As we reflect on 2023, we can’t help but recall the immense challenges and changes that grabbed the headlines.
The year started with a historical 15 ballots to elect the new Republican Speaker, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). With his speakership off to a rocky start, many were not convinced he could lead effectively. His leadership woes came to a head when he temporarily extended government funding with Democrat support. A short 45-day deal to keep the government open past September 30 prompted Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to submit a motion to vacate the chair. Kevin McCarthy was removed from his post soon after. This action did not come at a convenient time, as another government shutdown, the second of the year, was looming. It took four nominees and four rounds of voting to produce the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson (R-LA). Speaker Johnson’s first act was to try to pass government funding without another extension. With the Republican party at war with itself, funding had to be temporarily extended again into 2024.
History was made again this year with the expulsion of a Member of Congress. George Santos (R-NY) was the first member expelled without a formal conviction, something many fear may set a dangerous precedent.
As we look to the second session of the 118th Congress, NECA is prioritizing infrastructure investment, permitting reform, and tax policy as our primary focus areas in 2024. Broad issues, including FAA Reauthorization, WRDA 2024, and a tax extenders package, will be major legislative packages we will advocate. Government funding will be our immediate first challenge, as the first of two major deadlines to fund the government for FY2024 is January 19. The team has already hit the ground running, aiming to secure contractor-friendly language and provisions in the final packages. As election season ramps up, we encourage contractors to meet with their legislators and potential candidates so we can elect an industry-friendly Congress. NECA will be spotlighting Representatives and Candidates as primaries approach. We are hopeful for another productive year and thankful for the continued support of our efforts!