Change for Die Casting Following the Midterm Elections
While we are all glad the elections are finally over, voters sent a clear message to the White House with the midterm elections and put Republicans in charge of the House and Senate.
NADCA’s lobbying firm in Washington, The Franklin Partnership, recorded a short analysis of the elections and what it means for the NADCA agenda in 2015. Here are some of the summary points from this analysis:
Key Issues and Agenda for 2014
Based on preliminary conversations with Congressional staff, The Franklin Partnership has learned that Senate Republicans intend to pursue several priorities including rolling back or slowing EPA regulations, repealing the Medical Device Tax, passing a new budget, moving the Keystone XL Pipeline, among other contentious issues.
Based on their conversations with House and Senate Republicans and their staff, among the agenda items that could move under a Republican majority include:
- Changing the Affordable Care Act to make 40 hours a week full time employment again;
- Repealing the Medical Device Tax and delaying the Employer Mandate;
- Reforming the 340(b) drug pricing program;
- Addressing the “Doc Fix” – Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)
- Overhauling the Highway Bill and its Funding
- Tax Reform and/or making select provisions permanent (White House wants corporate-only reform);
- Regulatory Overhaul (requiring Congressional approval for certain regulations);
- Changing the EPA GHG Power Plant rule; Waters of the U.S.
- Keystone Pipeline/Energy exploration legislation
- Unemployment Insurance reform.
Congressional Leadership, Committees, Process
While Leadership elections will not officially take place until after the new members of Congress arrive, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) appears poised to retain his position despite an expected challenge from the more conservative faction within the party. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is also expected to retain his post along with most of the current House Republican and Democratic Leadership. Where we expect the most significant changes is at the Committee level.
Sen. McConnell will take over as the Majority Leader with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) serving in the number two position as Majority Whip. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is also expected to hold a leadership position, while Committee Chairs will likely take a higher profile such as incoming Commerce Committee Chair Sen. John Thune (R-SD). Outgoing Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) already indicated his intention to run for Minority Leader. The question is who will take over the second position of Minority Whip. Although Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) currently holds the Majority Whip slot, rumors are that he expects a challenge and may not seek the position, leaving Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) or another member to step into that role.
As Republicans now hold their largest majority in 86 years, they are likely to change the House Congressional Committees ratios to add more of their members and eliminating at least one Democrat from most panels. This could significantly affect Democratic members with fewer years of service on top Committees such as Ways and Means, Appropriations and Energy and Commerce.
Whether or not voters meant this as a wave election, there is no question the tide has changed the environment in Washington. Traditionally, a divided capital makes for a more effective government; however, the word compromise is still toxic to many elected officials. Will the White House bend and agree to work with Republicans? Will Congress embark on a string of never ending investigations into the Administration, which further polarizes Washington?
Especially in this era of divided government, it is important to have relationships and contacts on both sides of the aisle and within all factions of each party. The Franklin Partnership is well-positioned to advance NADCA’s and the die casting industry’s priorities and ensure their message stands out among all others. As an active member of the NADCA Board and a member of the Government Affairs Committee at NADCA I am very proud that we have retained the Franklin Partnership as our voice in Washington, DC. NADCA has an annual fly in conference in the nation’s capitol every year where we go to Washington and meet with our elected officials to discuss important matters that affect the die casting industry and manufacturing in the United States.
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