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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 1-10-22

Situational Awareness
Both the House and Senate are in session this week. The Senate is considering a nomination to the Department of Commerce, but the real topic of the week is election reforms. The House will consider legislation regarding veterans’ benefits.

OSHA ETS Ruling Expected
The fate of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring employees at organizations with 100 or more workers either vaccinate or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19 awaits a ruling from the Supreme Court this week. The court heard arguments for three and a half hours on Friday challenging the authority of OSHA to issue such a rule and whether the court should reimpose a stay against implementation of the standard, which went into effect last week. The court was also hearing challenges to the agency’s requirement for health care workers. OSHA has announced that the agency will not issue citations for noncompliance until February 9 and will work to assist employers with compliance. A ruling from the court is expected any time this week. This, and many other employment policy issues, will be discussed during NCA’s Employment Policy webcast on Tuesday, January 11 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Webcast Alert: Employment Policy: What’s Ahead for 2022?
On behalf of the National Club Association (NCA) staff, I’d like to wish all Washington Weekly Update readers a healthy I will be hosting a critical NCA webcast addressing the employment crisis on Tuesday, January 11 at 2 p.m. ET. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Employment Policy Marc Freedman and Ulman Public Policy Founder Josh Ulman will join me to discuss important issues on the 2022 agenda for the Department of Labor and its various agencies (OSHA, Wage and Hour Division) and Congress. This webcast is free for NCA members and $99 for nonmembers. Register here.

Incumbent Republican Senators Decide on 2022
Two key Republican incumbents announced over the weekend that they will run for reelection this year. Senator John Thune of South Dakota had been contemplating publicly whether he would run for a fourth term. Thune is the number two Republican in the Senate behind Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and is considered by many as McConnell’s potential successor. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin announced that he will run for a third term, which back pedals on a commitment to serve only two terms. Johnson has been a Trump stalwart and, haling from a swing state, his announcement has raised hopes of Republicans aiming to retake the majority in the Senate. These two races were recently featured in the latest edition of ClubPAC Insider. You can subscribe to the monthly newsletter here.

Key Labor Indices Show Ongoing Labor Crunch
Economic indicators released last week show continued stress in the labor market. While the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%, total non-farm quits increased to 4.5 million last November, which is an all-time high. Economists are speculating that workers are quitting with the hope of capitalizing on rising wages, which have increased 5.2% during the past 12 months. It’s been 40 years since wages have risen at that rate. The number of jobs being created has also slowed with just 199,000 in December after a lower than expected 249,000 in November. Two key indicators will be released this week—the Consumer Price Index on January 12 and the Producer Price Index on January 13.