Capital Briefing: July 31, 2015

Capital Briefing

#Manufacturing Tweet of the Week

Details: Martha Sprague, (202) 637-3083.


This Week in Washington

NAM Launches New Ozone Ad Campaign.
Just more than two months from the expected release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new ozone rule, a regulation that could be the most expensive in U.S. history, the NAM is turning up the volume on lawmakers inside and outside the Beltway. The NAM launched a new television ad campaign highlighting the negative impact of the EPA’s proposed rule. The proposed standards are so low that some of our nation’s most pristine areas, even national parks, could find themselves out of compliance, primarily due to high levels of “background” ozone that exist naturally in ambient air or are present due to factors beyond local control. Our most recent ad aptly asks the question, “If national parks can’t comply, how can your community?”

Also this week, the NAM, in coordination with the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, partnered with 269 organizations to urge President Obama to retain the existing ozone standard, which still has not been fully implemented. The letter is the focus of an ad placed in The Washington Post and The New York Times this week.

At a time when air quality continues to improve and stringent existing standards are still being implemented, it is critical that policymakers recognize the threat a new ozone regulation could have on manufacturers and the economy—and pursue a more balanced approach.

Click here for more information.

Details: Ross Eisenberg, (202) 637-3173 and Greg Bertelsen, (202) 637-3174.

Hot Topic

Senate Passes Multiyear Transportation Authorization and Ex-Im Hitches a Ride; House Opts to Delay.
With a strong 65–34 bipartisan vote, the Senate this week passed the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act (H.R. 22), which would provide long-term investment in the nation's transportation infrastructure. The legislative package the Senate voted on also included a much-needed reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. The Ex-Im reauthorization was put into play on Monday when the Senate voted 64–26 to adopt an amendment (S.A. 2327) to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, after considerable lobbying by the NAM. The Senate previously voted 67–26 on Sunday afternoon to invoke cloture on the amendment. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons issued a statement before Sunday's vote, and the NAM sent a Key Vote letter to senators on the amendment. A press release from Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) highlighted the role of the NAM in advancing Ex-Im.

This week's successful Senate vote on final passage of H.R. 22 signaled a commitment by the Senate to tackle important issues that improve manufacturing competitiveness and encourage economic growth. The NAM has been a proponent of the DRIVE Act since it was first introduced and passed out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The NAM's Key Vote letter to the Senate stressed the need to invest in infrastructure to ensure U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.

In spite of our aggressive efforts to help secure broad support for H.R. 22 and final passage of the legislative package, the House has no immediate plans to take up this bill. The House passed H.R. 3236, a short-term, three-month extension on Wednesday and left for its August recess. Timmons highlighted the lost opportunity in a statement on congressional inaction.

To prevent a shutdown of federal highway and transit programs on July 31, the Senate moved the House-passed extension but will continue to push the importance of a long-term solution when the House returns and the legislative session resumes. Throughout the August recess, the NAM will press Congress to act on a reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank and quickly pass a long-term, multiyear transportation bill.

Details: Lauren Airey Wilk, (202) 637-3141 and Robyn Boerstling, (202) 637-3178.

Human Resources Policy

Manufacturers Are Ambushed Again.
On Wednesday evening, the U.S. District Court in D.C. disappointingly upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush elections” rule. We will continue to fight this battle on all fronts. The court sanctioned the NLRB’s effort to overturn 75 years of settled labor law and tip the balance of power in favor of union organizers. Shortening the time frame before an election robs employees of the ability to gather the facts they need to make an important and informed decision, such as whether or not to join a union, and denies employers adequate time to prepare. It is critical that this rule be eliminated before it does serious and lasting harm in the workplace.

Details: Patrick Forrest, (202) 637-3061 and Joe Trauger, (202) 637-3127.

Trade Policy

NAM Pushing for Ambitious TPP.
Negotiations to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are taking place this week in Maui, Hawaii, with trade ministers from the TPP countries launching discussions late Tuesday. Discussions are expected to continue through the end of the week in an effort to close the entire agreement. A number of key issues remain outstanding following many days of chief negotiator–led meetings and bilateral meetings.

In an effort to focus negotiators' attention on manufacturers' priority issues, the NAM prepared, with substantial input from our members, a summary of our TPP priorities that NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons released with a statement on Monday.

