Congress Approves CR averts FY-17 Shutdown

  • Government agencies will remain operational with funding through December 9th
  • Budget experts expect an FY-17 Omnibus in the December lame duck before target adjournment
  • 3 month CR includes $1.06 trillion in discretionary, $74.096 billion in OCO, and $1 billion for Zika 
  • A $3-6 billion OCO supplemental is coming in November to fight ISIL
  • Aid for Flint, MI water crisis $170 million was moved to the Water Resources Development Act (the only rider blocking the September CR in the Senate)
  • Republicans included their own rider – a provision blocking the Securities and Exchange Commission from requiring corporations to disclose contributions
  • Several budget anomalies are included (funding not requested in Pres-Bud)
  • The CR includes a conferenced Mil-Con and Veterans Affairs bill
  • Under the current CR the Pentagon cannot fund new starts including the following –
    1. Littoral Combat Ship – Anti Surface Warfare Module
    2. A-10 Replacement Wings
    3. Lot 1 acquisition of the CH-53K
    4. Ohio-Class Submarine Replacement
    5. Production Rate increases for F-35, E-2D, KC-46A, and Standard Missile (AGM-114)
  • While not perfect, the CR is the best possible outcome for industry and government during a Presidential election year

 

Cochran: Senate Continuing Resolution Passage an Important Step

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement marking Senate passage of a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through Dec. 9, 2016: “The continuing resolution will sustain government operations and ensure stability for our national defense.  It is a short-term fix that will allow the Senate and House to complete work on the FY2017 appropriations bills later this year.  I am committed to achieving that goal. “I am pleased that this measure provides record funding for our veterans and their families.  It also provides funding to meet urgent needs around the country, including the heroin and opioid epidemic, disaster recovery for flood-ravaged communities, and the public health threat from the Zika virus.” The Senate voted 72-26 to approve the continuing resolution.  It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.The inclusion of the FY2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill in CR marks the first time since 2009 that a regular appropriations measure was signed into law before the end of the fiscal year .Under Cochran’s leadership, the Senate Appropriations Committee completed work on all 12 FY2017 appropriations bills in record time this year.  The committee has worked under an accelerated schedule, setting records for the earliest bill markups in years.

Rogers: House Passes Continuing Resolution with Full Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Funding, and Resources to Address the Zika Virus, the Opioid Epidemic, and Flood Recovery

Washington, September 28, 2016 – House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today applauded the passage of critical legislation that would continue funding for the federal government beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The Continuing Resolution (CR) will provide funding at the current rate of operations for the government through December 9, 2016. It also includes the full year Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight and prevent the spread of the Zika virus, $500 million in grants to help states recover from recent floods, and $37 million to help fight the nation’s opioid epidemic. Chairman Rogers made the following statement on the legislation: “This is a necessary bill that will keep the government open and operating, provide resources for our service members and veterans, and address critical needs across our country related to the Zika virus, the opioid epidemic, and the recent, disastrous floods. “I have said many times before, a continuing resolution is a last resort. But, it is what we must do to fulfill our congressional responsibility to keep the lights on in our government. This legislation is a good compromise, and I am pleased the House has voted today to send it to the President’s desk.”

 

Export-Import Bank Announces Deal of the Year

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** from EX-IM Bank** Washington, D.C. – Today at its Annual Conference, the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM) recognized one American exporter that, with EXIM’s help, finalized a transaction recognized as the “Deal of the Year.”  The Bank also recognized three state-level organizations for their efforts to educate businesses on how EXIM can help employers of all sizes, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, boost U.S. exports abroad and support American jobs.

Deal of the Year Award: Acrow Bridge

Acrow Bridge is a leading manufacturer and supplier of modular steel bridge systems. Founded in 1951, Acrow built bridges for rapid rehabilitation projects following World War II. Today the company has built bridges in over 80 countries, with more than 1,500 Acrow bridges installed in developing countries since 2007.

With an EXIM-guaranteed $50 million loan extended by Société Générale to Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Works, Acrow shipped 55 American-made bridge sets to Cameroon, and in doing so supported an estimated 200 U.S. jobs in Parsippany, New Jersey; Milton, Pennsylvania; and New Castle, Delaware.

