NFFS Government Affairs Committee Advocates on Behalf of the Foundry Industry
The NFFS Government Affairs Committee (GAC) is responsible for identifying key regulatory and legislative issues with the potential to affect foundries prior to their enactment, and representing the industry’s concerns and interests to the appropriate government agencies and officials on a timely basis.
Below are just three of the actions taken by the NFFS GAC on behalf of our industry in the past 30 days.
1) NFFS endorses ‘Buy American’ amendment to the ‘Great American Outdoors Act’
On June 8, 2020, at the direction of the NFFS GAC leadership and the NFFS Executive Committee, the Society added its name in support of the ‘Buy American’ amendment to the ‘Great American Outdoors Act’ under consideration in the U.S. Senate.
The Buy America Amendment to S. 3422 was sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and, Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and would have applied Buy America requirements to construction materials used in the newly created deferred maintenance fund for national parks and public lands. The combined deferred maintenance backlog at the national parks and public lands totals more than $19 billion. This includes much-needed improvements and repairs to roads, trails, recreation sites, bridges, buildings, and water systems.
In an unexpected turn of events, on June 8th the U.S. Senate voted to invoke cloture on the Great American Outdoors Act just after receiving our joint industry letter. This means that all proposed amendments to the bill were rejected, and the bill moves to the full Senate for a vote on the bill as presented. The bill passed the Senate 73-25 on June 17. The U.S. House expects to address the bill this summer and the president has tweeted that he will sign it.
While the Buy American amendment was not included in the bill, this was a successful effort in getting stakeholders from multiple related industries to work in unison. This new found spirit of cooperation may be helpful in future endeavors. It also has demonstrated NFFS’ commitment to reviewing and commenting on legislation that affects our membership and our industry.
2) NFFS supports the surface transportation reauthorization bill
In June 2020, the Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society joined a multi-industry letter supporting the surface transportation reauthorization bill. In part, the letter asks Congress to pass a surface transportation reauthorization bill ahead of the September 30, 2020, deadline and emphasized that the bill would not only provide urgently needed jobs, but also lays the foundation for a more competitive U.S. economy for years to come.
On July 1, the House of Representatives approved the $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill H.R. 2, known as the Moving Forward Act, by a mostly party-line vote of 233 to 188 on July 1. This package was built primarily around the $494 billion INVEST in America Act surface transportation reauthorization bill adopted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on June 18 by a voice vote.
3) NFFS supports making general business tax credits temporarily refundable
While the country begins to reopen, the need for liquidity remains as urgent as ever. On June 22, 2020, NFFS added its name to a multi-industry letter supporting a proposal by the National Association of Manufacturers to make the general business tax credits a refundable credit in the next round of COVID-19 legislation. In addition, the letter requested that Congress consider adopting an additional tax measure in future legislation: accelerating the use of general business tax credits. This policy would provide liquidity to companies to help with reopening and rehiring.
Current law can prevent companies from fully utilizing general business tax credits, which include more than two dozen provisions, such as the R&D tax credit, work opportunity tax credit and renewable energy tax credits. Moreover, the economic downturn wrought by the pandemic is likely to reduce taxable income, further reducing the utility of these incentives. Accordingly, by amending Section 38 of the Internal Revenue Code to temporarily make these credits refundable on an elective basis, struggling companies will have immediate access to a source of liquidity that can help provide increased cash flow to support operations, including rehiring workers. As these credits can ultimately be used in future years, this proposal merely accelerates their use to provide relief during this crisis.