Ridge Policy Group (RPG), a top lobbying firm in Washington, DC, and Harrisburg, PA, provides many services to their clients to make sure they are up to date on all government activity. One of these services is providing detailed bill summaries. Every Congress, there are thousands of bills introduced and RPG goes through all of them to provide summaries of the ones that are important to clients. Below are some bill summaries of recent legislation that may be of interest.
Small Business and Workforce Development
Bill H.R. 6778, Workforce Development Investment Act of 2022
Introduced by: Rep. Ann Mclane Kuster on 2/18/22
Summary: H.R. 6778 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow employers a credit against income tax as an incentive to partner with educational institutions to improve workforce development and job training for students and a credit against income tax for certain expenses of job training programs. The details of these credits are below.
- Educational partnership credit: Provides up to $5,000 in annual tax credits to employers for each partnership with community colleges, career and technical education schools, or other institutions of higher education to improve workforce development. The specific parameters of the partnership will be set by the Secretary of Labor but the partnerships must help in developing the educational curriculum, assist with instruction in the classroom, and provide internships, apprenticeships, or other hands-on educational opportunities for students.
- Direct training credit: Creates a credit of up to $5,000 per worker for qualifying employee training costs. Employers are able to utilize the credit for training through the partnerships established by this bill or for apprenticeship programs certified by the Department of Labor. Workers who complete a registered apprenticeship programs earn an average of $240,000 more than non-participants and pay an average of $85,000 more in taxes over the course of their lives. This represents a $23 return for every dollar of taxpayer money invested.
Bill S.3896, Empowering Women in Small Business Act
Introduced by: Senator Ernst on 3/22/22
Summary: S.3896 would:
- Allow women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) with priority federal contracting status to receive venture capital funding from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) network without losing priority contracting status for seven years.
- Require training by the SBA/National Women’s Business Council for federal agencies that fail to award five percent of contracts to WOSBs and require these agencies to provide transparent guidance on how they plan to meet the five percent WOSB contracting goal.
- Require federal agencies to submit a report to the SBA that includes a list of agencies that failed to meet WOSB federal contracting goals, the number of training sessions provided to these agencies, an overview of the content the training sessions provided, and the result of the training sessions, including the number of additional federal contract opportunities provided.
- Require an interagency report by the Department of Commerce, in partnership with the SBA, Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Treasury Department that includes the top economic barriers to access capital for WOSBs, a detailed description of inflation and supply chain disruptions facing WOSBs over the last three years, recommendations to improve access to capital, and identification of federal contract opportunities for WOSBs in partnership with the Office of Small Business and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
Energy and Environment
Bill: S.3714, American Energy Independence Act of 2022
Introduced by: Josh Hawley on 2/28/22
Summary: H.R. 6823 would:
- Assert that it is the official policy of the United States to achieve full energy independence and low energy costs for its citizens in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Instruct federal agencies to identify and rescind existing regulations that have the effect of reducing American energy independence, bar new climate rules that reduce energy security or raise energy prices, and direct agencies to work to achieve energy independence by 2024.
- Ease the regulatory burden on energy companies engaged in fracking.
- Restore the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline after its cancellation by the Biden Administration and ease the process for constructing new pipelines.
- Defund the United States’ contributions to any provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Promote oil and natural gas leases on federal land following the Biden Administration’s moratorium.
- Codify the Trump Administration’s interpretation of “Waters of the United States” and nullify President Biden’s proposed replacement rule.
- Lower the “social cost of carbon” to $0 per ton to focus government standards on boosting domestic energy production, rather than climate change.
Bill: H.R.7439, Energy Security and Independence Act of 2022
Introduced by: Rep. Cori Bush on 4/7/22
Summary: H.R.7439 would:
- Fund the Defense Production Act (DPA) for use by the Biden administration to build renewable energy to scale in the United States;
- Invest in the renewable energy supply chain in the US;
- Invest billions in energy efficiency, including weatherization and heat pumps.
Bill: S.4064, International Nuclear Energy Act of 2022
Introduced by: Senator Joe Manchin on 4/7/22
Summary: S.4064 would require the U.S. to increase its uranium enrichment capabilities through a Nuclear Fuel Security Program that seeks to reduce imports from Russia and China. Specifically, it would:
- Authorize funds to increase both production of Low Enriched Uranium and High Assay Low-Enriched Uranium used in nuclear reactors and create a National Strategic Uranium Reserve Program to ensure supply of domestically produced and converted uranium.
- Boost civil nuclear exports through expansion of Export-Import bank program and other means.
- Establish an office to coordinate civil nuclear exports strategy; establish financing relationships; promote regulatory harmonization; enhance safeguards and security; promote standardization of licensing framework; and create an export working group.
- Create programs to facilitate international nuclear energy cooperation to develop financing relationships, training, education, market analysis, safety, security, safeguards and nuclear governance required for a civil nuclear program.
- Require two biennial summits, one focused on nuclear safety, security and safeguards, and another for civil nuclear vendors to enhance cooperative relationships between private industry and government.
- Establish a Strategic Infrastructure Fund Working Group to determine how to best structure a Fund to finance projects critical to national security.
- Create fast-track procedures for deemed civil nuclear exports for countries defined by the Secretary of Energy.
- Expand the Export-Import Bank program on Transformational Exports to include civil nuclear facilities and related goods.
- Create the U.S. Nuclear Fuels Security Initiative to reduce and eventually eliminate reliance on Chinese and Russian nuclear fuels.
Bill: S. 3018, Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2021
Introduced by: Senator Rodger Marshall
Summary: S. 3018 would establish requirements with respect to the use of prior authorization under Medicare Advantage plans. It would:
- Establish an electronic prior authorization process that would streamline approvals and denials;
- Establish national standards for clinical documents that would reduce administrative burdens health care providers and Medicare Advantage plans;
- Create a process for real-time decisions for certain items and services that are routinely approved;
- Increase transparency that would improve communication channels and utilization between Medicare Advantage plans, health care providers, and patients;
- Ensure appropriate care by encouraging Medicare Advantage plans to adopt policies that adhere to evidence-based guidelines; and
- Require beneficiary protections that would ensure the electronic prior authorization serves seniors first.
There are over 10,000 bills introduced in Congress during each legislative session. At the Ridge Policy Group, a top DC lobbying firm, we track all legislation that we believe would have an impact on our clients. As bills move from introduction to signing, we keep a close eye on them to ensure that all of our clients are well informed on every piece of legislation related to their work. This is just one of many services we provide, and we look forward to continuing to support our partners by providing legislative updates.