The modular steel bridges, which were prefabricated in the U.S., will contribute to the development of regional trade through the repair and modernization of Cameroon’s rural infrastructure networks.

State-backed European and Chinese companies also competed for the project. But, backed by competitive financing from EXIM Bank, Acrow won the contract.

Chairman’s Award: Association of Washington Business (AWB)

Founded in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is the oldest and largest business association in Washington state, representing nearly 8,000 small, medium and large employers. The association serves as the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturing association.

Washington is one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation. Since FY 2007, EXIM has authorized approximately $66 billion to support $144 billion in Washington exports.

As such, AWB understands the importance of EXIM for employers of all sizes, and works to educate its member businesses and local economies on the role that EXIM can play in expanding exports.

Chairman’s Award: Texas Association of Business (TAB)

Founded in 1922 by two San Antonio businessmen and merging with the Texas Chamber of Commerce in 1995, the Texas Association of Business relies upon its more than 4,000 members to boost the economy and stimulate job growth in Texas.

TAB has worked to increase awareness about the Bank’s mission to businesses across the state and educate them on how EXIM can help expand Texas exports.

Texas ranks as the nation’s leading exporter, accounting for nearly 18 percent of national exports. In fact, EXIM has authorized approximately $29 billion to support an estimated $33 billion in Texas exports since FY 2007.

Chairman’s Award: Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM)

More than 500 small and large companies from all across the state are members of the Texas Association of Manufacturers. TAM works to educate and empower Texas industry leaders, consumers, and the media with timely perspectives on issues and concerns that impact their industries and their members’ capacity to create jobs, and invest in Texas to keep the state prosperous.  And as part of that advocacy, TAM educates its membership on the various financing tools available from EXIM designed to help U.S. manufacturers’ export.

Conference Roundup

The EXIM Annual Conference Roundup can be viewed on EXIM’s website: http://www.exim.gov/events/annual-conferences/2016/conference-roundup

ABOUT EXIM BANK:

EXIM is an independent federal agency that supports and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees and export credit insurance, to promote the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad. Almost ninety percent of its transactions directly serve American small businesses.

In fiscal year 2015, EXIM approved $12.4 billion in total authorizations. These authorizations supported an estimated $17 billion in U.S. export sales, as well as approximately 109,000 American jobs in communities across the country.

FY-14 NDAA Amendments

The following amendments have been reported out of Committee from Chairman Levin and Ranking Inhofe, for consideration during floor time of the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. Below is a list with commentary on potential impact to DoD contractors.

***AS REPORTED FROM BLOOMBERG GOVERNMENT”***

— An amendment (No. 2121) by Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Texas Republican John Cornyn seeks a report on the potential for U.S.-made helicopters to be incorporated into the fleet of Afghan national security forces. In 2012, the U.S. government spent $10.2 billion on helicopters. The top vendor was United Technologies Corp. with $3.67 billion. Its Sikorsky Aircraft unit is based in Stratford, Connecticut.

The U.S. has been purchasing Russian helicopters from Rosoboronexport for Afghan forces. Earlier this month, the Pentagon said it won’t buy more Russian Mi-17s after completing a $572 million contract signed in June, Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio reports.

— An amendment (No. 2064) by Maine Republican Susan Collins and Maine IndependentAngus King would let the Secretary of the Navy settle litigation about termination of the A-12 bomber program in return for a $198 million credit from General Dynamics Corp.toward the DDG 1002 destroyer program and receipt of three EA-18G Growler aircraft from Boeing Co. worth as much as $198 million.

— An amendment (No. 2511) by Texas Republican Ted Cruz would authorize the secretary of State to pay a reward of not more than $10 million to any individual who furnishes information leading to the arrest of any individual who was part of the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

— An amendment (No. 2282) by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden would expand several test ranges: White Sands, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas; China Lake, Chocolate Mountain and Twentynine Palms, California; and Limestone Hills, Montana. The text was drawn from three bills that the Senate Natural Resources Committee approved on Nov. 14: S. 753, S. 1168 and S. 1309. Expansion of the ranges might present an opportunity for the contractors that already work at those sites. Those include San Diego-based T.B. Penick & Sons Inc., awarded $115 million in 2010.

