Capital Briefing: June 19, 2015

Capital Briefing

#Manufacturing Tweet of the Week

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

This Week in Washington

NAM Highlights Ozone Rule’s Devastating Economic Impact.
The NAM’s ozone advocacy campaign continues to produce results. Big-city mayors and other local officials in states like Virginia, Missouri, Michigan, Colorado, Indiana and North Carolina as well as governors across the country are pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to lower its ground-level ozone standard later this year.

As the debate heats up, NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg testified this week before two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees at a joint hearing, titled “EPA’s Proposed Ozone Rule: Potential Impacts on Manufacturing.

In announcing the hearing, Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) cited the NAM’s landmark study that found a 65 parts per billion standard could cost the economy up to $140 billion a year, making it the costliest regulation in our nation’s history. The study, updated in February 2015, continues to be relied upon by the media, lawmakers and other thought leaders, with commentary this week in The Hill, The Washington Times and North Carolina newspapers.

The NAM also released a poll this week showing that more than two-thirds of Americans rate their air quality as excellent or good and more than half oppose stricter federal environmental regulations.

Read Eisenberg’s June 18 commentary, “Manufacturers Head to the Hill to Outline Ozone Fears,” in Roll Call. He will moderate a panel discussion on June 20 at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ meeting in San Francisco, Calif., on the challenge of balancing growing environmental regulations, such as the proposed ozone rule, and economic growth. The NAM will host a live Twitter Q&A during the panel. Please send questions using the hashtag #NoGrowZone.

Take action now to tell Congress that the ozone proposal is unachievable, unaffordable and would do more harm than good.

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

Hot Topic

TPA Clears the House and Now Heads . . . Back to the Senate.
The NAM relentlessly applied the pressure on Congress after last week’s House setback to move Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to passage. And, yesterday, thanks to our efforts, the House voted 218–208 to approve TPA.

“A majority of the House of Representatives put politics aside and decisively acted to increase U.S. competitiveness and to open opportunities with the 95 percent of customers living outside our borders,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons in a statement shortly after the pivotal vote. The Senate will take up TPA next week and aims to complete action before the July 4 recess period.

As we move to the Senate again next week, we continue to need your help to maintain momentum. Please take a moment today to call your members of Congress, send an e-mail or engage on social media to explain that TPA is critical for manufacturing growth. The NAM is ready to help any member companies with letters, op-eds and other information that would be helpful to make the case to individual members of Congress.

This week’s House action on a standalone TPA bill follows the initial votes taken on Friday, June 12, when the House approved TPA but voted down a separate part of the bill, Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). As a result of the negative vote on TAA, the House could not pass the combined legislation.

Having led the campaign for TPA for more than a year and a half, the NAM immediately went to work after Friday’s vote to promote a path forward as some thought TPA was no longer possible. Timmons’ message last Friday—“Manufacturers will not back down in this fight for expanded trade, for the future of our industry and our country”—was widely reported by news outlets, such as The Hil and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The NAM, of course, did not back down, and today, we’re closer than we’ve been in years to securing this priority legislation.

Details: Linda Dempsey, (202) 637-3144.

Trade Policy

NAM Calls for Serious Policy Reforms in India to Improve Relationship.
Approximately 80 members of Congress, policy experts, economists and industry leaders attended a policy briefing event—Is India Open for Business?—sponsored by the NAM and presented by CQ Roll Call and The Economist on June 16 in Washington, D.C.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons opened the event. “Just over a year ago, manufacturers were encouraged when Prime Minister Modi declared India ‘open for business’ and committed to incentivize investment—all great signs—but his hopeful rhetoric has not yet turned into concrete policy reform,” said Timmons. “Put simply, we haven’t seen the results.” Read Timmons’ full remarks here.

Featured speakers included Reps. George Holding (R-NC), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, and John Larson (D-CT). Rep. Holding emphasized the great potential in the U.S.–India relationship, but explained how the biggest barrier to U.S. investment is “uncertainty.” Rep. Larson highlighted ongoing concerns with respect to patent rights, intellectual property protection and other barriers.

The event received considerable media attention in the United States and India, including coverage by Politico (subscription required), Bloomberg/BNA (subscription required), Press Trust of India and Press Times of India.

A video recording of the event is available, and you can read more on our Shopfloor blog and website about the importance of improving the U.S.–India commercial relationship. The NAM serves as co-chair of the Alliance for Fair Trade with India.

Details: Linda Dempsey, (202) 637-3144.

Infrastructure, Legal and Regulatory Policy

Time Is Running Out.
House and Senate tax-writing committees began a public conversation this week about long-term transportation funding ahead of next week’s anticipated launch of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s bipartisan surface transportation proposal.

The House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees each held hearings on the Highway Trust Fund, and the NAM weighed in with both committees in support of a long-term approach to funding infrastructure.

