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NECA Legislative Top Three 4/12/19: Attention on Apprenticeships

Apr 11, 2019

1. House in Recess Without Budget Deal Reached

The House went into a two-week district work period without achieving a budget cap deal. House Democrats had called off a Wednesday vote on a bill that would raise budget limits for two years. This bill, if enacted, would have also avoided sequestration for defense and non-defense spending.

NECA’s Look Ahead: 
The vote was called off after the levels originally requested were narrowly approved in a Rule Bill. The fall through proposal is problematic for the party. Democratic members of the “Progressive Caucus” are holding firm on funding levels for defense and nondefense spending to be equal. It remains to be seen what type of deal will satisfy both progressive Democrats and Senate Republicans. Leader McConnell has signaled that a deal is still reachable and said publicly that his top staffers will begin negotiations with Speaker Pelosi’s staff during the two-week district work period.

2. President Trump Signs Executive Orders to Streamline Infrastructure Development

On April 10, 2019, President Donald Trump signed two Executive Orders to streamline Federal processes surrounding energy infrastructure development.

NECA’s Look Ahead: 
The two executive orders are a positive step to promote an efficient energy market especially as it relates to improving the process for issuing Presidential permits for cross-border and inter-state infrastructure projects. NECA is encouraged by the administration’s willingness to promote major energy projects throughout the United States and will continue to work with the Administration and Congressional leadership to promote infrastructure.

3. Sen. Daines Promotes Careers in Skilled Trades

Late last week, Senator Steve Daines of Montana visited the NECA/IBEW Joint Apprenticeship Training Center in Helena, Montana to discuss the benefits of the skilled trades and his work on making the access to these careers more widespread. The Senator spoke highly of his NECA championed legislation last Congress allowing 529 college savings plans to be used for costs associated with registered apprenticeships. The legislation which passed through the House twice is anticipated to be reintroduced in the coming weeks.

NECA’s Look Ahead: 
NECA will continue to advocate for any proposed legislation that benefits those entering our apprenticeship and looks forward to continuing our close work with Senator Daines’ office on these issues.