We did it!

NRCA helped pass meaningful provisions in year-end federal legislation

After months of on-again, off-again negotiations, Congress passed a colossal piece of legislation containing COVID-19 relief and appropriations to fund the federal budget for fiscal year 2021. Signed into law Dec. 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 133) contains many of NRCA’s top legislative priorities—benefiting your business as the economy rebounds from the ongoing pandemic while providing for expanded workforce development and other provisions of importance to the roofing industry.

Big wins

With grassroots support from NRCA members, NRCA successfully advocated to ensure a new COVID-19 relief package with substantial benefits for the roofing industry was passed into law. One major victory was the reauthorization of the Paycheck Protection Program to assist small businesses affected by the pandemic with a policy change that ensures expenses paid with forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans are fully tax-deductible. This significant change will lead to sizeable tax savings for employers—money that can be reinvested in businesses and employees. A summary of the COVID-19 provisions of interest to roofing industry employers, including additional information about the Paycheck Protection Program, is available on NRCA’s COVID-19 resources page at nrca.net/covid19.

NRCA also helped make sure three top advocacy priorities were included: an increase in funding for Perkins Basic State Grants for career and technical education, important provisions of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, and the Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act.

Perkins Basic State Grants

NRCA is extremely pleased H.R. 133 provided an additional $52 million for Perkins Basic State Grants for career and technical education. These grants are distributed to all 50 states for CTE programs operated at the state and local levels and are critical to helping employers address workforce development needs. The increase in funding brings the total budget for the grants to $1.3 billion for fiscal year 2021. NRCA has made the reform and expansion of CTE a focus of its government relations agenda since the inaugural Roofing Day in D.C. in 2018, and these efforts are providing a positive return on investment for the roofing industry.

Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act

Large portions of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act—legislation to promote energy-efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors of the economy—were included in the 2020 year-end legislative package. These provisions are designed to expand energy-efficiency benefits by employing various tools to make it easier for private-sector energy users and the federal government to become more energy-efficient. The legislation will expand the use of commercially available efficiency technologies, including those manufactured and installed by the roofing industry, that help maximize energy savings in cost-effective ways for new and existing buildings.

Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act

NRCA joined industry allies in supporting the Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act (S. 1434/H.R. 5644) and is pleased it was included in the 2020 year-end legislative package. The new law will reform federal procurement by prohibiting the use of reverse auctions for design and construction services. There is broad consensus the use of these auctions for federal construction procurement is detrimental to the roofing industry. By prohibiting the use of reverse auctions in federal construction procurement, the legislation benefits roofing companies, ensures the quality of procurements for federal construction projects and protects taxpayers.

Successful together

Although 2020 was a unique year with unprecedented challenges, NRCA experienced great success in accomplishing key advocacy objectives with the support of members. NRCA thanks you for your efforts to engage in grassroots advocacy activities that are critical to making these victories possible.

Looking ahead, Roofing Day in D.C. 2021 will be held virtually March 23-24, and all roofing professionals are encouraged to attend. During Roofing Day in D.C. 2021, participants will advocate for increased funding for career and technical education, a strong buildings component in infrastructure legislation and immigration reform that meets the industry’s workforce needs. As you can see from the 2020 legislative successes, your participation in this premier advocacy event is vital and truly makes a difference.

Deborah Mazol is an NRCA director of federal affairs in Washington, D.C.

This column is part of Rules + Regs. Click here to read additional stories from this section.



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