Legislative Update

115th Congressional Update - 2017 Roundup Edition

115th Congress, First Session ABC Priority Issues POTUS Activity On Nov 22, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), a bill that delivers the first comprehensive tax reform in more than 30 years, and gives our industry a simpler and fairer tax code that will lead to more economic freedom and global competitiveness. On Oct 16, Michael D. Bellaman, president and CEO of ABC, was appointed by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta to the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, created by President Trump’s June 15 Executive Order 13801. On Oct. 12, President Trump signed the Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States, which would expand access to association health plans and allow small businesses to have quality, affordable health care coverage. On Aug. 1, President Trump Welcomed ABC Small Business Leaders to a White House event highlighting small businesses titled, &ld ... Read the rest of entry »

Protecting Medicatid, Medicare and Social Security

Dear Friend, As you may know, the People's House is currently in the midst of a historic opportunity, a once in a generation chance at passing comprehensive tax reform to create more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks. Throughout the debate on this bill, there has been a lot of misinformation out there. Specifically, I've heard from people here in Eastern Washington who have been told that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act will cut funding to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. This simply isn't true. The fact of the matter is that there are no cuts to these important programs in our legislation. There are some who are resulting to scare tactics as a last ditch effort to keep taxes high for you and your families. They claim that our bill will trigger automatic spending cuts under the Statutory PAYGO Act. In reality, Congress can make the decision to exclude programs from statutory pay-as-you-go requirements. In fact, we have done so 29 times since 2010, including instances involving fundin ... Read the rest of entry »

Fair Elections or Special Protections

December 14, 2017 - Spokane - On December 18th, the Spokane City Council will consider Ordinance C35571. This campaign finance ordinance, dubbed the “Fair Elections Code,” is anything but fair as the following will point out. It’s possible that this measure was drafted in good faith, however, the version set to be approved by the City Council will likely break the election system giving more power and influence to PACs & political parties, labor unions, and incumbent elected officials. Many of these new rules will actually help PACs like the one Better Spokane operates or the firefighter union backed, Spokane for Honest Government PAC. There is needed reform to campaign finance laws, but they should take place at the state level. The biggest reason is that the City of Spokane cannot afford to devote resources to yet another bureaucracy, especially since this would be a duplication of what is already done at the state level. In addition, enforcing these rules on those outside the ci ... Read the rest of entry »

IPC-ABC Endorses Raul Labrador for Idaho Governor

The Inland Pacific Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (IPC-ABC) today endorsed Raul Labrador for governor of Idaho based on his strong support of issues important to our members. While serving in Congress, Mr. Labrador’s votes aligned with IPC-ABC’s core values 100 percent of the time. “I am absolutely honored to have earned the support of the Inland Pacific Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors,” said Labrador. ”This is an organization that is committed to growing American businesses, eliminating burdensome regulations and lowering taxes. I support its mission, and am proud of the work I’ve done to help the construction industry by defending our nation’s economy from the partisan growth-stifling tactics used by the National Labor Relations Board, and fighting the costly and unnecessary expansion of Davis-Bacon wage requirements.” Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association es ... Read the rest of entry »

Federal Update - Budget Resolution and Tax Reform Week

This week the House and Senate were in session, with the Senate voting to approve the latest disaster relief package and the House voting today to narrowly approve, by a vote of 216-212, the Senate passed Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 71) that will position Congress to move forward with comprehensive tax reform. ABC key voted the budget resolution, you can view a copy of the letter here. The disaster relief package provides $36.5 billion to help residents of Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas and includes $16 billion in debt forgiveness for the National Flood Insurance Program. The President is expected to sign the bill, which has already passed the House. The budget resolution allows for tax cuts of $1.5 trillion, requiring approximately $4 trillion in offsets to adhere to the overall plan that is expected to cost nearly $5.5 trillion. One of the most highly reported revenue sources has been the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which, if eliminated, would result in an estimated $1.3 trillion of ta ... Read the rest of entry »

ABC’s Mike Bellaman Appointed to Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion for all Americans

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16—Michael D. Bellaman, president and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), has been appointed by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta to the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, created by President Trump’s June 15 Executive Order 13801.  “I am excited to join Secretary Acosta’s task force to expand opportunities to citizens nationwide who want to live the American Dream while helping to build and rebuild our country,” said Bellaman. “As the president promised in his election night acceptance speech, every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential under his administration. That sentiment will drive this task force as we work to promote affordable education and rewarding jobs for all Americans.” According to the order, the task force will submit to the president strategies and proposals focused on four areas: Federal initiatives to promote apprenticeships; ... Read the rest of entry »

Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

EXECUTIVE ORDER - - - - - - - REDUCING REGULATION AND CONTROLLING REGULATORY COSTS By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, as amended (31 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1.  Purpose.  It is the policy of the executive branch to be prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of funds, from both public and private sources.  In addition to the management of the direct expenditure of taxpayer dollars through the budgeting process, it is essential to manage the costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations.  Toward that end, it is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and th ... Read the rest of entry »

115th Congress Federal Updates

August Recess Begins Summer vacation began in Washington on Friday. President Donald Trump left for two weeks in Bedminster, New Jersey, joining the just-departed Senate and House of Representatives for an August recess. Before leaving, the Senate moved to block President Trump from making key appointments during its summer recess, then wrapped up action until September by confirming dozens of presidential nominees. The Senate will hold nine “pro forma” sessions during its August recess, which would prevent the president from replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and officials in other positions without confirmation. The confirmation of nominees -- particularly a series of deputy secretaries -- clears the deck for lawmakers to tend to other matters when they return Sept. 5, including work on critical bills to cover federal spending, flood insurance programs and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as a plan to avoid defaulting on federal debt. Current federal government ... Read the rest of entry »

ABC Voters' Guide 2017

As many of you know election season is here again! By now most of you have received your primary ballots in the mail. Before voting ABC encourages its members to learn more about the candidates. With local council positions, judgeships and special state elections up this year, ABC cannot stress enough the importance of voting. Make sure to turn in your ballot by August 1st and please remind friends and family as well. ABC has endorsed the following candidates in this year’s election. Please feel free to call (509) 534-0826 with any questions or for more information about any of these candidates. Spokane City Council: District 2: Andy Dunau: “Together, we can build an environment that welcomes business, assures public safety, and protects our natural wonders without new taxes.” Tony Kiepe: "Less government regulation means small businesses can operate on their terms not the City Council’s. City Council needs to stop adding burdensome regulations that harm the econo ... Read the rest of entry »

Senate Releases Draft of ACA Replacement Bill

On June 22, 2017, Republicans in the U.S. Senate released a draft of their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). If the bill passes the Senate, it would need to go back to the House for approval before being signed into law by President Donald Trump. The Senate Republicans were pushing for a vote before the July 4 recess but indicated they needed more time.

Click here to view the ACA Compliance Bulletin which outlines the similarities and differences between the House proposal and American Health Care Act (AHCA). Updates will be added to the site as they become available.
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