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October 2014

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30 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | October 2014 Election 1. Keystone: Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3) During the past several years, AED established itself as the construction industry's leader on energy issues, including the Keystone XL pipeline project. While the pipeline's construc- tion is expected to create thousands of jobs and significant economic activity, the administration has delayed approval because of perceived environmental concerns. Consequently, Congress has consi- dered several proposals to either force the president to make a decision on the pipeline's fate or actually approve the project. The Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3) was the only measure undertaken by the House to use congressional power to supersede presidential authority to issue the Keystone XL pipeline's permit. The legislation was approved, 241-175, on a strong bipartisan vote. Unfortunately, the Senate hasn't considered H.R. 3, and approval of the pipeline remains in limbo as the admin- istration refuses to make a decision. House Vote: 113-1-179, May 22, 2013 Senate Vote: None AED Position: Yes 2. Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 1900) As natural gas production increases and energy costs have risen, the nation's network of pipelines has proven inadequate to transport energy resources to market. Unfortu- nately, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) permitting process is slow and inefficient. The House approved, 252-165, the AED-supported Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act to require FERC permitting decisions to be made within a 12-month window. While stalled in the Senate, the bipartisan vote was a clear indication that lawmakers are concerned about the impact bureau- cratic delays are having on the country's path toward energy independence. House Vote: 113-1-611, Nov. 21, 2013 Senate Vote: None AED Position: Yes 3. Prevent a Shutdown: Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 59) The federal government's failure to enact long-term appropriations and funding measures has created massive uncertainty and wreaked havoc on the economy. Finally, at the end of 2013, Congress agreed to broad budget parameters to set the stage for a longer-term agreement to fund federal government programs and avoid automatic spending cuts (known as sequestration). The continuing resolution, which was approved 332-94, helped stave off another government shutdown and allowed Congress to move away, temporarily, from fiscal battles that have distracted lawmakers from tackling other pressing issues. House Vote: 113-1-640, Dec. 12, 2013 Senate Vote: 113-1-281, Dec.18, 2013 AED Position: Yes 4. Prevent a Shutdown: Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3547) Carrying the momentum of the budget agreement from Dec. 2013 (see No. 3 above), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) reached an agreement on a $1.9 trillion govern- ment funding deal for fiscal year 2014 that established government spending levels for the remainder of fiscal year 2014. AED supported the legislation to give the federal government near-term certainty and allow Congress breathing room to focus on other legislative priorities, such as saving the highway program. Lawmakers voted, 359-67, to approve H.R. 3547. House Vote: 113-2-21, Jan. 15, 2014 Senate Vote: 113-2-13, Jan. 16, 2014 AED Position: Yes 5. The Farm Bill: Agriculture Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642) The Agriculture Act of 2014 is the 11th farm bill since 1965. Farm bills are large pieces of legislation that govern an array of agricultural and food programs and are considered the central agricul- ture and food policy tool of the federal government. H.R. 2642 was approved 251-166, after months of contentious nego- tiations. The $489 billion legislation reformed farm policy and food stamps and repealed or consolidated nearly 100 programs administered by the United States Agriculture Depart- ment. Importantly, it provides much- needed stability to the country's agriculture sector. House Vote: 113-2-31, January 29, 2014 Senate Vote: 113-2-21, February 4, 2014 AED Position: Yes 6. Section 179: America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014 (H.R. 4457) AED has been at the forefront of the debate over capital investment incen- tives, including permanent reinstate- ment of increased Sec. 179 levels. The House, 272-144, approved H.R. 4457, which would permanently increase Sec. 179's maximum amount and phase-out threshold to the levels in effect from 2010 through 2013 ($500,000 and $2 million respectively). Under current law, beginning in 2014, a taxpayer may immediately expense up to $25,000 of Sec. 179 property annu- ally, with a dollar-for-dollar phase-out of the maximum deductible amount for purchases in excess of $200,000. Unfortunately, Senate consideration of its tax "extenders" package stalled and likely won't see further action until after the midterm elections. ("AED Legislative Scorecard – House Votes" cont. from page 29) AED Legislative Scorecard – 113th Congress House Votes

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