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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 4-4-22

Situational Awareness
The Senate may take up the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court by the end of the week; they may also consider funding for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. The House plans to vote on holding Dan Scavino, former White House deputy chief of staff, and Peter Navarro, former assistant to the president, director of trade and manufacturing policy and national Defense Production Act policy coordinator, in contempt of Congress, along with legislation to revoke normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. The House may also vote on a bill to compel health insurance plans to cover the treatment of birth defects and congenital anomalies, including dental care.

Additional H-2B Visas Released
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they will publish a temporary final rule to release an additional 35,000 H-2B visas. NCA issued a member alert soon after the agency made the announcement. The visas will be available for the second half of fiscal year 2022 from April 1 through September 30, 2022, with 23,500 available for returning workers and 11,500 reserved for nationals of Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Service Worker Visa Program Proposed
Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-Penn.) introduced legislation last week that would create a pathway for workers to come to the United States on three-year visas. They would initially be available for up to 65,000 workers, but that number could rise to 85,000 if market needs indicate more are needed. The bill, Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act, is aimed at addressing the chronic worker shortage for restaurants and other service sector employers.

Progressive Caucus Pushing Biden to Act
The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) completed review of an Occupational Safety and The progressive segment of the House Democratic Caucus met with President Biden last week to urge more use of the regulatory process and presidential executive orders to achieve what they haven’t been able to accomplish through the legislative process. Reports from the meeting indicate members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were urging the president to act on items such as college loan debt and prescription drug costs. Other items on the agenda that would affect the private club community include paid leave, climate change measures and labor policies such as increasing the overtime threshold, heat exposure and implementing additional restrictions to the H-2B program. NCA will meet with the Department of Labor on the overtime issue later this month, filed comments with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on a potential heat rule and supports a more robust H-2B program.

It’s Masters Week!
The 86th playing of the Masters Tournament will begin on Thursday, April 7. Like many other fans, the Masters has long been my favorite major of the year. While I didn’t take up the game with any regularity or sense of purpose until I graduated from college, every year it signifies to me the start to another golf season. As a kid growing up in Minnesota, it never occurred to me that I would be a member of a private club (or two or three), much less a board member and president of a club. While serving on the board of Mount Vernon Country Club, I also chaired the membership committee for three years, and Masters week meant the busy season for meeting and playing golf with prospective members. Since joining the NCA team, it has also signaled another year of working for the community that has meant so much to my family and me. Friday, April 8 will mark my third year with NCA and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the opportunity to represent clubs in Washington and for the support and encouragement many of you have given me the past three years. It has truly been an honor..

New Tax Assessment Webcast Announced

NCA will host a tax assessment webcast on April 14 at 2 p.m. ET. Expert Laurence A. Hirsh, CRE, MAI, SGA, president of Golf Property Analysts, will discuss the issues relevant to private clubs in effectively managing their real estate tax assessments. Among the topics discussed will be the elements of real estate taxes, the definition of market value, the approaches to value, the process for contesting real estate tax assessments and jurisdictional differences, highest and best use and the relationship between cost and value. This webcast is free for NCA members.

Register here.