- capital report: november 13, 2018
capital report: november 13, 2018
The 2018 Election in Five Bullet Points
1. Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives,
gaining at least 35 seats (a few races remain undecided). Democrats needed to gain
23 seats in order to secure the majority and were expected by most analysts to shift
the balance by about 30 seats.
2. Republicans expanded their lead in the U.S. Senate, picking up at minimum three seats: Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri. Florida is currently undergoing a manual recount with Republican Rick Scott leading by just over 12,000 votes. Democrats picked up two seats (Nevada and Arizona) while holding onto two tough seats in states where Trump is very popular (Montana and West Virginia).
3. Democrats flipped seven governorships, with Georgia still
undecided, while Republicans flipped one governorship (Alaska). Excluding
Georgia, Republicans now control 26 governorships and Democrats control 23.
4. Democrats had a net gain of five state legislative
chambers. Democrats now control 37 state chambers, while Republicans control
62. Democrats flipped over 370 state-level seats on election night, winning
back a significant chunk of the 900+ seats lost during Obama’s tenure.
5. Democrats had a net gain of six “trifectas,” which occur
when one party controls both state chambers as well as the governorship.
Republicans had a net loss of four trifectas, excluding the result in Georgia.
As of today, only 13 states will have divided government, down from 16 prior to
Caucus Member Profile: Brendan Boyle
Capital Report will
regularly feature profiles of Auto Care Caucus members. The Auto Care Caucus is
a bipartisan organization made up of lawmakers from across the United States. Members
include elected officials in Congress who have an interest in protecting the
safety and economic wellbeing of American consumers and the livelihood of the
auto care industry.
U.S. Congressman Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., has represented Pennsylvania’s
13th congressional district since 2014 and currently serves as co-chair of the
Auto Care Caucus. He sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as
the Committee on Budget. Auto Care Association staff had the opportunity to ask
Congressman Boyle some questions about autos and advocacy.
Do you have a dream
“Probably a BMW convertible. Although I am happy with
my current car, an American-made hybrid.”
What do you think is
the most common vehicle repair job?
“I’d have to guess an oil change is the most common, since
it needs to be done every few thousand miles.”
What’s been your most
memorable moment from your time in Congress?
“My most memorable moment in Congress was meeting Pope
Francis. The week before his visit I broke my ankle playing football so when I
met him my leg was in a cast and I was sitting in a wheelchair. I’m sad to say
my leg didn’t heal any faster than it was supposed to after the encounter.”
What’s a common
misconception about Congress?
“People view Democrats and Republicans as being enemies who
can’t agree on anything. In fact, we personally get along quite well, and we
pass dozens of important bills each session. Some of my good friends on the
Hill are Republicans who I have come to know well from the House Members Gym.”
What’s the best way
your constituents can get in touch with you to talk about an issue?
“Call or email one of my five offices any time! We love
hearing constituents’ insights and perspectives on the issues of the day, and
we are also happy to assist anyone navigate the federal bureaucracy.
Constituent service is my highest priority in office, from accessing veterans’
benefits to applying for healthcare services.”
Visit Congressman Boyle’s website: https://boyle.house.gov/
New House Leadership Will Impact Industry Policy Priorities
With Democrats winning control of the U.S. House of
Representatives, there is already consensus on which leaders will likely step
into the key committee chair roles and thus drive policy over the next two
years. Working with committee chairs is a core component of the Auto Care
Association’s lobbying strategy, as these individuals control which issues
advance through the legislative process.
Energy and Commerce: Rep.
Frank Pallone, D-N.J., Energy and Commerce Ranking Member since 2014, is
expected to step into the chairman role of this influential committee. This
committee oversees health insurance and environmental issues as well as the
vehicle data issue—an issue in which the auto care industry is heavily
invested. In partnership with the Ways and Means Committee, Energy and Commerce
is expected to push for some “fixes” to the Affordable Care Act in early 2019.
Ways and Means: Rep.
Richard Neal, D-Mass., will likely take control of the Ways and Means
Committee, which holds full responsibility for taxes as well as a range of
other issues, including international trade. Beyond securing President Trump’s
tax returns for oversight/political purposes, Neal is expected to address two
recent legislative feats: the Affordable Care Act and last year’s tax cuts.
Trump’s controversial trade policies will also be a primary focus of this
committee in 2019.
Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is expected to become the next chair of the Judiciary
Committee, which will play a key role in oversight, including managing the
Russia investigation and other criminal investigations involving the Trump
administration. The Auto Care Association hopes that the change in committee
leadership will lead to legislation amending the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act (DMCA) to ensure the auto care industry has access to embedded vehicle
software necessary for replacement parts development and repair.
Infrastructure: Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Ranking Member for
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is the favorite to step into the
chairman’s seat. DeFazio has long sought major federal infrastructure
legislation—perhaps an opportunity for Congress and the White House to work
Education and the
Workforce: Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., will become chair of the Education of
the Workforce Committee. Raising the minimum wage, mandatory paid family leave
and college affordability comprise the topics the committee is likely to prioritize
in early 2019.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
ICYMI: U.S. Copyright Office Grants Software Exemption to Third Parties
On Oct. 26, in response to a joint petition from the Auto
Care Association and Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the U.S. Copyright
Office expanded exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that
had previously only allowed vehicle owners
the right to legally circumvent embedded vehicle software. The decision, which
grants third-party service providers as well as replacement part and tool
manufacturers access to this software, is a major victory for the auto care
Furthermore, the Copyright Office adopted the Auto Care
Association’s recommendation to remove previous language excluding vehicle
telematics and entertainment programs from any exemption. According to the final
rule, “The Acting Register was persuaded that, due to increasing
integration of vehicle computer systems since the 2015 rulemaking, retaining
this limitation may impede non-infringing uses that can only be accomplished by
incidentally accessing these systems.”
The new exemptions will remain in place for three years,
after which the U.S. Copyright Office must decide whether to continue to
support the same exemptions. The Auto Care Association will continue to push Congress
for legislation amending the DMCA, which would resolve this issue permanently.
Questions? Contact Aaron
Read the press release: https://www.autocare.org/auto_care_association_successfully_petitions_copyright_office_to_exempt_repairers_from_dmca_software_anti_circumvention_prohibition/?gmssopc=1