By Mark Valentini, Director of Legislative Affairs
The President signed a stopgap measure on Dec. 3 that keeps the federal government funded through Feb. 18, 2022 at FY21 funding levels, averting a government shutdown. Senate leaders have also reached an agreement on how to pass a debt ceiling increase, and also on passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The debt ceiling increase and NDAA are must-pass pieces of legislation, as agreement on the former will avoid a U.S. default on its debt obligations while the latter is necessary to fund military operations in FY22.
These bills passed last week, leaving little time before the end of the year for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to move the Build Back Better (BBB) plan, the $1.75 trillion spending package encompassing most of the Biden administration’s key policy priorities. Any hopes of that legislation were shattered over the weekend when Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he would not support BBB.
If the Senate held a vote today on BBB, it would fail without Senator Manchin’s support, therefore BBB is essentially dead without his support. The bill will not come up before the end of the year and its future in the New Year is uncertain at best. The legislation included tax increases and paid leave mandates that would have hurt plumbing and HVAC contractors if they became law. The failure of this legislation is a victory for PHCC, thanks in part to our advocacy efforts highlighting the negative impact this legislation would have had on contractors as we work through a delicate economic recovery.
Director of Legislative Affairs , PHCC-National Association