Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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Capitol Hill Update: NIOSH budget cuts unwarranted

Jun 13, 2017

Capitol DomeIn letters to the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, SMACNA enthusiastically supported maintaining the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) FY18 budget at $339 million.

President Donald Trump requested a FY18 budget for NIOSH at $200 million—a significant cut that would result in NIOSH being generally unable to carry out its federal mandate under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) to conduct research aimed at preventing fatalities, injuries, and disease in the workplace.

SMACNA believes an increase in NIOSH’s FY18 budget is warranted based on its performance and value, however the Association recommended that the NIOSH FY18 budget be funded at the FY16 level of $339 million.

NIOSH is the only federal government agency charged with researching safety and health hazards across all U.S. industries.

Change order legislation watches out for small businesses

SMACNA supports “The Small Business Payment for Performance Act,” H.R. 2594, introduced by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-8th-Pa.). According to Rep. Fitzpatrick, federal contracts can lead to good jobs for small businesses, but can also result in many headaches.

While businesses regularly deal with change orders in the private sector, contractors and subcontractors on federal construction projects are often forced to bear a financial burden by the slow process of approval. Some federal agencies routinely delay the approval process until the end of the project.

This legislation stands up for small businesses by requiring federal agencies to make interim partial payments to contractors, allowing them to pay their own bills without being delayed until the end of the project. The U.S. House Small Business Committee recently held a hearing on this issue so be sure to make your voice heard.

Tired of being asked by SMAC PAC to complete a Prior Approval form?

Take action by asking your U.S. House of Representatives member to co-sponsor H.R. 2101, the Prior Approval Reform Act.

Trade associations are discriminated against because their political action committees are the only political committees that must first obtain exclusive permission from member companies before soliciting eligible individuals for support.

No other class of PAC, including corporate, labor union, and individual membership association, is subject to the prior approval requirement.

Visit SMACNA’s Advocacy webpage for more information and to take action on this issue and to support other legislation affecting the industry.