Electrical Contractors Advance Comprehensive Policy
Agenda in Washington
ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | FEB. 17 | WWW.ECMAG.COM
As President Donald J. Trump takes the reins in Washington, there are new players on Capitol Hill. And electrical contractors will be
making their presence felt as well.
Members at every level of the electrical construction
industry are working to advance an important range of issues
before the 115th Congress, which began its session on January 3, 2017. A robust legislative and regulatory agenda was
developed by the National Electrical Contractors Association
(NECA), and the concerns that impact the bottom line of electrical contractors nationwide are at the forefront.
NECA serves as the voice of the $130 billion electrical
construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the
U.S., represents electrical contractors from firms of all sizes
performing a range of services. While most NECA contractors
qualify as small businesses, many large, multinational companies are also members of the association.
“Many of the items that will be coming up in the next few
months in Congress are issues NECA has been discussing with
Congressional leaders for years and will affect the electrical
construction industry in a very positive and lasting manner,”
says Marco Giamberardino, NECA’s executive director, government affairs.
Among the priority issues high on NECA’s list include
infrastructure investment, comprehensive tax reform, repeal-
ing the so-called Cadillac tax on employer health plans,
multiemployer pension reform, modernizing energy policy,
and contracting reform..
According to Giamberardino, electrical contractors will
take the advantage of policy statements made by President
Trump and advocate for a significant infrastructure spending
package in the coming months, with a firm belief that this
issue is going to have a great deal of traction on Capitol Hill.
Giamberardino said an infrastructure bill could be released
later this spring. A robust investment in our nation’s infrastructure is essential to keeping electrical contractors in
business and their employees working, rebuilding our nation
and ensuring a sound economy.
Congress has been pushed by organizations like NECA to
work on a major infrastructure initiative that accomplishes
the following goals: finding a sustainable solution to fix the
Highway Trust Fund; modernizing our airports and air traffic
infrastructure; expand investment in federal facilities; authorizing and fully funding the clean water and safe drinking
water state revolving loan fund programs; supporting long-term investment in waterways infrastructure; building and
upgrading transmission line infrastructure; and upgrading
and modernizing pipeline infrastructure.
The reality of enacting the first major comprehensive tax
reform law since 1986 appears to be at at hand. Proposals by
the new administration and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) would likely include
significant changes to both the individual and corporate tax
rates. NECA has stated repeatedly that comprehensive reform
must be tackled as soon as possible in order to propel economic growth and make America more competitive. Those
changes would mean:
n Enacting corporate tax reform;
n Reducing marginal rates to protect small businesses;
n Eliminating the estate tax;
n Repealing the alternative minimum tax; and
n Addressing outstanding tax extenders items.
Action has already been taken by Congress to move toward
repealing President Obama’s health care law—and making additional changes.