Washington Weekly
Apr. 7, 2014

Last Week

The Senate continued debating unemployment insurance and has yet to come to an agreement. In addition, it confirmed a number of executive branch nominees. The House passed legislation that redefines the workweek, which had been reduced to 30 hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act, to 40 hours. In addition, the House passed legislation known as the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act, which requires the Congressional Budget Office to include more information as it prepares economic impacts on bills pending before congress, such as a macroeconomic analysis of legislation that is estimated to have a budgetary impact of more than 0.25% of the gross domestic product. This perspective would provide lawmakers with a more complete assessment of the impact of legislation being considered.More

This Week

The House will spend the week debating the FY 2015 budget. Not only will the House debate and likely pass the budget passed out of the House Budget Committee, other factions, such as conservative and progressive caucuses, will also present their vision for a budget blueprint — neither of which garner enough votes to pass the House. The Senate is expected to pass another short-term extension of unemployment insurance, but its fate in the House remains uncertain.More

Item of Interest

This week more than two dozen leaders of ASA and another dozen from Plumbing Manufacturers International will take our message to the Hill. With the Senate spending last week working on moving tax extenders, this week will be a critically important to keep the momentum alive and ensure that provisions important to our industry survive.More

Will the Employer Mandate Survive?
The Hill
Delays to Obamacare's employer mandate are raising doubts about whether the policy will ever be put into place. Allies of the administration are questioning whether the requirement for businesses to provide insurance will ever be implemented, given the drumbeat of opposition from industry groups. On Wednesday, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said he thinks the mandate will be scrapped.More

Unemployment Extension Looks Murky as Congress Heads Toward Break
With their 17-day spring break beckoning at the end of the week, House and Senate lawmakers will have to scramble to reach agreement on restoring long-term unemployment insurance. But don't bet on such a deal blooming.More

Five Potential House Losers
Roll Call
Primary season is upon the House, and the not-so-graceful losses in Congress could begin as early as next month. Starting then, a handful of incumbents will face tough intraparty races, thanks to a variety of reasons: the ongoing GOP civil war, dated and unsuspecting political operations, self-funding challengers, and old political grudges coming back to haunt them.More

Water is Quickly Becoming an Economic Issue for Major Corporations
The Hill
Often the first step to finding a solution is admitting you have a problem. According to the new VOX Global/Pacific Water Institute survey released April 1, major U.S. companies seem to be doing just that: admitting that they have a problem with water. Legislators and regulators are beginning to watch water issues very closely. Water is being seen as a strategic resource, and we can expect to see greater competition for water between public and private sector interests.More