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Government Affairs News

May 2024 Government Affairs Recap

May 31, 2024

Congress was in session for four weeks this month. Of things to note were a failed motion to vacate, large foreign aid package, completion of FAA, and the start of FY2025 finding negotiations. On the presidential elections front, there are now two scheduled debates. One on June 27th and another on October 9th. The first of these debates will be without an audience and mics will be muted to limit candidates talking over each other. The intention of the limitations being placed on the debate is to allow voters to assess each candidate on their ability to have a productive conversation.

The 2024 Legislative Conference took place from May 6-8 with over 150 attendees from 26 states. NECA contractors met with almost 200 legislators to advocate for the electrical construction industry and their businesses. Thank you to all those that attended the conference!

Legislative Action
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorized for Five More Years

On May 16, 2024, the President signed H.R. 3935, the FAA Reauthorization bill into law. This bill authorizes $105 billion in funding through the next five years for FAA operations and programs. Below is a breakdown of the funding:

  • $66.7 billion for general operations
  • $19.4 billion for airport infrastructure grants through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP)
  • $17.8 billion for facilities and equipment
  • $1.6 billion for R&D

The legislation also codifies elements of the NECA-supported “one federal decision” policy, which expedites the environmental review process and streamlines the permitting process. NECA had been working with lawmakers on this bill since the House introduced and passed H.R. 3935 in July of 2023. After the changes made in conference earlier this year, all NECA requested provisions and funding amounts were included in the final version of the legislation.

FY2025 Government Funding Already Contentious

New House Appropriations Chair Tom Cole (R-OK) has made a splash by releasing a limited budget of $1.6 Trillion for FY2025. Funding expires on October 1st and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) alluded that these cuts will likely lead to the same fight last year’s government funding process had. Defense spending has increased by 1% while all other spending has been cut by 6%. FY2025 committee markups began the week of May 20th with the goal of finalizing all 12 in committee by mid-July. Below are the scheduled full committee mark-ups:

  • Thursday, May 23 — Military Construction-VA, and approval of 302(b) allocations
  • Wednesday, June 12 — State-Foreign Operations and Homeland Security
  • Thursday, June 13 — Defense, Financial Services and Legislative Branch
  • Tuesday, July 9 — Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment and Energy-Water
  • Wednesday, July 10 — Labor-HHS-Education, Agriculture-FDA and Transportation-HUD

NECA will continue to monitor FY25 appropriations as it moves through the House and Senate. We estimate over $100 billion in funding that could potentially benefit NECA contractors across the country.

Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Reauthorization Advances Through Committee
On May 22, 2024, the long-awaited water resources bill, S. 4367, advanced out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee with unanimous bipartisan support. The legislation includes:

  • 81 feasibility studies and eight new or modified construction projects.
  • Modernizing the Corps’ existing “ability to pay” authorities to help certain communities and clarifying the Corps’ “federal interest determinations” authority to advance feasibility studies.
  • Ensuring timely updates to the Corps’ online “permit finder” that provides the status of certain permits for projects.
  • Increasing the federal cost-share for inland waterway projects to 75 percent.

Regulatory Action
Domestic Content Bonus Credit for Energy Projects Under IRA Guidance Updated
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2024-41 to modify an existing safe harbor and to provide a new elective safe harbor for determining the Domestic Content Bonus Credit amounts under Sections 45 (Renewable Energy Production Credit), 45Y (Clean Energy Production Credit), 48 (Energy Credit), and 48E (Clean Electricity Investment Credit).

Notice 2024-41, updates the original one. The update expands the safe harbor to include hydropower facilities and clarifies that it applies to both ground-mounted and rooftop solar systems. It also includes additional manufactured components for certain projects.

Final Rule on Clean Energy for New Federal Buildings and Major Renovations Published

The Department of Energy (DOE) published a final rule which implements the Energy Independent and Security Act of 2007, requires federal agencies to phase out fossil fuel usage in new federal building construction or major renovations for projects started between fiscal years 2025 and 2029, and eliminates on-site fossil fuel usage in new projects beginning in 2030.

The rule applies to new construction and major renovations that exceed certain cost thresholds, including: (1) $3.6 million in 2024 dollars for federally owned public buildings; (2) $3.8 million in 2024 dollars for federally owned non-public buildings; and (3) $1.8 million in 2024 dollars for leased federal buildings.

NECA commented on the regulations that the Department should consider the entire multi-housing complex in its totality when determining the $2.5 million threshold to be considered. NECA also expressed support for the adoption of the latest ASHRAE standards.


Website Spotlight
Updated NECAPAC and Advocacy Sites Relaunch
Our updated NECAPAC and Advocacy websites are now live! You can visit the NECAPAC website here to learn more about the PAC and our impact across the country. Read about our top issues and stay engaged on our Advocacy website here. We hope that these websites are a useful tool for understanding and communicating the impact that NECA has on Congress and pivotal legislation.

    NECAPAC Total$290,800

    Operational Fund Total

    PLC Renewals

    Chapter Goals Met

    Meetings Held

    Upcoming Government Affairs Events
    2024 Political Leadership Council (PLC) Retreat – November 8-10 in Marco Island, FL
    We are excited to host you all for the 2024 Political Leadership Council Retreat in Florida the weekend following the 2024 elections. Registration for this event will open July 8th. Reach out to the team if you are interested in learning more about the PLC!