Capital Briefing: November 6, 2015

Capital Briefing

#Manufacturing Tweet of the Week

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

This Week in Washington

NAM Pushes House Transportation, Ex-Im Package to Successful Vote.
With a strong bipartisan vote, the House this week passed H.R. 22, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, which would provide long-term investment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure. The legislative package the House voted on also included another NAM priority: a much-needed reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. Prior to the successful vote, the NAM sent a Key Vote letter to all House lawmakers urging their support.

“Today’s vote paves the way for modernizing America’s aging infrastructure, reauthorizing a critical trade resource and catching up to compete with the rest of the world,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said after final passage.

The NAM has been advocating a transportation authorization by the end of the calendar year. The NAM’s Key Vote letter stressed the need to invest in infrastructure to ensure U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. The House is expected to formally begin a conference negotiation with the Senate to agree on a final transportation package later this month.

The House accepted the Senate-passed version of Ex-Im reauthorization in the underlying bill, rejecting 10 amendments that would have altered the language. The House previously voted 313‑118 on an identical stand-alone bill. The NAM sent a Key Vote letter to members of Congress opposing all amendments that would have slowed the path to Ex-Im reauthorization. As the bill moves through a formal conference, manufacturers will continue to press Congress to enact a long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.

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

Hot Topic

Senate Votes to Block EPA Waters Rule.
Following the NAM’s Key Vote, the Senate passed S.J. Res. 22, a measure to strike the new Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of the United States” rule, by a vote of 53–44. For manufacturers, the regulation would subject an almost limitless number of new areas to permitting uncertainty, causing additional construction costs and environmental modeling burdens and delays, as well as potentially exposing facilities to administrative actions and litigation.

Earlier in the week, the NAM key-voted S. 1140, introduced by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), which would have struck the regulation and set a process for reissuing a clear and reasonable definition for waters with stakeholder input. However, the bill failed to receive consideration due to a Senate parliamentary procedure.

A federal appeals court’s nationwide stay is blocking the waters rule until the legal challenges are resolved. The court concluded that the NAM and other groups challenging the rule “demonstrated a substantial possibility of success” in their case. Since the EPA published its new regulation, lawsuits by dozens of business organizations, companies, environmental groups and states have been filed around the country. For more information about the impacts on manufacturers, visit the NAM’s water regulations webpage.

Details: Rachel Jones, (202) 637-3175, and Quentin Riegel, (202) 637-3058.

Trade Policy

NAM Evaluates TPP Agreement for Outcomes.
The NAM is undertaking a rigorous review of the full Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement text, which the White House released yesterday. The TPP is the largest plurilateral free trade agreement that the United States has negotiated. Since the negotiations began, manufacturers in the United States have been at the forefront of urging U.S. and other TPP country negotiators to conclude an ambitious market-opening, high-standard and enforceable TPP that will level the playing field and set in place rules that will improve the competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States in the growing Asia-Pacific region. The NAM intends to examine all provisions of the TPP that will have a significant impact on manufacturing in the United States and include a focus on the new rules and disciplines that the TPP will implement with respect to the five TPP nations with which the United States does not already have free trade agreements—Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam. These countries, which represent nearly half of the non-U.S. TPP population and more than half of non-U.S. GDP, are markets where the United States has been losing market share, as China has made substantial inroads. For more information on the TPP and our ongoing review, visit our Shopfloor blog.

Details: Linda Dempsey, (202) 637-3144, and Ken Monahan, (202) 637-3078.

Manufacturing in Action

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons meets with Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec) CEO Danny McCoy and Irish business leaders at NAM headquarters. Ibec, the national voice of business in Ireland, represents 7,500 member companies.

Photo by David Bohrer/National Association of Manufacturers

Get Involved

Download the NAM Advocacy App.
Contact Congress while on the go! The NAM developed the MFGWorks mobile app for smartphones and tablets to give employees, families and friends the power to take action in support of manufacturing—wherever they are.

Download the MFGWorks app for Apple or Android devices and share it with your colleagues, family and friends. We are all part of a growing manufacturing economy, and we need your help to maintain positive momentum on Capitol Hill.

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

NAM in the News

NAM Connects Manufacturers with Candidates Through Tele–Town Halls.
Manufacturers from across the United States participated in a tele–town hall this week with 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Sen. Rubio is the first to participate in the presidential town hall teleconference series hosted by the NAM, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Associated General Contractors of America, the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Retail Federation.

On the call, Sen. Rubio addressed and answered questions from manufacturers and business owners on key policy issues, such as labor, trade, tax, immigration and environmental regulations. The tele–town halls offer manufacturers and business owners an opportunity to hear directly from presidential candidates on policies that impact businesses and the economy.

This event was covered in press reports, including the Washington Business Journal. The NAM will continue this event series over the next few weeks. For more information, visit our webpage. Through our state-of-the-art NAM Election Center, we are manufacturers’ leading source for election information and tools.

Details:Mallory Micetich, (202) 637-3085.

The Week Ahead

Senate Hearings:
There are no hearings scheduled in the Senate during the week of November 9.

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

House Hearings:
The House of Representatives is on recess during the week of November 9.

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

Economic Reports:
Next week, we will get a sense of how confident consumers are as we head into the all-important holiday season. On Friday, there will be new data on retail sales and consumer sentiment, both of which have been softer than desired in recent data. On Thursday, there will be new figures on job openings, which have been strong of late. The increase in postings has given us some encouragement that hiring might pick up at some point moving forward. Other indicators to watch next week include the most recent data on producer prices and small business optimism.

Details: Chad Moutray, (202) 637-3148.

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