On March 20, President Biden vetoed a Republican-led effort to overturn a Department of Labor rule on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) guidelines for retirement accounts. The Department of Labor rule will allow ERISA retirement plan managers to consider various ESG factors when making investment decisions, including corporate policies relating to climate change. Earlier in March, the Senate voted 50 to 46 to disapprove of the rule under the Congressional Review Act, with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) joining Senate Republicans. Senate disapproval of the rule followed a largely party-line vote in the House of Representatives, with just one Democratic joining House Republicans.
According to reports, the Biden Administration is set to further tighten restrictions on the export of semiconductor manufacturing gear to China, with new restrictions expected to be announced as early as next month. The rules may double the number of machines that require special licenses for export.
Let’s Talk Numbers: White House Proposes Fiscal Year 2024 Budget
On March 9, President Biden revealed his annual budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. The Budget requests both discretionary and mandatory resources to “out-compete China and advance American prosperity globally.”
Despite the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill’s historic $1.2 trillion investment in U.S. infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates an additional $2 trillion is needed to repair our deteriorating infrastructure. The federal government cannot address U.S. infrastructure funding needs alone. The Federal Infrastructure Bank (“the Bank”) would work directly with states and localities to identify priority projects and secure private capital to advance infrastructure needs across the United States.
Yesterday, President Joe Biden put forward an outline of his Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request to Congress, laying out his funding and policy priorities and recommendations for the fiscal year that begins on October 1. Not surprisingly, Republicans uniformly panned it, and Democrats embraced it. Political obstacles stand in the way of Congress passing a budget resolution, but the starting gun for appropriations season has been fired. Notably, the debt ceiling is inextricably linked to spending decisions, and partisan rhetoric is on the rise from both sides of the aisle.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING: CHIPS FUNDING GUIDANCE & GUARDRAILS
On February 28, the Commerce Department launched the first CHIPS funding opportunity for projects to construct, expand, or modernize commercial facilities for the production of leading-edge, current-generation, and mature-node semiconductors.
Beginning on February 28, 2023, statements of interest will be accepted on a rolling basis and must be submitted at least 28 days before filing a pre-application or full application.
Beginning on March 31, 2023, pre-applications (optional) and full applications for leading-edge facilities will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Beginning May 1, 2023, pre-applications (recommended) for current-generation, mature-node, and back-end production facilities will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Full applications for these categories will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning June 26, 2023.