the Cadillac Tax.

NECA will continue to report on these priority issues in the coming days.