1. NECA Contractor Brian Morales Testifies on Capitol Hill
On March 26, 2019, NECA contractor Brian Morales, the President and CEO of Pro-Cal Lighting in Vista, California testified before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure. The hearing, which remained widely bipartisan, focused on the implementation and regulation surrounding the NECA-supported Small Business Runway Extension Act (H.R. 6330), which became law last Congress. This act extends the accounting period for determining if a business classifies as a small business from an average of annual receipts over three years to a longer five-year period.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Mr. Morales offered his insights as a small business owner on the benefits of implementing this five-year period and the repercussions for additional delay of its implementation. He gave a first-person account of the benefits of being classified as a small business.
2. Senate Rejects Green New Deal
On March 26, the Senate rejected A joint resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal (S.J.Res.8) by a 0-57 vote, with 43 Senators withholding a yay or nay vote and voting “present.”
NECA’s Look Ahead: This vote was an overwhelming rejection of the Green New Deal resolution originally introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). All Senate Republicans voted against the measure along with four Democrats (Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Doug Jones (D-AL) and independent Angus King (D-ME)). With this vote, it is unlikely that the Green New Deal resolution will be brought up again in the Senate this Congress. It remains to be seen what the Democratic-controlled House will do on the resolution. There is growing fear by House Republicans, including Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), that the “Green New Deal” would politicize an infrastructure bill.
3. Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Holds Markup
On March 26, 2019, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held an Infrastructure Markup.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The committee considered the following eight bills:
- H.R. 1108 – Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019
H.R. 1775– To establish a task force on NOTAM improvements, and for other purposes
H.R. 367 – Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019
H.R.1322 – To require a report on the effects of Climate Change on the Coast Guard
H.R. 1306 – Federal Disaster Assistance Coordination Act;
H.R. 1307 – Post-Disaster Assistance Online Accountability Act
H.R. 1311 – To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to ensure that unmet needs after a major disaster are met
- H.R. 1331 – Local Water Protection Act
NECA was encouraged by the markup, as it shows the eagerness of the House to address the problems facing the infrastructure needs of our country. This is a great first step in the ongoing process to pass a major infrastructure package this summer.