— An amendment (No. 2204) by Levin and Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe seeks to extend through fiscal 2015 a program permitting military equipment to be loaned to other countries for personnel protection.

— An amendment (No. 2251) by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin seeks annual reports for the next five years on projected force strength, projected changes and the risks posed by those personnel levels.

— An amendment (No. 2442) by Delaware Democrat Chris Coons seeks a report on national security objectives in Somalia.

— An amendment (No. 2171) by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill and Arizona Republican John McCain would require a report on military personnel missing in action and on efforts to repatriate the remains of those missing in action or taken prisoner, going back to the Korean War. It also would direct the Pentagon to consider creating a single, central command responsible for accounting for MIAs and POWs.

— An amendment (No. 2031) by Inhofe would set up “Gold Star Family Advocates” in each service branch to serve as ombudsmen for spouses and dependents of service members who die on active duty.

— An amendment (No. 2038) by Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss and Montana Democrat Jon Tester would change the calculation of active-duty or active-service days to reduce the retirement eligibility age for non-regular service.

— An amendment (No. 2062) by South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham and Utah Republican Orrin Hatch would direct the Pentagon to ensure that in recruitment and enlistment all secondary-school graduates meet the same standards on tests, assessments or screening tools.

— An amendment (No. 2093) by South Dakota Republican John Thune would express the sense of the Senate that the Air Force should prioritize development and acquisition of the Long Range Strike Bomber and give high budget priority to upgrading the existing bomber fleet of Boeing Co. B-1Bs, Northrop Grumman Corp. B-2s and Boeing B-52 bombers.

— An amendment by California Democrat Barbara Boxer (No. 2081) would require a preliminary hearing to establish probable cause that an offense has been committed by the accused before charges are referred to a general court-martial for trial.

— An amendment (No. 2263) by Arizona Republican Jeff Flake would prohibit the use of noncompetitive procedures for offensive anti-surface warfare weapon contracts. The Defense Secretary could waive the ban if it’s determined that a waiver is in the national interest.

— An amendment (No. 2287) by Illinois Republican Mark Kirk would prohibit the integration of Chinese missile defense systems into the the missile defense system of the U.S. or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Turkey has extended until Jan. 31 the deadline for submitting bids to co-produce missile defense systems after the U.S. criticized the NATO ally for selecting state-run China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp.

— An amendment (No. 2348) by Nebraska Republican Mike Johanns would require quarterly briefings on the status of proposals to elevate the U.S. Cyber Command to a unified combatant command. The briefings would include costs and advantages and disadvantages of elevating the Cyber Command.

— An amendment (No. 2365) by Kansas Republican Jerry Moran would require the Defense secretary to develop a strategy for integrating the reserve components of the Armed Forces into the total force to support the cyber missions of the U.S. Cyber Command.

— An amendment (No. 2453) by Utah Republican Mike Lee provides that it would be the sense of Congress on further nuclear arms reductions with Russia that such reductions be pursued through mutual negotiated agreement and should take into account the range of nuclear weapons capabilities that threaten the U.S.

— An amendment (No. 2461) by Ohio Republican Rob Portman would provide for briefings on the status of implementation of certain missile defense requirements. The briefings would include progress on preparation of environmental impact statements and the development of the contingency plan for deployment of an additional homeland missile defense interceptor site.

— An amendment (No. 2283) by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand would reaffirm the missile defense cooperation between the U.S. and Israel and urges improved coordination of the two countries’ missile defense programs. The Defense secretary would be required to submit a report on the status of the missile defense coordination no later than a year after the enactment of the defense authorization measure.

— An amendment (No. 2415) by Virginia Democrat Mark Warner would require a strategy to prioritize which individuals with security clearances receive frequent investigation and random checks, focusing on individuals with the broadest access to sensitive classified information.

— An amendment (No. 2243) by New Mexico Democrat Martin Heinrich would reaffirm support for the military space program.

— An amendment (No. 2391) by North Carolina Democrat Kay Hagan and Nebraska Republican Deb Fischer seeks a briefing on plans for carrying out the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which was set up to dismantle Soviet weapons of mass destruction and later expanded into non-Soviet countries in Africa and other parts of the world.