Manufacturers are leading the way in calling for sound infrastructure funding. NAM members Dimension Fabricators, Inc.; Nucor Corporation; CNH Industrial; and Vermeer Corporation banded together during Infrastructure Week last month and visited members of the House Ways and Means Committee to advocate forward momentum on a well-funded, multiyear surface transportation authorization. More than 400 NAM members echoed that call during the NAM Manufacturing Summit earlier this month.

This week’s hearings signal that both committees have heard our message and recognize that time is running out.

The NAM will continue to push Congress to move a well-funded, multiyear surface transportation authorization this year so that persistent issues facing the nation's roads, bridges and transit systems can begin to be addressed.

Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to act now to take decisive action on a multiyear surface transportation authorization.

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

Tax, Technology and Domestic Economic Policy

House Votes to Repeal Excise Tax on Medical Devices.
The NAM continued its robust advocacy to repeal the costly excise tax on medical devices and called on Congress to pass H.R. 160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015. On June 18, the House of Representatives voted 280–140 to pass the bill.

Introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), the bill would repeal the 2.3 percent excise tax on the gross sales of medical devices. The tax, which took effect in January 2013, was included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and is estimated to assess some $24 billion in taxes on the medical device industry over 10 years. The repeal effort now moves to the Senate where Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has introduced a companion bill with 36 cosponsors. Meanwhile, the White House is threatening to veto the bill because it would remove one of the funding streams for the ACA.

Details: Dorothy Coleman, (202) 637-3077.

Manufacturers Urge Action on LEADS Act.
The NAM brought together a diverse coalition of three dozen groups representing thousands of manufacturers this week to urge lawmakers to pass the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS) (H.R. 1174/S. 512), which would clarify and modernize current law regarding government access to data stored digitally—an issue that will impact manufacturers as technology is leveraged to communicate with their customers around the world. The NAM also hosted a Shopfloor briefing on June 17 with LEADS Act author Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to educate Congress about the importance of passing the bill.

Click here for information about the NAM’s D.A.T.A. Center and how we are driving the agenda for technology advancement.

Details: Dorothy Coleman, (202) 637-3077.

Manufacturing in Action

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the keynote speaker at the NAM’s Shopfloor briefing on “Manufacturers and the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS)” on June 17 on Capitol Hill.

Photo by David Bohrer/National Association of Manufacturers

Get Involved

Don’t Miss the June Issue of Member Focus.
The latest issue of Member Focus, the NAM’s monthly digital magazine, features a cover story on why investing in infrastructure matters more than ever; an interview with Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) about the importance of the U.S. Export-Import Bank; a Q&A with Fluor Corporation Chairman and CEO and NAM Executive Committee member David Seaton about his company’s critical role in the energy supply chain fueling the manufacturing resurgence in the United States; and more.

Details: Christine Grimaldi, (202) 637-3089.

MFGWorks App Now Available for Android.
Android users can now take advantage of the MFGWorks app. The NAM developed this free app for smartphones and tablets to give employees, families and friends the power to take action in support of manufacturing while they are on the go. A version is also available for Apple devices. Download the MFGWorks app and share it with your colleagues, family and friends. We are all part of a growing manufacturing economy, and we need your help to keep positive momentum on Capitol Hill.

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

Upcoming Events

Association Strategies: Using Social Media to Drive Member Engagement.
NAM Social Media Manager Martha Sprague will be a featured speaker on a Bisnow panel discussion, titled “Association Strategies: Using Social Media to Drive Member Engagement,” on the morning of June 24 in Washington, D.C. Click here for more information and to register.

Registration is free, and you can sign up directly at

Details: Laura Narvaiz, (202) 637-3104.

The Week Ahead

Senate Hearings:
TUESDAY — The Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies holds a business meeting to mark up the 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

Details: Mahta Mahdavi, (202) 637-3176.

House Hearings:
WEDNESDAY – The Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy holds a hearing on the impact of the EPA’s clean power plan.
THURSDAY – The Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research holds a hearing to examine food-labeling legislation.

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

Economic Reports:
A number of key reports will provide a strong sense of the current state of the manufacturing sector. Markit’s preliminary manufacturing activity figures for the United States, China, Japan and the Eurozone will provide a window into potential, continued improvements in Europe and better growth in China.

Meanwhile, closer to home, we will get our first look at May durable goods orders and new manufacturing surveys from the Kansas City and Richmond Federal Reserve Banks. On Wednesday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will provide a second revision for first quarter real GDP growth, which declined 0.7 percent in the most recent estimate.

Other economic highlights will include the latest figures for consumer sentiment, existing and new home sales and personal income and spending.

Details: Chad Moutray, (202) 637-3148

Questions or Comments?

Contact Senior Director, Executive Communications Laura Brown Narvaiz at

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

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