November 7, 2011
NSPE sent a letter with members of the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition to targeted Senate appropriations leaders urging them to support FY12 funding for the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the U.S. Energy Information Administration in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2354). Both EERE and EIA support and promote high-performance building. NSPE is a member of the HPBCCC, a coalition of more than 100 associations and corporations that seeks to heighten awareness and inform policymakers about high-performance building issues, including new building technologies, enhanced U.S. economic competitiveness, and increased energy efficiency.
November 4, 2011
Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden represented NSPE at a Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services meeting with General Services Administration Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Steve Kempf. 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.
November 3, 2011
Despite the strong bipartisan support H.R. 674 earned in the House, Senate passage of the bill remains uncertain. H.R. 674 would repeal a requirement set forth in the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222) that federal, state, and local governments withhold 3% of all payments to engineering firms and other vendors as tax. If the requirement is not repealed, the tax will take effect on January 1, 2013. Please contact your senators today using the NSPE Legislative Action Center and ask them to pass H.R. 674 without amendment or modification.
October 27, 2011
The House passed H.R. 674 by a vote of 405 to 16. The measure would repeal a requirement set forth in the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222) that federal, state, and local governments withhold 3% of all payments to engineering firms and other vendors as tax. If the requirement is not repealed, the tax will take effect on January 1, 2013. Earlier this week, NSPE signed on to a Government Withholding Relief Coalition letter to the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 674. NSPE is a member of the Government Withholding Relief Coalition, a group of more than 140 organizations that share the goal of repealing the 3% withholding law.
The American Association of Engineering Societies sent a letter to White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren requesting support for an Organization of American States funding proposal that would sustain and expand Engineering for the Americas' university-government-private industry partnerships. Engineering for the Americas is an international grassroots and governmental coalition that seeks to promote economic and social development in the Western Hemisphere by increasing the number of qualified engineers. NSPE is a member of the AAES International Activities Committee.
October 20, 2011
NSPE signed on to a Government Withholding Relief Coalition letter to the Senate supporting the Withholding Tax Relief Act of 2011 (S. 1726), which would repeal the 3% withholding tax enacted in Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222). The Senate may vote on the bill at the end of October. The House is expected to vote on its bill repealing the 3% withholding mandate (H.R. 674) next week.
NSPE Executive Director Larry Jacobson and Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden attended a Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future meeting. The Blue Ribbon Commission, which falls under the purview of the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy, has been tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including all alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense used nuclear fuel, high-level waste, and materials derived from nuclear activities. The commission issued a draft report of its findings in July.
October 18, 2011
Michael Molnar, P.E., has been appointed as the National Institute of Standards and Technology's first Chief Manufacturing Officer. The post was created to help accelerate innovation in manufacturing, enhancing U.S. competitiveness. Molnar earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in manufacturing systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently serves as Director of Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development at Cummins Inc. in Columbus, IN.
October 13, 2011
The House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 674, which would repeal a requirement set forth in the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222) that federal, state, and local governments must withhold 3% of all payments to engineering firms and other vendors as tax. If the requirement is not repealed, the tax will take effect on January 1, 2013. The bill next will move to the House floor for consideration. NSPE joined members of the Government Withholding Relief Coalition in sending letters to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI-4) supporting H.R. 674. Read NSPE's letter here.
October 6, 2011
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden participated in a Brookings Institution webcast on "Education Technology: Revolutionizing Personalized Learning and Student Assessment," where a panel of government, academic, and private-sector representatives discussed how education technology can enhance K–12 student performance and engagement. Speakers included Secretary of Education Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss, University of Washington professor and Director of the Center for Game Science Zoran Popovic, ePals.com cofounder and Chief Learning Officer Nina Zolt, and K12 Executive Vice President of School Services Chip Hughes.