1. The House is in recess until April 12. When the chamber returns from its two-week recess it is widely expected that some members of the Freedom Caucus, the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party, will launch a preemptive stike to deny party leaders the opportunity to hold a legislative session after the November election.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Cancelling the “lame duck” session, however unlikely, would force the House to be in session just 17 days for the rest of the year after July 15 and zero days after the fiscal year ends on September 30. NECA already anticipates that Congress will likely need a short-term spending bill to keep the government funded because it appears lawmakers will not be able to complete all spending bills on time again for the 22nd consecutive year. The members trying to impose the ban on the lame duck session are concerned Congress may allow confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee, a trade deal and a larger spending bill if allowed to hold session after the election season is complete. While preferable that important legislation is enacted during the regular legislative session, many important issues that are NECA priorities have historically seen positive action during this post-election work period.
2. On March 25 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced that is has published a Final Deauthorization Report detailing $14.25 billion of water resources development projects and separable elements that have been identified for deauthorization and not receive funding in accordance with the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA 2014).
NECA’s Look Ahead: This Deauthorization List identifies water resources development projects and separable elements of specific projects that meet the following criteria: 1) They were authorized for construction before November 8, 2007, or their most recent modification of the construction authorization predates November 8, 2007; (2) their construction has not been initiated, or, if construction has been initiated, there have been no obligations of Federal or non-Federal funds for construction in the current fiscal year or any of the past 6 fiscal years; and, (3) there has been no funding for a post- authorization study in the current fiscal year or any of the past 6 fiscal years.
3. Register for the NECA National Legislative Conference in Washington, DC May 18 and 19, 2016! The NECA National Legislative Conference is the premiere event for electrical contractors to hear about the top issues affecting the industry and meet the leaders who are working to provide real solutions. Our conference is about policy, not partisanship and NECA will ensure leading members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle will be on hand to brief participants on the latest happenings on Capitol Hill.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Congress is considering a multitude of legislative initiatives affecting the electrical construction industry, and it is imperative that your elected officials are aware of NECA's position on issues of importance to the industry. NECA will fully brief and prepare attendees for meetings with their members of Congress. All attendees will be provided easy to read issue papers on NECA's top issues to take with them on their visits.