Capitol Hill Update

What’s in store for 2018? Perhaps an infrastructure spending bill?

According to the White House, after Congress approves its tax reform package, the next item on its legislative agenda might be a reform to entitlement programs, such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies to either encourage or require work for program recipients. The Administration has also cited infrastructure and healthcare legislation as additional items for 2018. Prior to the State of the Union address on January 30, 2018, the Administration plans to release a set of Principles for improving roads, bridges, and airports. The Principles call for allocating at least $200 billion in federal funds over 10 years to spur at least $800 billion in spending by states, localities, and the private sector. The Administration’s Principles allocate for federal spending in four areas: funding for states and localities, with preference for entities that generate their own funding; block grants for rural areas; federal lending programs; and funding for plans such as high-speed trains. The Administration’s Principles shift responsibility for funding from the federal government to states and localities by providing incentives for them to generate their own sustainable funding sources while encouraging them to work with the private sector.

At the NASBP Mid-Year Board Meeting, the Directors approved the Government Relations Agenda for 2018. Among those federal initiatives NASBP plans to pursue in 2018 are: removing the threshold increase of the Miller Act based on inflation (a NASBP-supported amendment to accomplish this was removed at the last minute during conference committee deliberations held this fall); collaborating with the Prior Approval Reform Coalition to repeal the Federal Election Commission’s prior written authorization requirement--permitting trade associations to solicit their members for a PAC contribution without having to receive prior written approval; and advocating for bonds in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill that establishes public-private partnership agreements for the construction and renovation of general aviation facilitates and ensuring the bonds are required on any infrastructure spending bill introduced this session in Congress. NASBP will provide members materials to address these issues at the NASBP Fly-in, which occurs on June 5-6. Be sure to place these dates on your calendars. Additional information will be coming soon in 2018.

Emily__Murphy_atNASBPFlyin.jpgNASBP was invited to and attended the swearing-in ceremony of Emily W. Murphy as the new Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA). NASBP submitted a letter of support to the Committee, the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, charged with Murphy’s confirmation. NASBP's letter highlighted how her distinguished professional career made her an outstanding choice to become GSA’s Administrator. Members may recall that Murphy has been a frequent speaker at NASBP Fly-ins when she was serving in her previous role as Counsel to the House Small Business and Armed Services Committees. Murphy was instrumental with enhancing opportunities for small construction businesses while making the federal procurement environment more efficient. During her tenure in her roles as Counsel, while working in a bipartisan fashion, her efforts led not only to significant reforms of the federal procurement environment to reduce inefficiencies and to eliminate avenues for fraud but also to expanded opportunities for small construction businesses seeking federal contract awards. She was sworn in by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney. Director Mulvaney formerly represented South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and has also spoken at the NASBP Fly-in. To review GSA’s press release announcing the appointment of Administrator Murphy and the swearing-in ceremony, see: https://www.gsa.gov/about-us/newsroom/news-releases/emily-murphy-sworn-in-as-administrator-of-gsa.