1. NECA is pleased to announce that the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) will be speaking at this year’s National Legislative Conference.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Rep. Upton will discuss his role as Chairman of a key House committee and energy legislation important to NECA contractors. Also on the agenda are Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
2. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a new rule that redefines the definition of a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) by modifying what constitutes "investment advice." NECA believe this rule will have a disproportionate impact on many of our retirement planning services across the country for our employees - even for individuals who have their own private Investment Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA is very concerned this rule could have a detrimental effect on how financial advisors provide information to our trustees across the nation. It appears the proposed rule will raise the cost of professional and personal investment advice, decreasing access and choice for small businesses and small investors. NECA is committed to working toward a solution that further protects investors while expanding, rather than unnecessarily limiting, access to investment advice and investment choices. Recently, NECA signed on to a letter sent to Congress that explains the potential consequences to small businesses.
3. On May 5, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released its annual report entitled, Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State. The report covers the size, scope, and cost of federal regulations, and how they affect American consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Over the past few years, NECA has increased its focus on examining new regulatory proposals by the Administration. NECA has been tracking several economically significant regulatory actions that could negatively impact our contractors. In addition to the fiduciary rule, NECA serves on coalitions opposing this rule and has commented on other regulatory actions such as the Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, the proposed Crystalline Silica Rule, the Paid Sick Leave, and Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces proposed rules for federal contractors. Highlights in the 2016 edition of Ten Thousand Commandments include:
- The report estimates the nation’s regulatory burden amounts to a $1.885 trillion hidden tax on American consumers and the U.S. economy in 2015.
- In 2015, 114 laws were enacted by Congress during the calendar year, while 3,410 rules were issued by agencies. Thus, 30 rules were issued for every law enacted last year.
- Many Americans complain about taxes, but regulatory compliance costs exceed the $1.82 trillion that the IRS is expected to collect in both individual and corporate income taxes from 2015.
- Some 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,297 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline.
- The top five federal rulemaking agencies account for 41 percent of all federal regulations. These are the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human Services, and Transportation.
- The 2015 Federal Register contains 80,260 pages, the third highest page count in its history. Of the seven all-time-highest Federal Register total page counts, six occurred under President Obama.
- The George W. Bush administration averaged 62 major regulations annually over eight years, while the Obama administration has averaged 81 major regulations annually over seven years.