Newsletter April 29th, 2013

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The Week Ahead
Capitol Hill April 29th, 2013 

Both chambers are in recess until Monday, May 6th.  Last week Congress approved H.R. 1765, a bill to end air traffic controller furloughs by giving the FAA flexibility to reprogram $253 million in furlough spending cuts. Legislators return home this week with competing immigration proposals at the center of debate. Congress is expected to act this spring to expand on a 1986 legislation creating a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s undocumented immigrants. Cybersecurity remains a priority with the House recently approving a measure to increase data sharing cooperation between businesses and the government. The White House has threatened to veto the measure which they believe does not include “reasonable steps to remove personal information” when sharing cybersecurity data. For complete details of legislation under consideration visit the “read more” link.

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Recess Schedule Highlights 

U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT
April 29th, Omnishore Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street, NW  8:30 a.m.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) holds the Ninth Annual Small Business Summit.

HOUSE ARMED SERVICES:  AIR-LAND FISCAL YEAR 2014
May 23rd, 2118 Rayburn 9:00 a.m.
House Armed Services (Chairman Turner, R-OH) will mark up the fiscal year 2014 Air-Land National Defense Authorization Act.

Newsletter March 25th 2013

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The Week Ahead
Capitol Hill March 25th, 2013

Both chambers are in recess until Monday, April 8th. Last week the Senate was able to narrowly approve its first Budget Resolution in four years before breaking for Easter. Four Senate Democrats voted against the measure, which includes a proposal to raise $1 trillion in new revenue from the nation’s top earners. Congress also was able to clearH.R. 933, the fiscal year 2013 Continuing Resolution agreement. The bill includes five complete appropriation packages with remaining levels set at the fiscal year 2012 enacted amount. For complete details of legislation under consideration visit the “read more” link.
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Recess Schedule Highlights 

BROOKINGS INSTITUTE:  AFGHANISTAN DISCUSSION
March 25th, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., Falk Auditorium, 9:00 a.m.
General John Allen, former Marine commander of the International Assistance Security Force will hold a discussion on Afghanistan.

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT:  QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORT
March 25th, 1401 Constitution Ave., 10:00 a.m.
Commerce Department’s Bureau of Census Report on Manufacturing, Mining, and Wholesale Trade for the forth quarter of 2012.

Fiscal Cliff

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The Week Ahead
Capitol Hill January 1, 2013 

Happy New Year to our clients and friends. As the U.S. technically goes over the cliff,  it appears the framework for a deal has been reached and is being finalized on Capitol Hill. Senator McConnell took to the floor yesterday to issue a final statement supporting tax cut extensions in return for spending cuts in the first session of the 113th Congress. The agreement which needs passage from both chambers could avert tax increases on most individuals. Tax measures must originate or be approved by the House which has not yet scheduled consideration of the Biden-McConnell agreement. While comprehensive details have yet to emerge, below is the basic framework of the Biden-McConnell agreement.
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What’s in the fiscal cliff deal ? 

As reported from Politico last night  — 

Income taxes: An increase to a 39.6 percent for individuals making more than $400,000 a year and families making more than $450,000. The previous for those earners was 35 percent.

Payroll tax: The small cut in the Social Security tax for all earners will be allowed to expire.

Alternative minimum tax: A permanent patch to keep more Americans from being subject to the increased tax level, which would have affected an estimated 30 million taxpayers next year.

Dividends and capital gains: Taxed at 20 percent for individuals making at least $400,000 and $450,000 for families.

PEP and Pease deduction caps: The Personal Exemption Phase-out (PEP) will be reinstated with a starting threshold for those making $250,000. The “Pease” deduction will be reinstated for those making $300,000 or more. Under former President George W. Bush, these deduction caps were suspended.

Estate tax: The estate tax will have a $10 million exemption with additional inheritance taxed at 40 percent.

Unemployment benefits: Additional benefits for the long-term unemployed are extended through the end of 2013. Those benefits expired on Friday.

Business tax credits: Tax credits for businesses, including Research and Experimentation Tax Credit and the Production Tax Credit, are extended through the end of 2013.

Stimulus tax credits: A five year extension of tax credits largely used by lower and middle class workers that were expanded as part of the stimulus, including the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and college tuition tax credit

“Doc fix”: Stops a 27 percent reduction in payments to Medicare providers using spending cuts as offsets.

