BCA's Washington Briefing

follow us on facebook   follow us on twitter   follow us on youtubeJanuary 10, 2014




U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue in his annual State of American Business address said on Wednesday that business is improving and he outlined a bold agenda to encourage growth by promoting jobs and opportunities for business and workers.


After his speech, Business Council of Alabama leadership met with Donohue to discuss common goals and the two organizations' close ties.


While the business climate is improving, Donohue said, certain policies and government actions exist to create uncertainty. He called for leadership to solidify the recovery, help generate stronger growth and job creation, and expand opportunity.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue, left, and BCA Chairman Fred McCallum, President of AT&T Alabama 

"Our economy is gaining strength, and we now have an opportunity to turn the page," Donahue said, adding that "big question marks" need addressing. "Employers are concerned about overregulation, the negative impacts of policies like Obamacare, and the fiscal health of our nation. By making the right decisions and adopting the necessary reforms, we can usher in a new era of economic prosperity and extend its benefits to all Americans."

Donohue's speech was carried on C-Span and is featured on the Chamber's web site.

The U.S. Chamber's 2014 Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda includes trade expansion, more domestic energy production, infrastructure improvement, modernizing the regulatory process, making essential changes in entitlements, fixing Obamacare flaws, curbing lawsuit abuse, and advancing American innovation by protecting intellectual property. The agenda features revitalizing capital markets, passing immigration reform, and improving education and training, according to the U.S. Chamber.

Politically, Donohue said, the Chamber will support primary and general election candidates who want to work constructively within the legislative process to solve the nation's problems - and who understand that business is not the problem but a big part of the solution.




The National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Council of Alabama enhanced their partnership today by signing an agreement to strengthen manufacturing advocacy, to deliver increased visibility for both organizations and to help grow the manufacturing army.


The NAM and BCA already enjoy a successful partnership that advocates effectively for manufacturers across the United States and in Alabama. The BCA is the NAM's exclusive representative in Alabama.


The NAM and the BCA issued a joint statement following the agreement signing in Washington, D.C., by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and BCA President and CEO William J. Canary.  


With the agreement, the presence for Alabama manufacturers will be enhanced in the nation's capital through the NAM's national scope to create a joint manufacturing network that will respond to ever-changing national economic issues. The agreement is a vehicle to expand the role that manufacturers play in policymaking and to increase training and development opportunities for Alabama manufacturers.


"The NAM's partnership with the BCA is among our strongest alliances," Timmons said. "Together, we are more influential in the pursuit of pro-growth policies that increase manufacturers' ability to compete and create jobs. Growing this important partnership is key to accomplishing our mutual goals and putting our economy on the right track."




The groups will co-promote material in the BCA's The Manufacturing Advocate and all digital communications involving manufacturing. Doing so will increase manufacturers' impact in areas critical to manufacturing competitiveness, including energy policy, workforce development and transportation and infrastructure funding.


"Our partnership goes back decades, and this effectively enhances it by expanding our abilities to brand our work and advocacy for the manufacturing community," Canary said. "We envision this will give us a powerful way to benefit both organizations and leverage our abilities to fight for issues that are important to our members and important to general manufacturing. We're both in the business of creating jobs."



Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary, front left, and National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons, front right, sign an agreement to enhance the two organizations' partnership. Back row, from left, are BCA 2013 Chairman Carl Jamison, partner in JamisonMoneyFarmer PC, Tuscaloosa; BCA First Vice-Chairman Marty Abroms, president of Abroms & Associates PC, Florence; BCA Chairman Fred McCallum, President of AT&T Alabama, Birmingham; Manufacturing Advocacy Council Co-Chair and NAM Board Member Ronnie Boles, owner of General & Automotive Machine Shop, Huntsville; and Tommy Lee, BCA Second Vice-Chairman, CEO Vulcan Inc., Foley.

Background: The NAM is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing 12,000 small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For information please visit  www.nam.org. 


The BCA, formed in 1985, is Alabama's leading advocate for business and represents about 750,000 working Alabamians in Montgomery and Washington, D.C. As the exclusive representative of the NAM in Alabama, the BCA has more than 1,300 manufacturing members, and its Manufacturing Advocacy Council works to help promote and enhance a positive business climate for Alabama manufacturers.


In 2003, the BCA and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama created The Partnership that includes more than 60,000 local chamber members.


Photos by David Bohrer / National Assoc. of Manufacturers   




Business Council of Alabama 2013 Chairman Carl Jamison, right, on Thursday presented the BCA's 2013 Chairman's Award for Leadership and Distinguished Service to Alabama's U.S. senators, Richard Shelby, third from left, and Jeff Sessions, left, in Washington, D.C. Jamison, shareholder in JamisonMoneyFarmer PC in Tuscaloosa, had announced the recipients at the Sept. 30 BCA Chairman's Dinner. Attending was BCA Chairman Fred McCallum, second from left, President of AT&T Alabama. Shelby and Sessions were unable to attend the Chairman's Dinner due to the then-ongoing budget debate and the looming government shutdown.

Shelby was elected to the Senate in 1986. He is the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Sessions was first elected in 1996 and is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.



Alabama's congressional delegation is now at its full strength of seven House members. U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, took the oath of office on Wednesday, was assigned to two committees, and co-sponsored a bill to repeal and replace President Obama's Affordable Care Act.


Byrne said he will co-sponsor the American Health Care Reform Act of 2013 that is supported by the House conservative caucus to replace Obama's signature but unpopular forced health insurance law. The bill, originally filed in September, has 118 co-sponsors. Byrne said the replacement will lower premium costs.


"Over the past six months, I promised my constituents that if elected, I would fight to repeal the destructive Obamacare law and replace it with common-sense, conservative reforms," Byrne said in a prepared statement. "As my first legislative act as Congressman, I am making good on that pledge. However, it's not enough to just be against something - to govern, we have to provide conservative alternatives and do what is right for the American people."


Byrne will be a junior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, al.com reported. The first has jurisdiction over military spending, including the Navy's contract with Austal USA, Mobile's largest industrial employer, and the second over natural resource issues including Mobile Delta plans in his district.

"It's good to be a congressman and not a congressman-elect," said Byrne. He succeeds Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, who resigned last summer to take a position with the University of Alabama System.


Reid expects deal to be reached extending unempolyment benefits   

The Hill (Bolton 1/9) - "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday he is 'cautiously optimistic' that a deal can be reached to extend unemployment benefits for a year without adding to the deficit. 'I'm cautiously optimistic that in the next few hours that we can maybe work out something for a long-term solution to this issue, long-term being more than three months," he said.


"The Democratic leader said he was encouraged by recent conversations with Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), the sponsors of a three-month extension that would add $6.4 billion to the deficit. Reid acknowledged that a three-month extension without an offset is not likely to pass the Senate. When asked if finding a pay-for for a yearlong extension was the only way forward, he said, 'I think so'.


Extending unemployment benefits through the end of the year would cost about $26 billion. Heller, however, hasn't given Reid any indication about whether a yearlong extension of unemployment assistance offset by spending cuts could pass the House. 'If we pass something over here, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to just turn a blind eye to people who are desperate for a little help', Reid said."


US Chamber of Commerce   National Association of Manufacturers