2019 FEDERAL TOP PRIORITIES

BUSINESS REGULATIONS

Business Regulations

Support efforts to roll back federal regulations as overregulation diminishes business’ successes. Ensure regulations do not encroach into states’ authority.

 

Privacy

Support legislation and regulations that protect consumer privacy and prevent identity theft without imposing unfair liabilities on companies who collect and store personal information for proper business reasons or punishing companies for the criminal acts of those who compromise company security. Advocate for a preemptive federal data privacy law.

DISASTER RECOVERY

Coastal Barrier 

Support the feasibility study, planning, engineering, and funding of a coastal barrier that will protect the vital industrial base of the Texas Gulf Coast from catastrophic storm damage.

 

Disaster Recovery Funding 

Support initiatives to improve federal emergency aid for disaster response, reimbursement to responders, and recovery funding. Support the determination and application of fair allocation methods to establish eligibility for federal recovery funds.

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Support maintaining the Federal Arbitration Act and support the right of employers to make binding arbitration or other ADR programs a condition of employment. Oppose efforts to increase the burden of regulations on ADR.

 

Background Investigations

Support efforts to ensure that employers can conduct appropriate background investigations of prospective employees including reference, credential, or education certifications; criminal history; credit checks; and drug tests.

IMMIGRATION

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Support the efforts in Congress to extend this important program that has made it possible for over 800,000 individuals who live in the United States to pursue opportunities that might otherwise be closed to them. Texas has the second-largest population of DACA recipients in the United States.

 

EB-5 Program

Support the growth of the EB-5 ProgHram to further stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. This important program allows for visas for participants who make the necessary investment in commercial enterprises in the U.S. and plan to create or preserve at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Air Quality Control Technology

Support efforts that will maintain the historical definition of best available control technology (BACT). Oppose attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reinterpret BACT to require changes in fuel source for combustion sources or any alternatives that represent fundamental changes in the design or purpose of a proposed emission source not related to emission controls.

 

Clean Air Act Amendment

The developments in air quality and air quality regulation have rendered the specific provisions of the original Clean Air Act less than useful in addressing the current conditions, sources of pollutants, and technologies available. Just as changing circumstances led to the major amendment of the Clean Air Act in 1990, it is time, after more than two decades, to re-visit the statute and make changes that will ensure that the statute is both consistent with its original intent and better able to address current conditions and needs.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Base Realignment and Closure 

Oppose any additional efforts to downsize military facilities in Texas to ensure we maintain and improve our national security.

Homeland Security

Support attempts to receive more federal dollars to offset the increasing needs for homeland security for all Texas ports and related waterways and for the border with Mexico.

  • Fully staff and fund Texas ports of entry to enhance security and facilitate additional trade.

  • Support efforts to clean the Rio Grande River through the removal of non-native plant species, such as Carrizo Cane.

TORT REFORM

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Oppose attempts to abrogate business contracts or threats to the availability of ADR mechanisms, such as arbitration. Oppose attempts to impose binding arbitration on labor disputes between employers and employees.

 

Asbestos

Support eliminating fraud that permeates asbestos litigation through legislation that would require asbestos personal injury settlement trusts authorized by federal bankruptcy law to disclose information on their claims on a quarterly basis and respond to information requests from parties to asbestos litigation. Support legislation designed to stop litigation abuses.

WATER

Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Oppose efforts to alter or amend the definition of wetlands and navigable waters subject to federal regulatory authority that would extend federal jurisdiction to those waterways that do not demonstrate a functional or practical connection to navigable waters. Continue to support those efforts to oppose or revoke the Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS) that seeks to significantly expand the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/U.S. Army Core of Engineers jurisdiction beyond the traditional navigable waters covered by the Clean Water Act.

 

Climate Smart Action and Resilience 

Promote and support technology innovation and other solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change through collaboration and sharing of best practices and promoting exports of water technologies, products, and services. Support U.S. businesses as they take action to reduce climate impacts as long as public health, safety and economic opportunity are not impacted.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Background Checks 

Improve the accuracy of background records, especially those sold to private entities.

 

Community Supervision

Expand alternatives to incarceration such as community supervision and residential re-entry centers, both pre-trial and post-sentencing.

Criminal Code

Consolidate crimes into a unified criminal code to eliminate redundancy and to ensure the criminal code is relevant.

EDUCATION & WORKFORCE

Early Learning Investments

Support investment in the expansion of high-quality early learning programs that boost school readiness and early learning.

 

Federal Block Grants

Support efforts to fund state workforce programs through federal block grants with maximum flexibility on the use of the funds.

Funding

Give flexibility to local school districts to allocate federal funds to the areas of greatest need. Oppose measures to place demands on the specifics of spending federal monies.

ENERGY

Clean Energy Development

Encourage expanded federal research and development programs for clean energy technology with a high priority toward:

  • Development of low-emission, coal-fueled, and advanced nuclear technology;

  • Technically feasible carbon storage and sequestration that is consistent with Texas geology and maximizes the potential for ancillary recovery of other energy resources (e.g., enhanced oil recovery); and

  • Other advanced emission controls related to energy development and production.

HEALTH CARE

1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver

Support continuation of the 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver and a call for negotiations with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop an appropriate renewal of the waiver at the end of the five-year renewal period.

 

Access and Quality

Support increasing access and choice of health care programs by promoting market-driven health care policies. TAB supports the equal tax treatment of individual and group health insurance.

TRADE & INVESTMENT

Bilateral Investment and Tax Treaties

Support new investment and tax treaties to protect investor rights and avoid double taxation in key foreign markets.

 

Border Environmental Quality

Continue support for cooperation and monitoring of environmental standards along the Texas/Mexico border to achieve a proper balance that is equitable for Texas employers and border communities.

 

Brand USA’s Reauthorization

Support congressional funding of Brand USA to drive positive economic impact through travel for all communities across Texas.

TAXES & SPENDING

Alternative Minimum Tax

Support long-term solutions to the problems created by the individual and corporate alternative minimum tax.

 

Capital Gains and Dividends

Oppose any rollback of reduced tax rates on capital gains or dividend income. Support reforms to lower capital gains and dividend income tax rates and make provisions permanent.

 

Capital Investment

Support efforts to ensure a faster cost recovery of capital investment.

TRANSPORTATION 

Federal Funding Formulas for Waterways.

  • Support changes to federal funding formulas and procedures for waterway projects to ensure that cost-to-benefit ratios consider secondary benefits on a regional and national scale and prioritization of projects includes input from other federal agencies including the Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce, and the Department of Energy.

  • Support changes to the criteria for allocation of local match dollars to waterway improvement projects that reasonably reflect the financial capacity of local sponsors and the anticipated economic, defense, homeland security, and energy security benefits of the project both within and beyond local jurisdictions.

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