Sequester: Still undetermined. Republicans are pushing for offsetting with only cuts in spending from other agencies and Democrats would like to use some spending cuts and new tax revenue to offset.

Newsletter November 26, 2012

The Week Ahead
Capitol Hill November 26, 2012 

Both chambers return from Thanksgiving on Tuesday with less than three weeks of session to fix the rapidly approaching “fiscal cliff”. Senate floor action on the Defense Authorization bill has slipped another week with leadership working to limit the number of proposed amendments. In the House, several bills are under suspension of rules which cover the federal postal service and it’s record operating loss. The House will also consider H.R. 6429 the STEM Jobs Act increasing green cards available to individuals with graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. For a complete look at legislation under consideration visit the “read more” link.
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Committee Hearing Schedule Highlights  

SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS: ARMS CONTROL
Full-Committee Hearing
Tuesday, November 27 Capitol Visitors Center
Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Chairman Kerry, D-MA) will hold a closed hearing to update members on arms control matters.

HOUSE ARMED SERVICES: 21st CENTURY CHALLENGES
Full-Committee Markup
TBD
House Armed Services  (Chairman McKeon, R-CA) will hold a hearing titled “Framework for Capacity Building Programs”

Newsletter November 12, 2012

The Week Ahead
Capitol Hill November 12, 2012 

Congress is back in session with both chambers returning Tuesday to a full agenda under the rapidly approaching “fiscal cliff”. A status-quo leadership remains after last weeks historic Presidential election. The outlook for compromise on a combination of tax increases and mandatory spending cuts is grim with less than a month of legislative days remaining in the calender year. A Hurricane Sandy Emergency Supplemental Appropriation bill is one of a few legislative vehicles guaranteed for passage before the holidays. Appropriators have been working on the supplemental measure which may include a sequestration bridge, delaying the “trigger” date until the 113th Congress has time to consider a permanent alternative. Several bills are under suspension of rules, including H.R. 6156 the Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act creating permanent normal trade relations with Russia.
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Committee Hearing Schedule Highlights  

SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS: EVENTS IN BENGHAZI
Full-Committee Hearing
Tuesday, November 13th
Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Chairman Kerry, D-MA) will hold a closed hearing on the attacks against the U.S. facilities in Libya

HOUSE RULES: PENDING LEGISLATION
Full-Committee Markup
Tuesday, November 13th
House Rules Committee (Chairman Dreier, R-CA) will consider rules for floor debate on pending legislation

Newsletter November 5th, 2012

The Week Ahead
Capitol Hill November 5, 2012 

The long road to 270 electoral votes should conclude Tuesday evening. 8 Senate races have moved into the margin of error category and are considered “toss ups”. This historic election will shape policy debate on Capitol Hill through the lame duck session and lay a foundation of whats to come in the 113th Congress. Both chambers return to session next Tuesday with a full agenda looming under the “fiscal cliff” scenario. The below combination of tax increases and mandatory spending cuts will dominate policy which needs consideration in the lame duck session.

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Committee Hearing Schedule Highlights  

**Congress is in recess until Tuesday November 13th**

Tax Benefits for Manufacturing

The Week Ahead
Capitol Hill October 22, 2012 

When 113th Congress convenes in January, debate resumes on several proposals to create and maintain tax incentives for the manufacturing sector. Current federal law contains nine provisions or tax incentives for corporations engaged in manufacturing. Current benefits include the deferral of active income from controlled foreign subsidiaries, the R&D tax credit, expensing of outlays for R&D experimentation, and the accelerated depreciation of capital assets. Tax preferences create a revenue loss for the U.S. Treasury as a consequence they can be viewed as federal spending. A total of 10 federal programs target assistance for both large and small manufacturing firms. The below CRS Report provides details of manufacturing tax incentives with the following provided:

1. A brief description of the tax provision.
2. It’s section in the federal tax code.
3. It’s current status: temporary or permanent.
4. It’s estimated cost in federal revenue FY 2012.
5. A summary of the tax benefit to manufacturing firms.

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 Committee Hearing Schedule Highlights  

**Congress is in recess until Tuesday November 13th**

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