Talk of impeachment has taken over Washington, D.C. With all the attention focused on President Trump's dealings with the president of Ukraine, what will become of CRM industry priorities?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi directed six committees in the U.S. House of Representatives (Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, and Ways and Means) to gather evidence on allegations that the President has committed abuses of power. She accused the President of betraying his oath of office and betraying the integrity of our elections. In response, the President and his spokespeople said that the impeachment inquiry destroyed any chance for legislative successes. It is therefore fair to assume that the White House does not plan to lead any major push for a big, bipartisan achievement, like funding new infrastructure development.
The White House's attitude may also complicate negotiations over the bills funding the government for Fiscal Year 2020, and could increase the likelihood of another federal government shutdown. At present, the House and Senate have passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through November 21. Assuming the President signs the CR, budget battles will be postponed until November.
Since legislative action will likely slow, CRM professionals should focus their attention on the regulatory arena. Changes to regulations are ongoing, and could have major impacts on CRM work. ACRA monitors and submits comment letters to federal agencies on proposed changes to regulations pertaining to CRM work. We anticipate that these efforts will continue apace until the elections in November 2020 and ask ACRA members to participate by sharing their experience and expertise. In addition, we will continue monitoring the reorganization of the Department of the Interior and the agency's efforts to move many federal employees out west. For example, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to shrink the teams that review NEPA compliance and scatter the employees across several states. These changes will probably hinder the permitting process and further antagonize Congressional committees who have protested that BLM failed to adequately justify these changes.
With so much happening, the only prediction we can make with any certainty is that D.C. will be embroiled in controversy for quite some time to come. For further updates on what's happening in D.C., please join Marion Werkheiser and Burr Neely for their presentation at the ACRA conference next month!
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