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Government Affairs News

February 2024 Government Affairs Recap

Mar 4, 2024

February was driven by foreign aid, border, and government funding negotiations. The Senate worked through their first weekend since 2022 to complete and pass a $95 billion package that includes aid for Israel, Ukraine, and priorities in the Indo-Pacific. Meanwhile, the House had a quite embarrassing show while failing to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, failing to pass a stand-alone Israel aid package sans Senate support, and the border deal negotiated by both chambers falling through. The Speaker’s leadership abilities continue to be called into question.

This month also had a shocking number of retirement announcements and leadership changes. The future of many pivotal committees and now GOP leadership in the Senate is uncertain as we inch closer and closer to the elections.

Legislative Action
First Government Funding Deadline Has Arrived... and was Pushed Again
During the final week of February, congressional leaders announced that they have agreed to 6 of the 12 appropriation bills. Though they had made progress, in order to get the bills drafted and to the floor, the funding deadline needed to be pushed. An agreement was made, and the new deadlines are now March 8th and March 22nd. Congressional leaders aim to release the text of their first fiscal 2024 funding package this weekend, unveiling long-sought funding and policy details for the Agriculture-FDA, Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA, Transportation-HUD, Interior-Environment and Commerce-Justice-Science measures.

Once that first funding bundle is locked up, appropriators and congressional leaders will need to focus on striking a compromise on the remaining six bills — a much bigger challenge with perilous issues to work through, like border security and immigration policy provisions. As we near the April 1st deadline that triggers an estimated $73 billion in cuts to non-defense programs, many Republicans in both the House and Senate have begun advocating for this funding route. NECA continues to monitor the status of government funding to ensure construction accounts are fully funded.

Tax Package Update
After the January passage of the Bipartisan Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, H.R. 7024, the bill has stalled in the Senate. This pivotal piece of legislation addresses many expiring provisions from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-IA), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, is leading the ‘anti-tax bill’ charge. On Thursday, February 29th, Sen. Crapo released a list of provisions that would need to be added or addressed before he allowed for consideration of the bill. Of primary concern to Sen. Crapo is the lookback provision that would allow Child Tax Credit (CTC) recipients to use income from the previous year to claim the incentive. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who had worked with House Republicans to craft this legislation and specifically include the CTC, feels it may be too late for the proposed changes. These dynamics have further increased the uncertainty surrounding the bill.

If the Senate does not act before May, this will be a top priority at the 2024 Legislative Conference. NECA has continued to pressure the Senate to take action on this truly bipartisan piece of legislation.


Regulatory Action
$200 Million to Strengthen Registered Apprenticeships Announced
The Department of Labor announced the available grants to support public-private partnerships to expand, diversify, and strengthen Registered Apprenticeships. The Employment and Training Administration will use these funds to prioritize projects that support the Biden Administration’s Investing in America agenda—including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act—by expanding access to Registered Apprenticeships in high-demand sectors and occupations, including in the clean energy and supply chain sectors (including logistics, warehousing, transportation, and manufacturing).

$970 Million in FAA Funding Announced
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the award of $970 million in NECA-supported grants through the Airport Terminal Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve terminals at 114 airports across 44 states. The five largest grant awards went to:

  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida ($50 million)
  • Chicago O'Hare ($40 million)
  • Phoenix, Arizona ($36 million)
  • Washington-Dulles ($35 million)
  • Los Angeles and San Francisco (both receiving $31 million)

A complete list of the airports receiving funding is available here.

Chairman's Challenge: Maryland Chapter with Maryland Senate Candidate, Larry Hogan
On February 28, 2024, the Maryland Chapter attended an event for Maryland Senate Candidate Larry Hogan. At the event were Will Yull, Maryland Chapter Executive Director, Steve Petri, NECA District 2 Vice President, Al Aus of Alason Electrical Contractors Inc, and Ron Michael of Freestate Baltimore LLC.

Maryland Chapter with Maryland Senate Candidate, Larry Hogan | February 2024



Operational Fund Total

PLC Renewals

Chapter Goals Met

Meetings Held

Upcoming Government Affairs Events
2024 Legislative Conference – May 6-9 in Washington, DC
Register today for the 2024 National Legislative Conference! We are excited to welcome you back to DC for NECA’s annual fly-in on May 6-9, 2024. Registration is now open for all membership. We hope to see you there!

2024 Political Leadership Council (PLC) Retreat – November 8-10 in Marco Island, FL
The 2024 PLC Retreat location and dates have been announced! We are excited to host you all in Florida the weekend following the 2024 elections. Reach out to the team if you are interested in learning more about the PLC!