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NAM: Manufacturing Policy News – Thursday

Democrats Plan To Attach Ex-Im Reauthorization To “Must Pass” Transportation Legislation.

The Daily Signal (7/8, Quinn) reports that Democrats in Congress plan to attach the Export-Import Bank reauthorization to the “must-pass legislation” extending the Highway Trust Fund, which expires July 31. This move comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “promised Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) a vote on Ex-Im last month.” However, the decision to allow the reauthorization amendment “ultimately falls to McConnell, and opponents of the bank are urging him to follow the GOP conference.”

Plain Dealer: Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization In “Nation’s Best Interests.” The editorial board for the Cleveland Plain Dealer (7/8) argues that the Ex-Im Bank “should be reauthorized,” as it increases US exports and “has been a valuable asset to the U.S. economy” without costing taxpayers anything in recent years. The Plain Dealer argues that even though loans to Boeing may be large, such loans “have helped Boeing, and countless other U.S. firms, including many small ones, compete overseas.” As a result, the Ex-Im Bank “continues to be in the nation’s best interests.”

Business Besieges The White House To Try To Shape Final Clean Power Plan.

The Hill (7/9, Henry) reports that energy industry actors have increased lobbying of the White House and the EPA to try to sway the details of the Clean Power Plan before its finalization in August. The National Mining Association’s Luke Popovich said that “The point we left with them was that in the Clean Power Plan, EPA is offering governors a basket of rotting carp.” American Electric Power spokeswoman Tammy Ridout more diplomatically described the plan as “too prescriptive,” with an “unrealistic” timeline.

McConnell: Appropriations To Fight EPA Regulation. In a column for the Cincinnati Enquirer (7/8, McConnell), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vows to use the congressional power of the purse to block the EPA’s regulatory agenda. He argues that “the Obama administration and its overzealous bureaucratic regulators at the EPA have waged a war against Kentucky coal jobs” and that the “egregious” Clean Power Plan would “mean closing power plants, cutting more jobs and increasing the cost of electricity for families and job creators.” McConnell promotes policy riders attached to the EPA’s funding bill that would “restrict the EPA from using its funding to force states” to comply.

Timmons: Lawmakers Should Acknowledge Carbon Tax Is Not Right Policy. In a letter to the Wall Street Journal(7/9, Subscription Publication), NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons stated that Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) comments that a Democratic-controlled White House and Senate would pass a carbon tax should push responsible lawmakers to reject such a proposal. According to Timmons, already-existing taxes and increasing federal regulations are weakening US manufacturers’ ability to compete worldwide, as indicated by the NAM-commissioned nonpartisan study on the carbon-tax proposals.

House Votes To Preserve Block Of New Ozone Standards.

Environment & Energy Publishing (7/8, Peterka) reported that by a vote of 249 to 180, the House voted down an amendment by Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) to remove policies that prevent the White House from “tightening” ozone standards under the Clean Air Act “until a majority of counties meet the current limit.” The House also voted down by a single vote an amendment by Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) that “would have allowed the Bureau of Land Management to implement its newly finalized hydraulic fracturing regulations.” Critics of the proposed new regulations have argued that it “would impose heavy costs on industry.” NAM Vice President Ross Eisenberg noted the House’s vote, saying, “Today, the House stood with manufacturers to promote a more sensible approach to ozone regulations, supporting flexibility and reasonableness over costly and unnecessary new requirements.”

According to a piece in Politico Pro (7/9, Goode, Subscription Publication), the NAM is “urging” Congress to keep “language in the Interior-EPA appropriations bill” that blocks the Obama administration’s proposed new regulations for ozone and hydraulic fracking, sending “key-vote letters” identifying Democratic amendments that would eliminate such language. Should NAM members want to read the full article for free, they may contact National Association of Manufacturers Account Manager Molly Fluet at mfluet@politico.com.

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