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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 7-19-21

Situational Awareness
The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will consider 14 bills on the Suspension Calendar and the Senate will continue work on nominations until an expected procedural vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package on Wednesday.

H-2B Provisions Stricken From Appropriations Bill
Last week, the NCA sent out a Member Alert urging contacts be made to members of the House of Representatives to oppose provisions that would be severely detrimental to the H-2B seasonal worker program contained in the annual Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill. The provisions that have been stricken from the bill would have prohibited industries from using the H-2B visa program if they experienced unemployment of over 10 percent in any of the previous 12 months, increase the baseline for wages to at least 150 percent of the federal or state minimum wage and require wage compliance with a collective bargaining agreement for your industry even if the employer is not covered or a party to the agreement. NCA will continue to keep an eye on these issues as the appropriations process continues as there is a possibility they could resurface.

Infrastructure Package Faces First Test
While the details of the bipartisan infrastructure package are still being ironed out, Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) has set up the first hurdle it must overcome on Wednesday. The Senate is expected to take a vote to move to consideration of the package, which will require a vote of 60 senators to succeed. While procedurally this is not unusual, what is unusual is the fact that the legislation hasn’t been fully drafted yet and negotiations are still ongoing. The broad outlines of the bipartisan package stipulate that the bill will contain $579 billion in additional spending above the baseline number already authorized, but provisions to pay for the additional spending are still in flux. Over the weekend, negotiators agreed to drop increased funding for the Internal Revenue Service as a means to increase tax enforcement with the goal of recovering an estimated $100 billion in uncollected tax revenue. Though the provision has been dropped within the context of infrastructure, it could resurface in the budget reconciliation package. The concurrent discussions among Democrats in the Senate on a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package are ongoing, but is expected to contain wide-ranging changes to federal policy on climate change, health care, taxes and labor policy.

PRO Act Provisions In Play for Reconciliation
Labor union leadership continues to press Senate Democrats to include some or all of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) in the budget reconciliation package, but obstacles remain due to Senate parliamentary rules. Under the rules for reconciliation, all items included must have a measurable impact on federal spending. This requirement raises questions about whether and how policies included in the PRO Act, such as preempting state right-to-work laws could meet parliamentary muster. One provision, monetary penalties for employers who run afoul of organizing rules, appears to be on track for inclusion because it clearly has budget implications, though others less so. Union leaders in Washington have increased pressure on Senate Democrats, which could complicate efforts to get all 50 on board to pass the package.

Sign Up for ClubPAC
One important aspect of NCA’s government relations program is ClubPAC, which is the private club community’s political action committee. ClubPAC provides an avenue for the club community to support candidates and build relationships with representatives and senators on both sides of the aisle. Participation in ClubPAC is voluntary and you can sign up by filling out a prior authorization form to be added to our list of club leaders receiving information about our political engagement.