Energy & Environment Committee
- On January 31, the Committee hosted a virtual Congressional Outlook Event featuring Todd Wooten of Holland & Knight, as well as Chris Hodgson and Stacy Rich of Cornerstone Government Affairs. The conversation featured an outline of upcoming policy and priorities for the Administration and Congress.
- On February 28, the Committee hosted a briefing on tax provisions within the Inflation Reduction Act, featuring former Senate Finance Committee Chief Counsel, Mike Evans. The meeting featured a deep analysis of the origins and opportunities available within the IRA.
- The Committee has extended an invitation to MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper, and hopes to meet with the new Secretary in the months ahead.
- As part of the Washington Leaders’ Conference in May, the Committee has confirmed meetings with staff to U.S. Senator Angus King, who sits on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and the Grid Deployment Office at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Financial Services Committee
- On March 3, the Committee met with Republican House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) during his visit to Boston. The meeting provided Committee members the opportunity to meet with a key of House Republican leadership. The Congressman gave members updates on his work with the House Financial Services Committee, and members had the opportunity to ask questions to the Congressmen regarding Republican priorities.
- On March 20, the Committee hosted a special briefing focused on recent developments in the banking sector and how Congress and the Biden Administration may respond. The Committee heard from two experts in financial services policy and regulation: Mr. Brian Gardner, Chief Washington Policy Strategist at Stifel and Mr. Christopher A. Smith, President & Founder, Summit Global Strategies. Watch here.
- On April 24, following a Capitol Hill Report breakfast in Boston, the Committee met with Massachusetts Congressman Stephen Lynch. The Congressman routinely meets with the NEC Financial Services Committee, updating members on matters before the House Financial Services Committee and discussing his priorities as they relate to the financial services industry.
- The Committee is monitoring recently proposed legislation that would update electronic delivery rules for financial institutions. The Improving Disclosure for Investors Act directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to engage in rulemaking that would allow registered investment companies to satisfy their obligation to deliver regulatory documents to investors under the federal securities laws using electronic means. The Committee is in the process of finalizing a letter of support to be sent to the New England Delegation.
- The Committee has scheduled two meetings in conjunction with the 2023 Washington Leaders’ Conference in May. The Committee will meet with Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, and with the Chief of Staff to House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN).
- On January 24, the Committee met with Lizzy Burke, who serves as Legislative Assistant for U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH), a senior member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Lizzy briefed our members on the Congresswoman’s health priorities and answered questions from Committee members.
- On February 3, the Committee hosted a virtual Congressional Staff Briefing on Public Health Emergency Waivers. At the briefing, New England Council members connected with Congressional staff members from the New England delegation and emphasized the significance of ending specific flexibilities provided under the PHE.
- Additionally, as follow up to the briefing on February 3, the Committee compiled a list of priorities regrading the PHE and drafted a Congressional sign-on letter to CMS outlining these recommendations. U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan’s (D-MA) office is circulating the letter to the New England delegation. Read Recommendations.
- On March 31, the Committee submitted a comment letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Control Division. The letter came in response to a Proposed Rule by the agency to address the upcoming end of the public health emergency, and specifically outlined changes to telemedicine prescribing of controlled substances. Identified as a high priority by the Healthcare committee members, the Council was eager to weigh in on this important issue and emphasize the desperate need for ongoing accessibility of mental health, substance use disorder, and other medical care via telemedicine. Read Comment Letter.
- In late April and early May, each of the four Healthcare Subcommittees met to discuss legislative priorities for the 118th Congress, and to brainstorm about programming.
- As part of the Washington Leaders Conference, the Committee will meet with Marvin Figueroa who serves as Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Higher Education Committee
- On March 8, the Higher Ed Committee held its first planning meeting of 2023. In this meeting, members set priorities for the year such as weighing in on the President’s Budget in terms of increasing the Pell Grant. In addition, several members of Senate HELP Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders’ staff joined the meeting to brief members on the Chairman’s priorities for the year.
- On March 24, the Council sent a letter to the New England Delegation on the importance of increasing access to higher education by Doubling the Pell Grant. While pleased that President Biden’s FY2024 budget proposal included a $500 increase to the maximum Pell grant, the Council firmly believes that doubling the Pell Grant would be a long-term solution. Read the Letter.
- As the FY2024 Appropriations process gets underway, the Council identified increased funding for the National Science Foundation as a top priority. To that end, on April 12, the Council sent a letter to the New England delegation urging them to support increasing NSF funding to $11.9 billion in FY2024. This amount is consistent with the NSF funding increase authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act that the Council supported and was passed into law last year. Read the Letter.
- During the Washington Leaders’ Conference, the Higher Ed Committee will meet with Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal on Wednesday, May 10, at the U.S. Department of Education.
Technology & Innovation Working Group
- The Working Group met on March 21 to discuss priorities for the 118th Congress and 2023 programming ideas. During this meeting, Joe Donovan, of Donovan Strategies, and Katie Enos, of MITRE, were introduced as the two co-chairs of the Working Group. Joe will be the co-chair for policy and advocacy and Katie will be the co-chair for programming.
- On March 30, the Working Group sent a letter to the New England Senators in support of the bipartisan American Innovation and Jobs Act, sponsored by Senator Maggie Hassan. The bill would reverse a change in the tax code that was included in the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and will allow businesses to continue to fully deduct R&D expenses each tax year. Read the letter.
- On April 27, following the introduction of similar legislation in the House by Rep. John Larson, the Council wrote to the House delegation to express support for the American Innovation and R&D Competitiveness Act. Read the Letter.
- We are also in the process of rescheduling the New England Innovates program focused on the region’s Blue Economy which had to be postponed due to weather.
- During the Washington Leaders’ Conference, the working group has two meetings planned. The group will meet on May 10 with the Office of the National Cyber Director to discuss the Administration’s new National Cybersecurity Strategy, and on May 11 with the CHIPS for America Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
- On January 10, the Committee hosted a briefing on the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) or as it is more commonly known, the bipartisan infrastructure law, on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the bill being signed into law. Samantha Silverberg, Deputy Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President for Transportation and Infrastructure Policy at The White House, addressed the Committee. During our session, Ms. Silverberg discussed the ins-and-outs of the historic bipartisan infrastructure law with a detailed slideshow on this strategic investment and the vital impact it is having – and will continue to have – on the entire New England region. After her slide-show presentation, Ms. Silverberg took questions from our members on several topics related to this one-year-old law.
- The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will meet with Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH) in conjunction with our Washington Leaders’ Conference in May. Congressman Pappas is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and is anticipated to be able to provide our members with an update as to what the Committee is doing on T&I matters nationally and how the Committee’s policies and legislative agenda impact New England.
Trade Working Group
- The Trade Working Group has invited United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai to meet with members of the New England Council as part of the Washington Leaders’ Conference. Council staff are working with Ambassador Tai’s office to lock-in this event, which would provide an opportunity to engage with her on the Administration’s efforts at implementing trade agreements like the USMCA, and on new matters such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and implementation of clean vehicle technology provisions under the Inflation Reduction Act.