March 19, 2014
The National Society of Professional Engineers has urged Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) to reconsider his bill S. 496, the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship (FUELS) Act. The FUELS Act would substantially weaken the current EPA Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule, placing the public and the farmers it seeks to protect at increased risk of devastating oil spills. NSPE understands that some members of the agricultural community have concerns with the current SPCC rule. NSPE would like to underscore two important points, though: first, the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare must be of paramount importance; and second, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that most farms would be exempt from the rule. Read the press release.
March 6, 2014
Standing (left to right): Arthur E. Schwartz, CAE, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel; Karen Moran, P.E., F.NSPE; Arielle Eiser, Manager of Government Relations; Representative David McKinley, PE (WV-1); NSPE Treasurer Julia Harrod, P.E., F.NSPE. Photo Credit: Jim Forbes, Director Of Communications for Representative David McKinley, P.E.
February 27, 2014
On February 27th, NSPE's Government Relations Manager Arielle Eiser attended a political action committee event for Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT). NSPE's top legislative issues were discussed with the Congresswoman and her Chief of Staff, including transportation and infrastructure legislation and STEM education. Congresswoman Esty is a promising freshman Representative who has already shown herself to be an emerging star. She sits on two committees of great importance to the professional engineering community, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Congresswoman Esty cosponsored the National Engineers Week resolution introduced by Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL) on February 11th and she also cosponsored the Educating Tomorrow's Engineers Act (HR 2426). In a short period of time she has already shown herself to be a champion of engineers.
February 11, 2014
The National Society of Professional Engineers recently played a lead role in drafting the 2014 National Engineers Week Resolution, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Daniel Lipinski (IL-3) on February 11. The bipartisan resolution, H. Res 483, supports the goals and ideals of Engineers Week, which is being celebrated February 16-22. "This week is about building a foundation for the students," stated Lipinski. "They meet an engineer-maybe for the first time-and learn about the profession through hands-on activities and demonstrations, hopefully opening their minds to eventually considering engineering as a possible career choice." Recent studies have shown that while only 4 percent of the nation's workforce is composed of scientists and engineers, this group disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96 percent.
February 4, 2014
On February 4, at the request of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, NSPE President Robert Green, P.E., F.NSPE sent a letter of support endorsing the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014. Introduced by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), this legislation (S.1982) addresses the needs of the veterans’ community and responds to issues raised by veterans and their organizations in numerous hearings and private meetings. NSPE was specifically asked to address the professional license component of the legislation and commends S.1982 for acknowledging the need to protect the professional licenses of uniformed service members.
On February 4, Manager of Government Relations Arielle Eiser attended "America on the Move: Investing in U.S. Infrastructure". The event, hosted by Bloomberg Government and sponsored by Building America's Future and AutoDesk, convened key lawmakers and industry leaders to discuss the goals of reauthorizing the surface transportation bill in 2014, including ideas on how to pay for the nation's infrastructure needs, how to improve upon current policy reforms in MAP-21, and how to better utilize public-private partnerships. Speakers included House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shister (R-PA), Victor Mendez, Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
December 5, 2013
On December 5th, NSPE President Robert Green, P.E., F.NSPE sent a letter of support for S. 1579, the SCRA Enhancement and Improvement Act of 2013, to Senator Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Rockefeller (D-WV). S. 1579 ensures that our nation's service members are recognized for their invaluable contributions to our nation and for their personal sacrifices. NSPE particularly commends S.1579 for acknowledging the need to protect the professional licenses of uniformed services members. NSPE strongly supports Section 104 of the legislation, which states that if a professional license issued by a state or local licensing authority to a service member would otherwise lapse during a period in which such service member is eligible for hostile fire or imminent danger special pay, the state licensing authority shall delay the expiration of the license at least 180 days.
November 13, 2013
On November 13, Manager of Government Relations Arielle Eiser attended a House Committee on Science, Space, Technology subcommittee hearing on the upcoming reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act, which authorizes investments in science and engineering research and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education from kindergarten to the postdoctoral level.
October 30, 2013
On October 30 COFPAES met for its biannual Delegates Meeting. The COFPAES delegation, including COFPAES Chairman Chris Stone and COFPAES Treasurer Dan Hanlon, (accompanied by NSPE Manager of Government Relations Arielle Eiser) met with staff from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to promote QBS and advocate for a solution to the ongoing QBS violations in the GSA supply schedules. COFPAES then met for the Delegates Meeting. Topics discussed included QBS/licensing enforcement, GSA schedules, and design-build. COFPAES approved a plan to move forward with a white paper to initiate discussions with agencies that can serve as models or "centers of excellence" for contracting.
October 18, 2013
On October 18th, NSPE sent a letter urging the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to strengthen its qualification standards for filling federal professional engineering positions. OPM recently issued a proposed draft revision to the current qualification standards that would add ABET-accredited engineering technology bachelor degrees as qualifying for professional engineering positions. While NSPE greatly values the important role of the engineering technologists as part of the engineering team, the "professional engineer" is a protected term in all 50 states. The existing individual occupational requirements for a professional engineering position in the federal government do not meet the requirements for PE licensure.