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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 5-9-22

Situational Awareness
The House and Senate are in session this week. The House will consider bills on benefits for federal firefighters and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker benefits. The Senate will consider nominations and procedural motions on abortion legislation.

Supplemental H-2B Visa Rule Expected Soon
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is currently reviewing summer-season H-2B supplemental cap rule sent to them by the Department of Homeland Security last week. While the details of the rule have yet to be released, it is expected to allow an additional 35,000 H-2B visas for the summer season. Details are likely to be released soon but there is no set schedule for OIRA’s review.

Employment Nearly Back to Pre-pandemic Levels
Overall, the economy has nearly recovered all the jobs interrupted by the pandemic in March 2020, but is still short by less than 1%. The average job gains during the past 16 months is 520,000, though leisure and hospitality lag significantly compared to pre-pandemic levels. Shown in the chart below, six of 13 industry groups are at employment levels below February 2020’s levels. Employment in leisure and hospitality fared the second worst in recovery, with mining and logging the only category ranking lower.

Mental Health Legislation Advancing
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will vote on bipartisan legislation this week to expand the requirements for health insurers to cover mental health care. The measure is intended to combat the increasing numbers of overdoses, deaths and suicides in the country. Overdose deaths reached an all-time high of 100,000 in 2021 and suicides have increased at an alarming rate among younger generations. There has also been some discussion about a broader mental health package in the Senate, but details have yet to take shape. NCA and allied organizations have been pushing for inclusion of the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT Act) to encourage physical activity, which studies have shown contributes to better mental health.

One Week Left to Register for Our Largest Conference Ever
Register now for the 2022 National Club Conference, May 15-17 in Charleston, S.C., while there is still time. Join hundreds of your friends and colleagues for three days of events, education and excitement in Travel+Leisure’s top U.S. destination. Act soon, as only a few rooms remain at the Hotel Bennett, rated the #1 Luxury Hotel in America by USA Today. Contact John Good for hotel information. Register now before space runs out.