February ’22 at-a-glance … regulations

House passes America COMPETES Act

On Feb. 4, the House passed the nearly $300 billion America COMPETES Act of 2022, its response to the Senate’s $250 billion U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. Both bills are intended to invest in U.S. scientific research and development to bolster competitiveness against China. The Senate bill was passed by a bipartisan majority; the House bill was approved largely along party lines by Democrats. President Biden has called upon Congress to negotiate a compromise bill and rapidly advance it for his signature.

DOE to track infrastructure projects on new website

Now that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is in place, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched a website promising to provide regular updates on its more than $62 billion in projects. It includes a fact sheet on the Law’s provisions. The White House website also includes a summary of the Law.

SEC reviewing nearly 6,000 comments on possible climate disclosure requirements

As investor demand for climate and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) information grows, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reviewing 5,867 comments it received on potential climate-disclosure requirements. “There is really no historical precedent for the magnitude of shift in investor focus that we’re witnessed over the last decade toward the analysis and use of climate and other ESG risks and impacts in investment decision making,” said SEC Commissioner Allison Lee. “Investors are demanding more and better information on climate and ESG, and that demand is not being met by the current voluntary framework.” The EU, France, New Zealand, Switzerland, and U.K. already have mandatory climate-related disclosures. Australia and the U.S. are expected to announce plans this year.

SBLC to advocate for small business economic priorities

The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) announced its 2022 priorities including supporting the small business community as it continues to grapple with supply chain issues, improving the tax system for privately owned businesses and trade associations and helping small businesses facing complex labor and employment issues including labor shortages, vaccine mandates and independent contractor classifications.

“NAFEM will continue to work with the SBLC on these issues and more to address the needs of our members”, said NAFEM’s Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Affairs Charlie Souhrada, CFSP. The SBLC is a coalition of trade and professional associations that share a common commitment to the future of small business.