Many of the issues highlighted in the NAM principles document are part of the endgame negotiations, including market access, intellectual property and investment standards, cross-border data flows and the overall enforceability of the agreement. It remains too early to tell whether negotiators will be able to conclude a final package this week, but the NAM will continue to prioritize outcomes that will protect and advance manufacturers' interests.

Details: Ken Monahan, (202) 637-3078

Tax, Technology and Domestic Economic Policy

NAM Weighs in with Congress on the Internet of Things.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing on Wednesday on the Internet of Things (IoT). Given the IoT is transforming every aspect of the manufacturing enterprise, the NAM submitted comments for the official record applauding the subcommittee's bipartisan leaders for their emphasis on this issue and committing to work with Congress and the Obama Administration on a sensible strategy that encourages the growth of the IoT and investment in our telecommunications infrastructure, rather than deploying rules that will chill further expansion of these enabling technologies. Subcommittee leaders indicated this is the first of a series of hearings on the IoT, and the NAM will continue to remain front and center, ensuring the government is a partner and not a roadblock to this game-changing technology.

Details: Brian Raymond, (202) 637-3072

Manufacturing in Action

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) speaks at the NAM's Shopfloor briefing on the importance of reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank.

Photo by Paul Morse

Get Involved

NAM State Allies Discuss Manufacturing Priorities.
Members of the NAM's State Associations Group came together this week with the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations in Big Sky, Montana. Association CEOs representing 23 states gathered to share insights on political issues, discuss best practices and strategize on issue advocacy. The meeting provided the NAM a way not only to multiply our message on advocacy issues, but also magnify our presence at the state level. During the meeting, participants discussed August recess focus issues, such as the Ex-Im Bank, a long-term highway bill, tax reform, Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and ozone.

Details: Amy Rawlings, (202) 637-3052.

Don't Miss a Beat During Your Summer Vacation.
You can take the NAM’s advocacy tools on the road with you this summer by downloading the MFGWorks app today on all of your Apple and Android devices. The NAM developed this free app for smartphones and tablets to give manufacturing employees, families and friends the power to take action in support of manufacturing while they are on the go. You can also catch up on your reading through MFGWorks by linking directly to the NAM’s Shopfloor blog and Member Focus digital magazine.

To download, simply visit www.nam.org/downloadadvocacyapp today, or search “MFGWorks” in the Apple App or Google Play Store.

Details: Leann Paradise, (202) 637-3049.

NAM Celebrates Manufacturing Day.
On Friday, October 2, the NAM will once again join manufacturers from across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada to celebrate Manufacturing Day 2015. Manufacturing Day provides the industry with a unique opportunity to expand the knowledge about the great benefits of a career in manufacturing and demonstrate the value to the U.S. economy.

Whether through a plant tour for community partners or an open meeting with your company's leadership and elected officials, there are many ways to host an official Manufacturing Day event. Manufacturing Day is a great way for you to increase public awareness of manufacturing, and companies are encouraged to host activities that fit their specific needs.

In addition, if October 2 presents a scheduling conflict for your organization, we encourage your leadership to consider other options during October. This year, some organizations will host Manufacturing Day activities throughout the month, creating an extended opportunity to educate interested parties on their operations.

For more information on Manufacturing Day, visit http://www.mfgday.com or contact NAM Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy Christopher Glen.

Details: Christopher Glen, (202) 637-3121.

The Week Ahead

Senate Hearings:
TUESDAY — The Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing to examine the impact of litigation at the EPA.

Details: Rick Limardo, (202) 637-3198.

House Hearings:
The House is on recess until Tuesday, September 8.

Details: Laura Ringdahl Siegrist, (202) 637-3038.

Economic Reports:
The big economic highlight next week will be the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of July jobs numbers. In June, manufacturers added 4,000 net new workers, which continues a softer-than-desired pace for the first half of 2015. We will get the latest data from the ISM Purchasing Managers' Index on Monday as well as new numbers on construction spending, personal income and spending and vehicle sales. Factory orders and shipments data are slated for a Tuesday release. On Wednesday, ADP releases its national employment report. Other economic highlights for the week include international trade numbers and consumer credit data.

Details: Chad Moutray, (202) 637-3148

Questions or Comments?

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