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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 4-25-22

Situational Awareness
The House and Senate are in session this week. The Senate will consider several nominations. The House will take up a Senate-passed aid package for Ukraine this week.

NCA Provides Input on Overtime Regulations
On Friday, I will meet with the Department of Labor to discuss potential changes to the overtime threshold. The The Department of Labor has held meetings with business and labor stakeholders recently to gather information about the effects of a potential increase in the overtime threshold for exempt workers. I met with several Labor officials via Zoom on Friday, April 22 to share NCA’s perspective on the issue. My comments focused on concerns clubs have previously expressed regarding the seasonality and regionality of labor working in the club sector. I also shared an example of how the inclusion of only 10% of commissions toward meeting the minimum overtime threshold is inadequate for some club employees such as golf professionals, tennis instructors and others who receive a significant amount of compensation through instruction fees. Finally, I highlighted the fact that weather plays a significant role in the number of hours club employees can work in a given week and urged the Department to take these factors into consideration in developing an adjustment to the overtime threshold. Other industries urged the Department to hold off on adjusting the overtime threshold due to continuing uncertainty and disruption due to COVID-19, inflation and supply chain problems. The Department of Labor is expected to issue a proposed rule sometime this year.

Legislative Days Dwindling Ahead of Mid Term Elections
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg will kick off this year’s National Club Conference on Monday, May 16 by wEffective The November 8 midterm elections are 197 days away, but the number of days Congress will be in session prior to the election is dwindling. The schedule for the House of Representatives shows the chamber in session in Washington for just 37 days, including this week. The current schedule shows the House will adjourn on September 30 for the elections and then return to Washington on November 14. The limited number of days available for votes and a laundry list of issues Congress must address prior to September 30 means we’re likely to see a heightened sense of urgency among leadership. There are a few items Congress must complete prior to the end of the fiscal year, such as the Defense Authorization Act and annual appropriations, leadership will no doubt want to shoehorn political messaging bills into the mix as well. For their part, House Republicans will force as many votes as they can on issues they are likely to run on this year, such as border security and rising crime rates.

Texas Congressman Questioned About Private Club Expenditures
Representative Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) is facing questions from the House Ethics Committee about $2,300 in charges his campaign covered for expenses at the Amarillo Club in Amarillo, Texas. The charges were itemized as “dues” and “membership fees.” The use of campaign funds for dues, fees or gratuities at a country club, health club or recreational facility are considered personal expenses unless they are directly tied to a fundraising event. Jackson’s campaign has said the funds were used strictly for fundraising events at the club. NCA will soon be release a guide for members on how to handle events for federal elected officials and candidates.

NCA Supports New Visa Program
Last week, NCA wrote to Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-Penn.) expressing support for legislation he introduced that would create a new H-2C visa program aimed at addressing the worker shortage in the service and hospitality sector. The bill, H.R. 7239, the Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act, would establish the new visa that would allow non-immigrant workers to stay in the U.S. for three years and renew the visa twice for a total of nine years. Under the legislation, there would be a minimum of 65,000 H-2C visas issued each year with an option to increase the number to 85,000 if economic conditions warranted additional workers. NCA’s support for the legislation stemmed from a recent meeting I had with the Congressman’s staff. The bill does not yet have a Senate companion bill and while there has been some discussion about immigration legislation, it is unlikely to gain momentum this year. NCA will continue to work with the Congressman and his staff to garner additional support for the bill. You can see a copy of the letter here.

National Club Conference Special Room Rates Ending Friday
Time is quickly running out to secure the special room rate at the Hotel Bennett for the 18th Annual National Club Conference, May 15-17 in Charleston, S.C. You can book your room here or call 843-203-0922 and select option #2. Be sure to mention NCA Group Code 106785. The last day to book this rate is Friday, April 29.

The last room block sold out, so be sure to register to the Conference and lock in this low rate before it goes away!