NEA Monthly Report
While Congress was out of DC on recess for much of August, the Biden Administration kept busy with high profile announcements including additional aid to Ukraine and broad-scale student debt forgiveness for federal loans ($10,000 to $20,000 per student).
The week leading up to recess were busy ones on the Hill, however. Within the first 10 days of August, Congressional Democrats reached a deal and passed a large budget reconciliation bill, the Inflation Recovery Act (IRA). The bill included healthcare related provisions such as allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug pricing, as well as climate provisions aimed at reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Tax provisions were also included, with the most notable being a new 15 percent minimum corporate income tax on book income on large corporations (those with an average annual income over $1 billion). President Biden signed this bill, which passed along party lines, into law in August.
Appropriations Committee staff have also been hard at work this month, with the House preparing a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) to fund the budget through mid-December. This will allow them to delay passing a FY23 funding bill past the original deadline of September 30th until after the election.
Looking into September, Congress will be in for just a couple of weeks ahead of the November midterm elections. The focus will be on passing a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded into December, as mentioned above, as well as potentially trying to push through other, tougher priorities such as anti-trust and police funding legislation. Election season is in full swing, with primaries taking place around the country. It is expected to be a heavily contested cycle, putting the pressure on both parties as we head into the fall.
Inflation Reduction Act
> Passed in the Inflation Reduction Act are a few key provisions that may be relevant for NEA and its members:
> Penalties for companies that promise prevailing wages but do not follow through
> Clean energy tax credits
> Minimum corporate tax of 15%
> 1% surcharge on stock buy-backs
In August, the House Ed and Labor committee held no relevant hearings to NEA. In the Senate, there were hearings held on increasing access to dental coverage for employees. We will continue to monitor activity through the month of September as committee activity increases again.
Activity This Month
This month, we began our Hill engagements with NEA. These included scheduling meetings with Rep. Foxx and Rep. Stefanik’s staff who both sit in leadership positions in the House. We will keep them updated on the issues as they arise and on specific legislation we see fit or are requesting specific amendments and changes to existing legislation.
In the following months though the fall, we will continue to engage with members of the Labor committees in both the House and Senate. These meetings will cover issues specific to the member and provide NEA the opportunity to educate members and their staff on their organization. We will also plan to engage with committee and professional staff in both the House and Senate though the fall.