LEAP 2016 Issues
MANY ISSUES WILL come before Congress between now and the LEAP Conference in mid-May. While there are many issues on which we could lobby, we do try to limit them to about four major topics for our visits to the Hill. The goal of our lobbying efforts are to strenghten our workers rights to receive good pay, a safe working environment, and retirement security.
Below are some of the issues for this year’s 2016 LEAP Conference:
- Energy: A handful of bills will be introduced addressing EPA regulations, streamlining permitting on energy projects, another attempt to pass a coal ash bill, and other related issues. As of now the Supreme Court has put a halt to the EPA's Clean Power Plan intiative. We will continue to pressure Congress for additional funding on fossil fuel technology research and development as well as preventing the EPA administration from implementing the CPP.
- Trade: Like last year, trade will be one of our biggest ongoing battles in Congress. With “Fast Track Authority” being passed in advance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (NAFTA on steroids) being finalized by the administration. We will most certainly be focusing our lobbying efforts against the TPP. We do not want Congress to give up their authority of oversight on trade deals, which is what Fast Track would do. No hearings, no oversight. Just an up-or-down vote on a trade agreement no one has seen.
- Ship Building: We remain committed to supporting the Jones Act. We oppose the possibility of the Act becoming a bargaining chip in upcoming major trade deals. We support a recommitment to loan guarantees. As for defense spending, we'll see what the White House proposes in its upcoming budget and what Congress tries to appropriate towards the development our ship building industry.
- WAGE Act: The Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act has been introduced in the House and Senate. It takes important steps to strengthen protections for workers who join together with their co-workers to win improvements at work (including the growing "temporary" workforce that more employers are utilizing to supplant permanent workers), discourages employer retaliatilion, and provides for prompt and fair remedies. This bill aims to make labor law enforcement more effective in giving working people a fair shot at winning the wages and working conditons they deserve.
Suggestions are always welcomed for our annual lobby visits, so feel free to pass your ideas on to us. Please keep in mind that we need to avoid specific, local issues for our main topics, but delegates should definitely make those a priority when you visit your own members of Congress.
We have a lot to discuss at LEAP this year, and we look forward to a very exciting conference.
If you have any questions please contact Cecile Conroy, Director, Government Affairs, at 202-756-2868 x202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goal of the Boilermakers’ legislative and political efforts is organizing the strength of our working men and women to win good pay, retirement security, safe work environments, and much more. The union pursues political action through the Legislative Education Action Program (LEAP), an inclusive and bipartisan effort to support candidates who champion the values and beliefs of working families, promote needed energy investments, promote the shipbuilding and industrial manufacturing base, and support fair trade. The union encourages members to be active participants in the political process through voting and volunteering.
Below are additional links to help activist get involved:
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Welcome to our Legislative Action Center
Follow the Legislation That Affects You.
During the session we will highlight key votes and bills. We will offer a summary of these key bills and votes and tell you our position on the key legislation as well as end-of-session wrap-ups.
Bill # S.1714
7/7/2015--Introduced. Miners Protection Act of 2015 This bill amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to address potential shortages in the Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan for payment of health care benefits to retired coal miners by expanding the eligible uses of interest transferable to such plan from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund, and supplemental payments from the General Fund of the Treasury. The calculation of such interest and payments shall be made by taking into account only those beneficiaries who are actually enrolled in the plan as of the enactment of this Act, as well as those retirees whose health care benefits, payable directly by an employer in the bituminous coal industry under a coal wage agreement, would be denied or reduced as a result of a bankruptcy proceeding commenced in 2012. The bill requires the Department of the Treasury to transfer to the trustees of the 1974 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Pension Plan additional funds to pay pension benefits required under that plan, if the $490 million cap on certain transfers to the UMWA Combined Benefit Fund and distributions to states and Indian tribes exceed the aggregate amount required to be transferred to them. The bill also expands the annual reporting requirements of the trustees of the 1974 UMWA Pension Plan on plan solvency and value of plan assets.