February 16, 2012
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden attended a briefing and press conference regarding the Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act of 2011 (H.R. 3634). Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-MI-2) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-14) spoke in support of the legislation, which would require Unicor, a government-owned corporation that employs federal prisoners, to compete with the private sector for federal contracts to provide goods and services.
February 13, 2012
February 10, 2012
The Small Business Administration has issued a final rule increasing the size standard for engineering firms from $4.5 million to $14 million in average revenues over three years. The rule will take effect on March 12, 2012. NSPE has supported increasing the size standard to allow more engineering firms to compete as small businesses.
February 9, 2012
The Senate agreed by a vote of 85–11 to begin considering its transportation reauthorization bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (S. 1813). The bipartisan effort is a striking contrast to the House's American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 7), which is also expected to hit the floor next week but has garnered no Democratic support and has come under fire from conservative factions within the GOP.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved by a vote of 4–1 the first licenses to build reactors in more than 30 years. The reactors will be built from a standardized design that promises to speed construction and reduce costs. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko was the sole dissenter, objecting on the grounds that the NRC has yet to finalize post-Fukushima safety enhancements. Nuclear energy currently provides about 20% of the United States' electricity.
January 25, 2012
NSPE joined more than 1,000 professional, trade, and non-profit organizations; businesses; and labor groups in sending a letter to Congress urging expedient passage of a long-term transportation reauthorization bill. The current law expires on March 31. The letter, part of the U.S.
January 10, 2012
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden participated in a Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services meeting. NSPE is a founding member of COFPAES, an organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the Brooks Act (PL 92-582) and the use of qualifications-based selection.
December 23, 2011
NSPE submitted comments on the 2013 federal locality pay program at the request of the Office of Personnel Management. OPM solicits comments from NSPE annually, when the agency must prepare a congressionally mandated report to the president that compares pay rates for federal employees with rates paid to non-federal workers in each locality.
December 9, 2011
The Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Portfolio, a White House report cataloging all federal investments in STEM education, found that federal agencies are investing $3.4 billion in 252 STEM education programs, with only modest overlap in investments and no duplication in programs.