1. NECA Urges Support for Bill to Streamline PPP Forgiveness
This week, NECA joined a large coalition and sent a letter to House and Senate leadership asking for Congress to pass S. 4117 & H.R. 7777 – legislation that would streamline the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness process along with expanding the hold harmless protections for lenders.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Congress continues to work through the necessary fixes for the PPP program and how it will relate to the pending COVID-19 Phase IV legislation. It is possible that this issue could be attached to the government funding bill, which needs to pass before September 30th.
2. FAR Council Issues Rule to Enact EO on American-Made Materials
On September 14, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued a proposed rule to enact Executive Order 3881, Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Product, and Materials. This rule would increase both the domestic content requirement and the associated price preference on domestic product under the Buy American Act. Currently, the FAR regulations do not separate iron and steel items from other types of items. This rule would include additional provisions on end products and construction materials with distinction between iron or steel items and others. Under this rule, materials qualify as domestic if they are manufactured in the U.S. and more than 50% of all components by cost are mined, produced, or manufactured here. The 50% component requirement would be waived for commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) items.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA will be monitoring the comments on this proposed rule. When a final rule is determined, we will update contractors on how this will impact the industry.
3. NECA Participates in Infrastructure Week
This past week, NECA participated in United for Infrastructure: A Week to Champion America’s Infrastructure. Now in its eighth year, United for Infrastructure 2020 (formerly Infrastructure Week) is a week-long event that advocates for better infrastructure policy and greater investment from all levels of government. Quality, affordable infrastructure – from clean water and broadband internet to safe transportation and strong supply chains – has never been more important.
NECA’s Look Ahead: United for Infrastructure 2020 is led by a coalition of labor, business and policy organizations and joined by hundreds of affiliates nationwide. Programming draws attention to the need to make better policy and invest in our roads, rails, pipes, ports, wires, and more. NECA takes an active role participating in this important effort each year:
"Just as America's infrastructure is our country's backbone, investment in infrastructure work is fundamental to the growth of our economy," said NECA CEO David Long. "At NECA, infrastructure projects present a real opportunity for our member contractors and their workers, and we have been vocal in our belief that the time is now for new policies, and greater government buy-in at all levels toward these projects that can put our people to work. Our vision is to empower lives and communities throughout the United States, and there is no better opportunity to accomplish that than improving America’s infrastructure.”
United for Infrastructure Executive Director Zach Schafer says: “We are thrilled that The National Electrical Contractors Association has joined United for Infrastructure 2020. The state of America’s infrastructure is one of the nation’s most pressing issues. As the country falls deeper into a recession, we know that investing in infrastructure can play a crucial role in our recovery, creating both short-term and long-term jobs that support middle-class families and allow communities to thrive. When we invest in infrastructure, we invest in ourselves.”
The Full Press Release can be found here.