Washington Weekly
Apr. 14, 2014

Last Week

The issues of equal pay and paycheck fairness was on center stage in the Senate. Senate Democrats were unable to achieve a 60-vote threshold to advance legislation mandating paycheck fairness between men and women. Senate Republicans banded together on Wednesday to block the Paycheck Fairness Act, a Democratic bill aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women. Majority Leader Reid had threatened to keep the Senate in through the weekend to advance judicial and executive branch nominees, but he relented to pressure from within his own party by members scheduled to travel abroad. The House passed the budget resolution, as well as various other bills reforming the budgeting process, all of which are seen as unlikely as passing in the Senate.More

This Week

The House and Senate are in recess. More

Item of Interest

More than two dozen industry leaders traveled to Washington last week to meet with their elected officials. Since our industry's national convention last fall, followed by last week's Legislative Fly-in, ASA has visited with all but 10 states represented in Washington. Without the key leaders in our industry standing up for what is important to us, many of these issues will fail to advance. Look for this week's Insights for more.More

Plumbing Wholesalers Call for Marketplace Fairness
The Hill
For today's plumbing wholesaler, specifically those that have retail and showroom components, the blending of the traditional and online marketplace has become the new reality of 21st-century commerce. We have proactively prepared ourselves for the arrival of our online-only competitors, often by reminding ourselves that at the end of the day, we're an industry reliant on personal relationships, which cannot be easily achieved online.More

Reid: Tax 'Extenders' and Energy Efficiency Make May Agenda
Roll Call
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring up a catchall tax "extenders" package to the floor next work period, along with a long-delayed energy efficiency bill.More

CBO Forecasts a Drop, Then a Sharp Rise in Federal Deficit
The Hill
The Congressional Budget Office on Monday lowered its deficit projections but still forecasts a sea of red ink for the nation's fiscal future. The nonpartisan CBO said the deficit will drop in 2014 to $492 billion from the $514 billion in had forecast in February.More