October 31, 2016
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Federal Issues

Congress preparing for 'lame duck' session, setting sights on 2017 legislative agenda

There is a lot of discussion about tax changes in 2017, but until then Congress is officially in “lame duck” status as the makeup of both chambers and the Oval Office take shape next week. The 2017 agenda all depends on who is elected leader in each chamber. If current U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan receives the 218 votes to remain at the helm, he has said he will champion his agenda, a “Better Way,” which he calls a “blueprint” for the 2017 House agenda.

In the Senate, however, Democratic staff say there are tax changes being worked on, one of which is an “international” proposal, and could be corporate repatriation proposal. They say the funds would go to pay for infrastructure in the U.S. Included in the reforms could be broader tax reform, including permanent changes in the federal tax rates.

AWB members can meet members of the new Congress and their top staff at the 2016 AWB D.C. Fly-in Dec. 5-7. This is a great opportunity to learn more about, and share your perspectives on key employers issues, with the people representing you here and around the country. To register, contact Kelli Schueler at 360.943.1600.

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Focus on Sustainability

Delivering the Future: How UPS Is Pursuing the Possibility of Sustainable E-Commerce

By Jim Bruce, senior vice president, UPS

At UPS, ours is anticipating the direction of e-commerce and staying ahead of it, because we believe that e-commerce will profoundly impact the development of our cities, lifestyles and business.

The question is whether e-commerce will improve or diminish global sustainability. We think it can go either way but are optimistic about the possibility of real improvement. Which way it goes depends on a number of factors: 1) Can we create a sustainable global delivery network? 2) Will people rely on that network enough to lessen reliance on personal vehicles and to increasingly live in decongested, pedestrian-friendly cities? And 3) Will cities begin to view e-commerce as essential to their sustainable future? Truly, a "yes" to these three questions would be transformative to our cities and global carbon-reduction efforts...

Read more at the National Association of Manufacturers blog
Washington's Hydropower Is No Laughing Matter

Who needs those old dams?

By Tracy Warner, editorial page editor, The Wenatchee World

They had a good laugh over it, the reports said. What a knee-slapper. Candidates for the United States Congress, at a recent climate change forum at a Ballard brewpub, indicated through their mistaken answers to a simple question that neither has any idea where electricity comes from. What a hoot...

Electricity doesn't just show up. It is not produced by flights of fancy, moonbeams, cool articles in Wired or a Harry Potter character waving a wand. It required the intense effort of generations, the labor of tens of thousands of people, and investments in the multiple billions to produce enough electricity to supply Seattle and provide the energy without which its thriving economy wouldn't be worth a 500K RAM chip from a 1984 IBM PC.

To feed the city energy there are hundreds of turbines, turning ceaselessly through the power of falling water from the great river of the West, harnessed by blocks of concrete so large we can scarcely imagine larger...

Of course, you don't get rid of such assets. You don't speak of it, even in jest.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee World
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