Capital Briefing: 60712

For the latest legislative updates and policy briefs, NAM members rely on their weekly Cap Briefing e-mail, which provides quick information on our top priorities in a dynamic format.

  
A Publication of the National Association of Manufacturers
Capital Briefing

June 7, 2012

Week_Washington

Missed the Summit? Ensure Your Voice Is Heard All Year . When manufacturers unite, great things can happen. Our voices are amplified, our messages are powerful and the impact is profound. At press time, hundreds of manufacturers are in Washington at the NAM's 2012 Manufacturing Summit to tell Congress that manufacturing means jobs. The Summit has been a whirlwind of activity, with manufacturers attending hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill to lobby for policies that will ignite the spark that will fuel a manufacturing renaissance.

to tell Congress that manufacturing means jobs. The has been a whirlwind of activity, with manufacturers attending hundreds of meetings on Capitol Hill to lobby for policies that will ignite the spark that will fuel a manufacturing renaissance.

In his opening remarks to manufacturers, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said, "You can make a difference in determining whether this country continues to tread water or whether we move forward with bold, pro-growth policies. Your advocacy can push lawmakers across the finish line." In addition, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) each addressed Summit attendees and discussed ways that Congress can ensure the continued growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.

NAM Board Chair Mary Andringa, president and CEO of the Vermeer Corp.; NAM Board Vice Chair Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc.; Kellie Johnson, president of Ace Clearwater Enterprises; and Al Lubrano, president of Materion Technical Materials each gave personal experiences of the importance of advocating for manufacturing and that every manufacturers' voice makes a difference.

In an op-ed in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call , Andringa and Oberhelman reiterated the importance of being an advocate. "Where the federal government has a role to play, manufacturers must be engaged," they wrote.

Even if you couldn't join us at this year's Manufacturing Summit , you can still ensure that your voice is heard and your story is told year-round. Telling a story of how a particular issue directly impacts you, your company and your employees can really have an impact on a member of Congress if he or she is undecided on the issue and how to vote. That is why it is so crucial, especially in this election year, to reinforce the importance of manufacturing to your member of Congress. How? The NAM offers several tools for you to be an advocate for manufacturing right from your own home.

Manufacturing Works: Advocacy on the Move , the NAM's online advocacy program, is your one-stop shop to engage with members of Congress and be the voice for manufacturing. The program unites manufacturers from across the country to let lawmakers know that manufacturing does mean jobs, and the decisions they make have a profound and lasting impact on manufacturing. Manufacturing Works allows you to easily send an e-mail or place a call to your members of Congress to let them know where you stand on an issue. You can also set up a meeting or plant tour with lawmakers when they are in your district, and the NAM can provide the tips you need to ensure a successful visit. You can submit an op-ed to your local newspaper on an issue that hits close to home. The site also provides a link to the 2012 Elections Resource Center as well as to upcoming events and news. If you missed this year's Manufacturing Summit , you can catch all the latest news, updates and photos by following the NAM on Twitter (#namsummit) and joining the NAM's Facebook page .

In addition, the NAM's A Manufacturing Renaissance: Four Goals for Economic Growth offers you numerous facts pertaining to investment, trade, the workforce and innovation that you can use to tell Congress the importance of creating an agenda that fosters a strong, thriving manufacturing sector and puts policies above politics and personal agendas.

As the NAM's 2012 Manufacturing Summit winds down, there's still plenty to do. To be an advocate for manufacturing requires more than two days of lobbying on Capitol Hill. It requires a continuous effort that tells Congress we need their support 24/7, 365 days a year. Can we count on you? Let's urge our members of Congress to support key manufacturing issues that will pave the way for a manufacturing renaissance.

Details: Meredith Nethercutt , (202) 637-3121.

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Hot Topic

Senate Rejects Bill Creating New Ways to Sue Employers . On Tuesday, June 5, by a vote of 52-47, the Senate rejected moving forward with the Paycheck Fairness Act. Sixty votes were needed to move the measure forward, and the votes were largely along party lines, with the exception of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who, in a procedural move, switched his vote at the last minute so he can bring the bill up again at a later date. The Paycheck Fairness Act would impose vast government control over how employers compensate their employees and will unnecessarily increase litigation. The legislation is particularly troubling for small businesses given the penalties outlined in the bill, such as unlimited damages even if the pay discrepancy was unintentional. The NAM key voted Tuesday's vote and opposes the extension of government authority over businesses' wage systems based on general and unproven accusations of gender-based pay discrimination.

Details: Amanda Wood , (202) 637-3128 and Joe Trauger , (202) 637-3127.

