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Legislative Update

Gov't Affairs News

Advocacy: Top Three 3/17/17

Mar 17, 2017

1. On March 16, the Trump administration released its first budget entitled, "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.”

NECA’s Look Ahead: The ambitious budget, as proposed, would lead to the largest reduction in federal programs since the conclusion of World War II. Today’s release is a preview of the full detailed budget the administration is set to release sometime in May. The budget also proposes deep cuts to domestic spending while redirecting those dollars toward the military and law enforcement. The budget would still need Congressional review and approval and its current form, is unlikely to pass the House or Senate at this time.

2. In his most recent executive order, President Trump is directing federal agency heads to review their various agencies, departments, and programs, and to report back to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within 180 days a plan to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of their respective agencies. These reports are intended to act as the first portion of a significant reorganization of the federal government. Once reviewed, OMB will then provide the President with a plan to implement approved recommendations.

NECA’s Look Ahead: While this executive order is somewhat open-ended, NECA is pleased with the administration’s actions to hopefully relieve some of the burdensome red-tape and bureaucratic processes which hamper our contractors’ ability to provide their services.

3. On March 13, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan group tasked with evaluating the economic impact of legislation on the federal budget, released their review of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the proposed republican replacement plan to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The AHCA received extremely mixed reviews from the CBO, which estimated that while the plan would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over 10 years and leave roughly 14 million more people uninsured. Note that much of this saving is expected to come from lesser amounts of subsidies being paid which is anticipated to push lower income citizens out of the market. One bright spot highlighted from the review of the AHCA is the CBO’s finding that the plan would on average reduce premiums following 2020.

NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA remains weary of the proposed Obamacare repeal due to its lackluster findings in the CBO report and its continued use of the Cadillac tax, which would negatively impact NECA contractors and their workers. Visit our Legislative Action Center and tell you Member of Congress that the Cadillac Tax must be repealed.