On September 23rd, the ABMA Legislative Committee met virtually to receive a congressional update from our Government Affairs Associate Pat Rita, outline our strategies for our current priority issues, and discuss our preliminary plans for our 2022 Legislative Conference.
Budget reconciliation, infrastructure, and the debt limit continue to dominate Congress. Republicans have repeatedly said they will not help the Democratic Majorities pass a short-term budget resolution or increase the national debt ceiling.
Funding for Federal Agencies expires on September 30th, and it is anticipated that the debt ceiling will be reached in mid to late October. As with previous congressional issues, the standoff will continue up to and possibly beyond the deadlines.
The Committee established strategies for the legislative priorities set at the August meeting. They are the infrastructure package, including potential tax law changes; workforce development, including CTE spending, immigration, and minimum wage; and a new Softwood Lumber Agreement to help stabilize lumber prices. The ABMA will be reaching out to members to schedule targeted meetings with legislators and yard tours.
The target dates for the inaugural, ABMA Legislative Conference in Washington DC are April 5-6, 2022. We are hopeful that an in-person event will be allowed. The Committee will continue to monitor Capitol restrictions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and we are prepared to pivot to a virtual event if necessary.
The Committee’s next scheduled meeting is Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 11am.