In Washington – Insider – December 8, 2022

ACMA Needs Member Input on Electrical Grid Market Following the attack on electrical grid facilities in North Carolina, ACMA staff …

ACMA Needs Member Input on Electrical Grid Market

Following the attack on electrical grid facilities in North Carolina, ACMA staff are working with Congressional offices on how composites products can be used to harden electrical grid facilities. If your company is involved in this market please contact Daniel Neumann, ACMA’s Vice President of Government Affairs.

Manufacturing Activity Shrank in November 

Month-on-month manufacturing activity fell 1.2 percent for the first time in a year and a half, according to the Institute for Supply Management ISM® Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index®, released on December 2.  

The index noted manufacturing activity dropping from 50.2 in October to 49.0 in November. NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray noted.  

“Overall, manufacturing activity has weakened, with sentiment at post-pandemic lows, consistent with other surveys,” said Moutray. “Manufacturers remained challenged by supply chains, workforce shortages, soaring costs and economic and geopolitical uncertainties.” 

Timothy P. Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Chain Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee released a statement describing the key findings 

“The U.S. manufacturing sector dipped into contraction, with the Manufacturing PMI® at its lowest level since the coronavirus pandemic recovery began. With Business Survey Committee panelists reporting softening new order rates over the previous six months, the November composite index reading reflects companies’ preparing for future lower output. Demand eased, with the (1) New Orders Index remaining in contraction territory, (2) New Export Orders Index below 50 percent for a fourth consecutive month, (3) Customers’ Inventories Index effectively in ‘just right’ territory, climbing 7.1 percentage points, and (4) Backlog of Orders Index moving deeper into contraction.” 

ACMA members can apply to be a part of the ISM survey panel at this link.  Make sure composites are counted.  

Congress Scrambles to Fund Government  

The House and Senate are working to fund the government through an omnibus appropriations bill, which groups separate funding legislation together into a massive package for faster consideration.  Democrats and Republicans are still negotiating the overall size of the funding bill, referred to as the “topline number” for FY2023 government spending.  Once that work is done, the House and Senate appropriations committees can draft the 12 annual spending bills to create the omnibus.  

The key issue remaining to resolve is non-defense spending, with Democrats and Republicans in a stalemate over what social programs could see an increase in funding and what programs will not.   

Current government funding expires on December 16, but the risk of a shutdown is low.  Current predictions in the press is that the House and Senate will agree to a temporary extension through a continuing resolution to keep the government open until December 23, buying an additional week for appropriators to complete their work.  

If Congress fails to reach an agreement on the topline number, the government could be funded by longer term continuing resolution.   

House Democrats Elect New Leader, Republicans Still Negotiating 

The House and Senate continue to organize for the new Congress in January.  House Democrats elected Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) as the Minority House Leader, the first African American to hold that position.  House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who won his party election to lead the caucus next year, does not have enough votes to become speaker at the beginning of the new Congress.  Representative McCarthy, the current Minority Leader, will need 218 votes in January to win the election for speaker. This will require near-unanimous support among Republicans as no Democrats will vote for him. Republicans also delayed selection of Ways and Means Committee Chairman and Subcommittee Chairman this week.