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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 6-6-22

Situational Awareness
The House and Senate return to Washington this week after the Memorial Day break. The Senate will process nominations to oversee the Air Force while negotiations continue on potential gun legislation. The House will consider a number of bills on the suspension calendar and hold a vote on gun legislation.

DOL Announces Proposed Rule for Independent Contractors
Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced plans to engage in rulemaking on independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL will hold an employer forum on June 24, 2022. The Biden administration’s efforts to address independent contractor status has met with legal issues in the past with a previous rule to delay implementation of the Trump administration’s rule being vacated by a district court. The court ruled the Trump administration’s rule under the FLSA took effect on its original effective date of March 8, 2021 and remains in effect. The DOL announcement came in the form of a blog post and in a departure from previous comments and rhetoric. the post acknowledged “the important role legitimate independent contractors play in the economy.” NCA supported the Trump rule and will provide comment on the new proposed rule.

PPP and Disaster Loan Fraud Bills Advance
On Friday, May 13, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Notice of Appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit following the March 14 Texas federal court decision in Coalition for Workforce Innovation v. Walsh. The district cThis week, the House will vote on two bills advanced by the House Small Business Committee that would grant federal prosecutors as long as 10 years to file fraud charges against recipients of any loan under the Paycheck Protection Program and the Small Business Disaster Loan program. The bills, H.R. 7352 and H.R. 7334, are on the suspension calendar and require a two-thirds vote of representatives present and voting to pass. House leadership is confident the threshold will be met. The Small Business Administration (SBA) inspector general has identified more than 70,000 potentially fraudulent PPP loans totaling more than $4.6 billion as of August 2020, out of $800 billion in loans when the program expired May 31, 2021. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provided $378.4 billion in loans and $7.51 billion in advance payments during the pandemic. The inspector general has identified $78.1 billion in potentially fraudulent loans and advance payments under the EIDL.

Legislative Days Waning
Although the calendar places us in the early days of June, there are only 35 days left on the House’s calendar before the chamber recesses for November elections. The Senate calendar shows a total of 61 days left prior to elections. Congress has quite a legislative load to complete prior to the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2022, which includes appropriations bills to prevent the federal government from shutting down and annual legislation to reauthorize defense programs. The gun legislation being negotiated this week could also tie up at least a week or two in the Senate, and the House Committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021 may spawn legislation related to voting rights or election reforms in the House.

Primaries Held in Seven States This Week
Primary elections will be held in seven states this week including California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. In California, there is a hotly contested primary between incumbent Representative David Valadao (R) and challenger Chris Mathys, who has attacked Valadao for his vote to impeach President Trump for the January 6 Capitol breach. Longtime incumbent Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) faces two credible challengers in his bid for another term. Grassley, who is 88 years old, was first elected to the Senate in 1980.

New Webcast on Thursday: First Steps Toward Future Turf Management
Join us on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET for a forward-looking webcast on the future of turf management, presented by Toro Sr. Director, Center for Technology Research and Innovation John Hurst. Attendees will learn about new technology in the field including electrification, robots, sensors and big data. Register here.