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Human Resources Policy

House Committee Takes Up Workforce Training . On Thursday, June 7, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will be marking up the Workforce Investment Improvement Act (WIA) of 2012 (H.R. 4297). The reauthorization aims to update the original WIA bill, which was passed into law in 1998. In recent years, the workforce skills gap has become an increasingly pressing issue for manufacturers, who cannot find qualified workers to fill positions. Therefore, the NAM is pleased that House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) has included industry-recognized credentials as a common performance measure. The bill represents the committee's acknowledgement of the benefits of these programs. Additionally, the bill eliminates the sequence of service provisions, promotes co-locating of training sites, eliminates outdated workforce boards and increases the business role on workforce boards. There is still work to be done on the legislation, but it is a step in the right direction to reforming the workforce system.

Details: Christine Scullion , (202) 637-3133.

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Energy and Resources Policy

Republicans Respond to Manufacturers' Call for an "All-of-the-Above" Energy Package . On Wednesday, June 6, House Republicans unveiled the newest energy package of this Congress""the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act. The House will likely consider the legislation the week of June 18. The package includes seven bills that committees have already passed and focuses on a variety of issues ranging from energy development to EPA regulations. The package stresses the importance of energy development to both job creation and energy prices for consumers at the pump. The following bills are included in the package: Strategic Energy Production Act, Gasoline Regulations Act, Planning for American Energy Act, Providing Leasing Certainty for American Energy Act, Streamlining Permitting of American Energy Act, National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Live Internet Auctions Act. These measures vary in focus, from requiring the President to open different federal lands to leasing for energy projects to pushing back the implementation of some of the EPA's air rules. The package is expected to pass the House without difficulty. Access to affordable energy is of paramount importance to individual consumers who continue to pay a premium at the pump but also for manufacturers who use one-third of all the energy consumed in the United States. Policies that foster energy production and curtail overregulation support our economic recovery and growth from the producers down to the consumers. The NAM supports the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act and is pleased Congress continues to push for greater domestic energy development.

Details: Ross Eisenberg , (202) 637-3173 and Chip Yost , (202) 637-3175.

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Infrastructure Legal and Regulatory Policy

NAM Speaks Out Against Burdensome Regulations . On Monday, June 4, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons sent a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform identifying high-priority regulations that are negatively impacting jobs, the economy and our economic competitiveness. The letter is in response to the committee's request asking the NAM to identify proposed and existing regulations that harm manufacturers' competitiveness and ability to create jobs. The NAM's letter provides an update on regulatory priorities that were previously provided to the committee, outlines additional specific regulations in need of reform and includes a section on regulatory reform. In a recent NAM/ IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers , more than 62 percent of respondents said that an unfavorable business climate caused by regulations and taxes is the top challenge facing businesses. As the NAM letter highlights, the burden of environmental regulation falls disproportionately on manufacturers, and it is heaviest on small manufacturers because economies of scale often do not affect their compliance costs.

Details: Erik Glavich , (202) 637-3179.

NAM Urges Conference Committee to Support Energy and Pension Provisions in Highway Bill . As House surface transportation conferees weigh a proposal presented by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) this week, manufacturers outlined key policy priorities for the conference committee and urged members to reach a negotiated bipartisan agreement by June 30. The surface transportation authorization helps maintain competitiveness, and manufacturers throughout the construction supply chain benefit when resources are committed to roads, bridges and transit systems. Manufacturers also support final approval of the Keystone XL pipeline in conjunction with the surface transportation authorization, as well as provisions that address pension stabilization and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) pending coal ash regulations. Manufacturers remain opposed to language in the highway safety title of S. 1813, which incorporates the language of the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011.

Details: Robyn Boerstling , (202) 637-3178.

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Details: Monica McGuire , (202) 637-3076.

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Manufacturers In The Courts

Federal Court Dismisses Greenhouse Gas "Public Trust" Lawsuit . Manufacturers achieved a victory last week when a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that attempted to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and five federal departments to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent each year. The judge threw out Alec L. v. Jackson , saying that there is no federal jurisdiction over claims grounded on the theory that the government holds the air and water in a public trust, and that if such a claim were subject to federal jurisdiction, EPA regulation has displaced it. This is a clear win for manufacturers in a series of disparate cases brought by environmental groups to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Details: Quentin Riegel , (202) 637-3058.

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Details: Wendy McIntyre , (202) 637-3197.

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Questions or comments? Please contact Clare James Johnson at cjohnson@nam.org .

President and CEO: Jay Timmons
Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Relations: Aric Newhouse
Senior Vice President, Communications: Erin Streeter

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