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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 11-22-21

Situational Awareness
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Thankfully, both chambers are out for the holiday.

House Passes Biden BBB Legislation

After months of wrangling between House and Senate leadership and the White House, the House of Representatives decided to go its own way and pass its version of President Biden’s signature Build Back Better plan. While Democratic moderates had threatened to withhold their votes if the bill was not fully paid for, all but one ended up supporting the bill despite the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) noting that it will add $367 billion to the deficit over the next ten 10 years. Major provisions of the $2 trillion Build Back Better legislation are below. NCA generally opposed the measure based on tax and labor policies contained in the bill.

  • Minimum corporate levy of 15% and 1% excise tax on stock buy backs
  • Minimum global tax on foreign profits of 15%
  • 5% tax on incomes over $10 million and an additional 3% on incomes over $25 million
  • 3.8% investment tax for high income individuals and a $10 million cap on retirement accounts
  • State and local tax (SALT) deduction cap raised from $10,000 to $80,000 through 2030 then $10,000 in 2031
  • Internal revenue service receives and additional $80 billion for auditors and technology for enforcement
  • Extends child tax credit monthly payment program through 2022 and makes the credit permanently refundable
  • Caps childcare expenses at 7% of income for children under age five and increases wages for childcare workers
  • Funds included for states to implement universal pre-school
  • Four weeks of paid parental and medical leave beginning in 2024 for those whose employer doesn’t provide such a benefit
  • Increased OSHA penalties for even minor infractions
  • Tax deduction for union dues
  • $300 billion for renewable energy
  • Blocks oil drilling in most offshore waters and Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and fees for leaking methane
  • Up to $12,500 for electric vehicle tax credit
  • Allows government to negotiate prices for drugs on the market for more than seven years
  • Increases Affordable Care Act premium subsidies
  • Increases Medicaid home and community care programs
  • Hearing services coverage under Medicare
  • Parole status for undocumented immigrants who entered U.S. before 2011 and work permits under certain requirements

The House passed the measure by a vote of 220-213 with only one Democrat voting no, Congressman Jared Golden (D-Maine). With passage in the House, the Senate is now in the spotlight where significant changes are expected to meet the concerns of Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). Senator Manchin has raised concerns about paid leave, Medicare expansion and immigration provisions. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has indicated he would like to have the bill passed by the Senate prior to breaking for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

OSHA Vaccine Mandate On Hold—For Now
Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) quietly announced on their website that implementation and enforcement activities related to the recently announced emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring vaccination or testing for employees in companies with 100 or more employees have been suspended pending litigation. At least 34 suits against the ETS have been filed covering nearly every federal circuit court in the nation. A three-judge panel in Louisiana’s 5thCircuit affirmed an initial stay on the ETS while the courts consolidated the cases into one that will be heard by the 6th Circuit Court in Cincinnati, Ohio. In affirming the stay, the 5th Circuit cited grave constitutional issues with the ETS and questioned whether it was, in fact, an emergency given OSHA took several months to draft the standard for a pandemic that has been present for 18 months. The 6th Circuit Court may rule on the stay and if not affirmed once again, it could be kicked up to the Supreme Court for expedited consideration.

Infrastructure Package Goes to Lunch With Leader McCarthy
The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill was passed by the House of Representatives two weeks ago and is slated to be Last week I had the opportunity to have lunch with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as part of our ClubPAC giving plan. We covered quite a bit of policy ground and since I was seated directly across from the leader, clubs were a significant part of the conversation. The leader and I discussed the current environment for clubs now that we’re on the back nine of the pandemic and I emphasized that city clubs without golf are still struggling financially due to cancellations and changing work routines. McCarthy highlighted the upcoming debate over the Build Back Better legislation but did not tip us off that he would be breaking the record for the longest “one-minute” speech in the history of the House of Representatives, which lasted for 8.5 hours the next day. We also discussed election prospects in 2022 and it is safe to say that House Republicans are entering the election year confidently. McCarthy shared that he believed the party’s continued recruitment efforts to get more women and people of color as candidates has been successful as it was in 2020. In addition, 2022 is a redistricting year and Republicans hold a majority of state processes in drawing Congressional Districts

Retirements Accelerating in Congress
With the prospect of losing key parts of their districts, running for other office, or unfavorable political headwinds, an increasing number of House incumbents are choosing to retire from the House. Currently, 17 House Democrats and 10 Republicans have announced their intention to sit out the 2022 election or run for a different office. While 27 members leaving House ranks in one year is not unusual, this pace is likely to accelerate into the early months of 2022. Republican campaign leadership have expanded the field of targeted districts and are expecting to be competitive in at least 60-70 House seats next year. What is particularly noteworthy is retirements of long-time members and committee chairs such as House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) and senior Ways and Means member Ron Kind (D-Wis.). NCA and ClubPAC will be tuned into announcements well into 2022.

Turkey Time Tournament for Toys for Tots

For 18 years, yours truly has been hosting a golf tournament benefitting Toys for Tots the week before or the week of Thanksgiving. We held our tournament for 2021 last week and I’m pleased to share that we raised more than $2,000 cash and a truck full of toys for the kids this year. The tournament features a bipartisan group of co-hosts and a field primarily made up of Hill staffers and former staffers like me who are now lobbyists. It had been 10 years since my last win, and I was able to prevail in my own tournament again this year with a score of 15 under—besting the field by 7 strokes on a cold and windy day. A personal highlight for me was after I hit a drive one of my team members shared that he hoped he could swing the club like I do when he’s 50. As you can imagine, I felt pretty good about that for a second and then just felt really old.