1. National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 Goes Through Markup
On September 24th, the House Education and Labor Committee held a legislative markup of the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020. This legislation seeks to expand the role of the registered apprenticeship, codifying much of the existing regulatory language around apprenticeships, and would authorize nearly $3.5 billion over the next five years to expand such opportunities.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA has endorsed this legislation led by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and longstanding NECA champions like Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.). While the future of the legislation remains blurry in the Senate if it does pass the House, NECA and other registered apprenticeship advocates will continue to push for its signing into law.
2. Hearing on PPP Loan Forgiveness Held in House
On September 24th, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing titled, PPP: An Examination of Loan Forgiveness, SBA Legacy Systems, and Inaccurate Data. This full committee hearing focused on the testimony of William Manger, Chief of Staff to the Associate Administrator of the Small Business Administration. It sought to shed light on the program and the potential for the forgiveness of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP, instituted earlier this year, has been viewed by Congress as widely popular and remains a bright-spot for the legislative actions passed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA remains committed to ensuring the PPP remains effective and that the Small Business Administration maintains awareness of the real-world implications for their actions related to this program.
3. Agreement Reached to Fund Government Through December 11
This week, Congress and the Administration agreed to support a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government, H.R. 8337. The bill passed the House in a 359 – 57, 1 vote. In addition to funding the government through December 11, 2020, the bill also provides a one-year extension that authorizes appropriations for federal surface transportation programs through September 30, 2021. These programs were most recently authorized under the FAST Act, which expires September 30, 2020. The bill extends the Highway Trust Fund’s authority to spend money for one year, until October 1, 2021. It also provides a total of $13.6 billion in general fund transfers to the Highway Trust Fund, consisting of $10.4 billion to the highway account and $3.2 billion to the mass transit account.
NECA’s Look Ahead: This CR is expected to pass the Senate early next week. We will continue to advocate for the industry as the new December 11th deadline approaches.