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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 1-3-23

Happy New Year! Team NCA wishes you all the best in 2023.

Situational Awareness
The 118th Congress convenes at noon today. Both the House and Senate will be in session to swear in and vote on rules packages for this session of Congress.

Speaker Race Drama

Presumptive House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has been busy during the holiday break trying to secure the 218 votes needed to become Speaker of the House. House Republicans have largely coalesced around McCarthy, but a group of holdouts numbering between five and 10 members stands between McCarthy and his long-sought prize of the speaker’s chair. While his supporters have projected confidence in his candidacy, there seems to have been little progress in wooing dissenters, setting the stage for drama on the first day of the new Republican majority in the House. The last time a vote for Speaker went two or more ballots was 100 years ago, in 1923 when Frederick Gillett (R-Mass.) won on the 9th ballot. The record for the number of ballots required to win the Speakership was in 1855 when Nathanial Banks (R-Mass.) won on the 133rd ballot after two months of deadlock. Interestingly, Banks was first elected to the House as a Democrat and then ran as a Republican. He ultimately won with 103 votes to 100 for South Carolina Representative William Aiken after the House adopted a resolution allowing for a plurality vote rather than a majority vote.

Election of the Speaker is the first item on the House agenda at the beginning of a session and no other business can be conducted until a majority has been reached. In the history of the House, there have been 14 occasions when a Speaker was not elected on the first ballot—13 of those occurring prior to the Civil War.

WOTUS Rule Finalized

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule defining jurisdictional waters of the United States. NCA sent out a member alert hours after the EPA made its announcement. NCA and others are still analyzing the rule, but it appears to go much further than simply reinstating the pre-2015 definitions and modifications in response to Supreme Court rulings. Reaction on the Hill was swift and critical due to a pending decision from the Supreme Court that will likely have implications for federal jurisdiction of bodies of water. Oral arguments were heard by the court last fall and a decision is expected during the upcoming session of the court.

Changes to Retirement Plans Contained in Omnibus

Among the 4,000+ pages of the omnibus appropriations act passed just before Christmas were changes to 401(k) and IRA plans that will affect private clubs and other employers. NCA sent out a member alert to the changes and is planning a webcast to outline the changes. Several provisions likely to have the most impact on clubs are:

  • Automatic enrollment into employer plans.
  • Matching retirement contributions for student loan repayment.
  • Part-time worker eligibility after two years of employment with a minimum of 500 hours.

The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service will have to go through some regulatory process to implement the changes and NCA encourages members to share their concerns email NCA President & CEO Joe Trauger for the purposes of providing comment and input to the agencies in the coming months.

New Webcast: Casting a Wider Net with Kid’s Programming

Join us Thurs., Jan 12, at 2 pm ET to expand your youth programming. Club membership is skewing younger and it’s a great time to attract new families—and keep them engaged and involved for a long time. Dan Schmitz, owner, KE Camps, will explain how focusing only on programming profits and loss can lead to missing out on some great options that offer long-term wins. Register here.

National Club Conference Registration is Now Open

Register now for the 19th annual National Club Conference, May 7-9 in Chicago! The industry’s most exciting Conference provides C-suite education for club presidents, board members, general managers/CEOs/COOs and staff with best-in-class facilities and recreational events. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your skillset and professional network. Register at the pre-sale rate here.