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.
December 20, 2012
Louis W. Blessing III, P.E. (R) District 29, Ohio House
William Callegari, P.E., (R) District 132, Texas House
Rick Catlin, P.E. (R) District 20, North Carolina House
Bart Korman, P.E. (R) District 42, Missouri House
Mark Messmer, P.E., (R) District 63, Indiana House
David Omdahl, P.E., (R) District 11, South Dakota Senate
Stephen Precourt, P.E., (R) District 44, Florida House
Bennett Ratliff, P.E., (R) District 115, Texas House
Lake Ray III, P.E., (R) District 12, Florida House
Angelo Santabarbara, P.E., (D) District 111, New York Assembly
R. Wayne Smith, P.E. (R) District 128, Texas House
December 12, 2012
August 15, 2012
NSPE achieved a victory when the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued a final rule that makes permanent the additional safety measures authorized in the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill. The rule requires professional engineers to be more involved in the design and certification of offshore oil wells. NSPE General Counsel Arthur Schwartz commented before the Chemical Safety Board in 2010 that professional engineers should supervise all engineering design, operations, and maintenance of offshore oil wells. Specifically, the new rule stipulates that:
August 8, 2012
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden attended a White House teleconference with Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, Office of Public Engagement Director Jon Carson, and Office of Management and Budget Executive Associate Director Robert Gordon on the potential impacts of budget sequestration on science and technology funding. Budget sequestration—an automatic reduction of federal spending—will be triggered in January 2013 if Congress fails to approve a deficit-reduction bill with at least $1.2 trillion in cuts. The sequester is set to last from FY2013 through FY2021 and, if enacted, will have a profound impact on research and development and STEM education funding.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released updated guidelines on the use of single-step design-build. In response to outcry from the design community, the guidelines emphasize that the two-phase selection procedure is the only design-build contracting method authorized for civil works and for work the Corps performs for other agencies. The guidelines also stress that two-step design-build remains the preferred method for military construction, although single-step design-build may be used for some military construction projects under certain conditions. Unlike two-phase design-build, single-step design-build does not involve short-listing, so firms invest significant time and resources pursuing contracts but have a much smaller chance of winning the work. The expense of single-step competitions prevents many contractors and designers from competing.
July 13, 2012
The NSPE Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee met at the Annual Meeting in San Diego to discuss the committee's goals for the coming year and determine NSPE's primary public policy agenda for 2012–13. Based on committee discussions, NSPE will focus on the following federal issues: