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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 6-1-21

Situational Awareness
The House continues its District Work Period and the Senate is out for the week as well. The Senate will next reconvene on Monday, June 7 to consider judicial nominations and S. 1260, the Endless Frontiers Act, which invests in research and development to boost U.S. competitiveness.

EEOC Gives Green Light to Vaccine Incentives
Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance for employers seeking to require employees to be vaccinated and providing incentives for vaccination. The guidance makes clear that employers can offer bonuses and other incentives that encourage employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Until this new guidance was issued, there had been questions about whether offering inducements would violate federal anti-discrimination laws.

President’s Budget Boosts Labor Spending for Enforcement
Last week the president released his budget blueprint for the 2022 fiscal year. While often released with great attention, presidential budgets are rarely given much credence in Congress—though they can shed light on priorities of the administration. Such is the case in the Department of Labor sections of President Biden’s budget proposal. The proposal significantly boosts spending within the department that signals a renewed commitment to enforcement of federal labor laws such as worker classification and other protections. The president proposes increasing Wage and Hour division spending by $30 million and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration by more than $72 million next year. While the final levels will be determined by Congress, the increases are expected to be met favorably by Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.

New Mexico Special Election Today
A special election to fill a vacant House seat will be held today in New Mexico. The seat was vacated by now Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland. The district is based in the city of Albuquerque and is expected to remain in Democratic control. Once filled, it will increase the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to 220 votes—still a historically slim margin. There are still four vacant seats in the House that have yet to be decided in special elections.

NCA Policy Agenda and Rep. Gimenez Featured at National Club Conference
The NCA’s National Club Conference was held at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla., last week and attendees had the opportunity to hear from Congressman Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) who represents Florida’s 26th District in which the Ocean Reef Club resides. The congressman provided attendees with an inside look into what’s happening in Washington as well as his thoughts on infrastructure negotiations, immigration and other issues. The closing session of the conference allowed me to highlight NCA’s Policy Agenda, which covers five main issue areas: taxes, health care, labor, immigration and the environment. The Policy Agenda serves as a guide by which the association can measure support or opposition to specific legislation or regulatory actions. You can find the policy agenda on the NCA website.

Private Club Radio Appearance
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to go live on Private Club Radio with Gabe Aluisy. As ever, I enjoyed speaking with Gabe about the work NCA is doing on legislative and regulatory issues, but since we were just coming back after a highly successful National Club Conference we talked about that as well. Listen to the 15-minute segment here.