Washington Post said ACEC “has big business clout,” in a reference to its growing PAC and status as a “top contributor” to Congressional races.
Forty-four Senators signed the ACEC-backed bi-partisan preservation of cash accounting letter; and 175 Members of the House and counting have signed a similar letter that doesn’t close for signatures until the end of August.
Congress passed short-term highway funding legislation to ensure that the flow of federal funds to the states continues uninterrupted. While we want Congress to stay focused on enacting a longer term bill, we are pleased that Congress addressed the short-term problem with strong bi-partisan majorities.
Also, 242 ACEC members participated in our business webinar on the SEC Municipal Advisor Rule “exemption” for engineering firms – yet another issue on which there is significant member interest.
ACEC is lobbying hard for Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, as well as a responsible balanced approach to energy and environmental regulations. Heading into the August Congressional recess, lawmakers are now focused on the November election, which puts a premium on the performance of ACEC/PAC in helping to elect “ACEC friends”.
Our PAC has raised over $500,000 so far this year, but we need more to address our political agenda, and hence the strong push in all states to meet PAC goals. Our Fall Conference at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii is drawing near – register now if you haven’t already done so.
• Secured House and Senate passage of a $9 billion “patch” to the Highway Trust Fund through May 2015; defeated effort in Senate to “devolve” all current federal funding to the states.
• Senator John Boozman (R-AR), who serves on the Senate Appropriations and Environment and Public Works Committees, visited ACEC headquarters to discuss the importance of regulatory reform and long-term infrastructure funding.
• ACEC Executive Committee summer meeting focused on public and private sector practice issues, membership, ACEC’s political program/PAC fundraising, leadership training and the Emerging Leaders program.
• ACEC “action alert” engaged members in lobbying their legislators to preserve cash accounting.
• House passed ACEC-backed “bonus depreciation” legislation to allow firms to write off 50 percent of the cost of new equipment in the year it is purchased.
• Ran ads over the past three weeks in Politico (newspaper most widely read on Capitol Hill) in support of Congressional infrastructure funding efforts.
• Awarded ACEC/Illinois a Minuteman Fund grant to help defray the cost of repelling efforts by Illinois state agencies to impose adverse labor requirements and anti-QBS measures on engineering firms.
• Provided recommendations to the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets on how to improve foreign market access for U.S. engineering firms; continued to lobby Congress for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank; and met with Department of Commerce officials to address challenges facing U.S. engineering firms trying to do business in India.
• ACEC/PAC 2014 fundraising crossed the $500,000 mark in July – the earliest the PAC has passed this threshold.
• ACEC/PAC co-hosted fundraising events for Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. Jamie Herrera-Beutler (R-WA), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR).
• A large number of members (242) attended the webinar The SEC Municipal Advisor Registration Rule: Does the Engineering Exemption Protect Your Firm? which examined whether the “exemption” for professional services firms outlined in the Dodd-Frank financial services reform law applies to all engineering services.
• Released revised CASE Tool 2-1: A Risk Evaluation Checklist.
• Released new COPS Short Form Safety Plan for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Projects.
• July’s A/E business webinars included: The Five Inviolate Laws of Execution; Sharpen Your Communication Skills!; Defining A Winning Social Media Channel Strategy; The Meaning of Using Your Professional Seal; The SEC Municipal Advisor Registration Rule; The New Wave of Engineering Firm Websites; Creating a Social Media Policy; Getting Out? Know Your Options; Proposals that Lose: Anatomy of the Worst Proposal Ever; Business Continuity Planning for Severe Weather and the Impact on Engineering Firms.