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Jim McCullough, CEO and president of CNH Construction, which offers Case, New Holland and Kobelco branded construction equipment, testified on Sept. 29 before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to report on progress thus far of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Congress may vote during the lame duck session after the November congressional elections on the biggest pipeline safety bill since the 2002 amendments established integrity management programs for distribution, transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines. Then again, a major reform bill may be delayed until the next Congress.

President Obama has selected Vermeer CEO Mary Andringa as a private-sector representative for business, industry, agriculture and labor on the President’s Export Council (PEC). The PEC is the principal national advisory committee on international trade.

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act passed by the U.S. Senate Sept. 16 will extend the 50 percent bonus depreciation deduction for 2010. Additionally, it includes approximately $12 billion in tax relief for small businesses and a $30 billion lending fund that will be administered by the Treasury Department.

The energy bill the Senate is to finally take up in September is primarily a "BP-response" bill. It contains none of the greenhouse gas emission reductions that Democrats had hoped to bring to a vote in a "Climate Change" bill, which is dead for this year. The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010 focuses mostly on oil spill liability and response issues.

David Michaels, the new administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is turning up the heat on industry, and critics of the agency under George W. Bush are pointing the Obama administrator toward the pipeline and underground construction industries.

Case Construction Equipment announced the production startup of a new line of military skid steers and compact track loaders. Case has begun manufacturing and shipping the first of several thousand model M400W skid steers and model M400T compact track loaders.

It looks like Congress will give cities and counties some new flexibility in funding drinking water and sewer projects. The Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act of 2010 (H.R. 4849) that passed in the House, 246 - 178 on March 24, has a provision which allows states to issue private activity bonds for water projects without counting the value of those bonds toward state caps.

Congressional concern about "fracing" took another step forward when the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to eight companies asking for details on the chemicals they use during horizontal drilling of shale gas deposits. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the committee, implied in a memorandum to committee members that the "Big Three" of fracing may have violated a voluntary memorandum of agreement they signed with the EPA in 2005.

President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget proposal (for the year starting Oct. 1, 2010) contains significant sums for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds in spite of pressure to reduce non-defense, non-entitlement spending.

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