Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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February Capitol Hill Update

Feb 25, 2021

Sunrise at Capitol Hill-155377753 600x399SMACNA’s Capitol Hill Staff has been working hard pushing forward legislation and other initiatives important to SMACNA members. Below is a look at some of the issues they’ve been working on in 2021.

KEY PROVISIONS IN THE HOUSE COVID PACKAGE DRAFT AS IT NEARS HOUSE VOTE. The House of Representatives is currently in the process of considering the next COVID relief bill with a vote expected as soon as Friday, February 26, 2021.It contains a third round of stimulus checks, extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, additional tax credits for families and workers, funding for K-12 education facilities, and support for state and local governments. Smaller, but-significant, expenditures include funds for COVID testing and vaccines, grants to small businesses, support for childcare providers, assistance for colleges, and rental and homelessness assistance. Read more.

MAJOR COMPREHENSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE UNDER DISCUSSION. President Joe Biden moved the talk about new federal infrastructure legislation into a new phase, convening a White House meeting with Senate public-works leaders to discuss broad principles they would like to see reflected in the envisioned legislation. A comprehensive, multi-sector infrastructure package would involve several Senate committees, each of which has jurisdiction over aspects of the package. Read more.

IRAP – PRESIDENT KILLS MISGUIDED PROGRAM WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER. President Biden has revoked the never-implemented but in-effect IRAP training program, which had sought to reduce the federal government’s role in creating and monitoring such training opportunities.

The Biden White House contended that the program has “fewer quality standards” than registered apprenticeship programs that are overseen by the Labor Department. Read more.

SMACNA URGES SENATE PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP ACT, H.R. 447. SMACNA urged quick Senate consideration and passage of the House passed bipartisan H.R. 447, The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021.  At a time where too many industry firms are seeing an increased demand for greater numbers of skilled workers but exhibit little interest in funding quality registered apprenticeship training, H.R. 447 is needed and worthy of federal support and encouragement. Read more.

For more information about Capitol Hill Update, contact the Capitol Hill office at 202.547.8202 or email Stan Kolbe or Erykka Thompson at skolbe@smacna.org and ethompson@smacna.org.