September 12, 2013
On September 12, NSPE and NICET endorsed the Troop Talent Act of 2013. Introduced by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) in the Senate and Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in the House of Representatives, this legislation (S. 700/H.R. 1796) would facilitate improved alignment of specialty skills acquired in military service with civilian certifications or licenses required for post-service employment.
September 3, 2013
On September 3rd, NSPE submitted comments in response to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) proposed National Tunnel Inspection Standards for highway tunnels in accordance with MAP-21. NSPE commended FHWA for recognizing the critical role PEs perform in our nation's tunnel inspection process. The proposed rule requires that a Program Manager must, at a minimum, be a registered P.E. and have 10 years tunnel or bridge inspection experience and be a nationally certified tunnel inspector. While NSPE strongly supports the requirement that a Program Manager be a licensed P.E. and possess 10 years of tunnel or bridge inspection experience, NSPE urged the FHWA to eliminate the additional requirement to be a nationally certified tunnel inspector. Learn more.
August 9, 2013
On August 9, NSPE endorsed the Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2013 (H.R. 2750). Introduced on July 19 by House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), H.R. 2750 would protect the integrity of the federal procurement process and enable small and large businesses alike to compete for federal construction contracts. In a letter of support to Chairman Graves,
On August 9, NSPE sent an open letter to the new Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, urging him to strongly support and encourage the use of qualifications-based selection in the federal procurement process. In the open letter to Secretary Foxx, NSPE President Robert Green, P.E., F.NSPE writes, "Research shows that government agencies in the United States achieve lower construction costs, more efficient use of taxpayers' money, and higher construction satisfaction when procuring design and engineering services based on qualifications rather than price. By strongly supporting and encouraging the use of qualifications-based selection in the procurement of transportation projects, you can help ensure that the nation's transportation system will be safe, sustainable, cost-effective, and an example to other countries for generations to come.
August 1, 2013
On August 1, 2013, NSPE, along with members of the STEM Education Coalition, urged the U.S. House of Representatives to restore a critical funding provision to HR 2131, the SKILLS Visa Act. One of the primary immigration bills in the House, this legislation initially included a provision that would direct fees paid by employers hiring foreign workers to support improvements in U.S. STEM education that will help improve American competitiveness. This provision was removed from the bill during the Judiciary Committee's June markup for procedural reasons. NSPE joins with other members in the science and engineering community to advocate for the restoration of the vital provision. Read the letter here.
July 31, 2013
On July 31, Manager of Government Relations Arielle Eiser attended the annual Washington Internship for Students of Engineering (WISE) public policy presentations. Top engineering students from universities across the country presented public policy solutions to some of our greatest challenges. Presentations included the potential of biodiesel use as a viable alternative fuel source, reshaping the nation's intelligent electrical infrastructure to maximize energy efficiency and storage capacity, and revamping data management strategies for the smart grid to improve reliability, security, and efficiency.
July 9, 2013
On July 9, NSPE urged the House Appropriations Committee to revise House Report 113-90 on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2014 (HR 2216) to unequivocally identify that the two-phase, qualifications-based selection process be followed on all military construction projects. In a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), NSPE President Dan Wittliff, P.E., F.NSPE writes: "NSPE believes the two-step/two-phase selection process ensures that competent and qualified design professionals are initially involved in the procurement process so that quality-based design considerations are incorporated into the drawings, plans, and specifications consistent with the interests of the public health and safety." Read President Wittliff's letter.
June 19, 2013
On June 19, NSPE's Government Relations Manager Arielle Eiser attended a political action committee event for Speaker of the House John Boehner. Other U.S. representatives present were David Valadao (CA-21), David Joyce (OH-14), Mike Coffman (CO-6), Scott Tipton (CO-3), Jeff Denham (CA-10), and Rodney Davis (IL-13). NSPE's top legislative issues were discussed, including professional liability and tort reform, energy policy, infrastructure, and the need to strengthen the American engineering workforce. This was an excellent opportunity to cultivate and strengthen relationships with important members of Congress.
June 18, 2013
On June 18, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), and Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-MA-4) introduced the Educating Tomorrow's Engineers Act (S. 1178/H.R. 2426). This bill would integrate engineering education into the K-12 curriculum, provide instructors with tools and support to effectively teach engineering education, and promote research in engineering education. NSPE has sent a letter of support and is working closely with the sponsors to promote the bill and add new sponsors to this vital piece of legislation. NSPE has posted an Action Alert. Take action today!
June 12, 2013
On June 12, Manager of Government Relations Arielle Eiser attended a congressional briefing co-hosted by the National Science Foundation, ASME, and DISCOVER Magazine entitled "Harnessing the Power of Engineering to Improve STEM Education in K-12 Schools". Speakers from the NSF, the Museum of Science , and the University of Maryland School of Engineering all spoke about the critical importance of emphasizing engineering in education as early as elementary school. Studies clearly show that earlier engineering education improves student achievement, problem-solving skills, and increases the number of students interested in pursuing careers in engineering.