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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 4-17-23

Situational Awareness
The House and Senate are in session this week. The Senate will be considering a nominee to the Department of Defense. The House will consider bills to override President Biden’s veto of a resolution to void the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, disapproval of recent law enforcement policies adopted by the DC Council and a bill to limit participation of transgender athletes in sports designated for women.

Private Clubs Receiving DOJ Investigation Letters
NCA has learned a number of private clubs around the country have received general investigation letters from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Division requesting information on their receipt of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program during the pandemic. As many WWU readers will recall, there was a great deal of confusion about club eligibility for PPP early in the program and lenders were particularly aggressive in seeking loan applications. If your club has received a letter from the DOJ and you would like information about firms working on these issues, please contact Joe Trauger at [email protected].

Federal Judge Halts WOTUS in 24 States
Last week, a federal judge in North Dakota enjoined the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from enforcing the recently effective WOTUS rule in 24 states. This action comes after a judge in Texas prevented the rule from going into effect in Texas and Idaho. NCA issued a member alert last week on this issue and will continue to keep members apprised of legal and legislative developments. Expect legal action on WOTUS to continue in the months ahead. The Supreme Court has yet to issue its ruling in Sackett v. EPA, which would further affect the breadth of the EPA’s authority in regulating bodies of water through a challenge of what a “significant nexus” to a federally regulated body of water means. The court heard oral arguments last fall and a decision is expected in the next few months.

House Readies Energy Package
House Republicans are putting the final touches on energy legislation that has earned first billing as H.R. 1 in the House. The legislation’s aim is to counter moves the Biden administration has taken that they claim have depressed production and increased bureaucratic red tape leading to higher costs for consumers and businesses. The bill will include provisions designed to accelerate federal permitting for energy production, infrastructure and forestry. Typically, the Speaker of the House is given discretion to reserve the first 10 bills introduced in Congress for their party’s top priorities. The House Rules Committee will meet today to adopt a rule for its consideration in the House this week.

Labor Nominee Hearings This Week
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to hold hearings on the nomination of Julie Su to be Secretary of Labor. Su’s nomination to replace Sec. Marty Walsh is showing signs of trouble in the Senate due to an absence–Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) continues to convalesce after being diagnosed with shingles last month–and reports that Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and potentially other Democrats are not enamored with the pick. Republicans have complained about not being able to schedule one-on-one meetings with Su prior to the hearing–a traditional pre-hearing exercise for Senators to get better acquainted with the nominee and ask questions privately.

GNCA/CMAA Strategic Collaboration Panel at #ClubConf23
At next month’s 19th National Club Conference in Chicago, CMAA President & CEO Jeff Morgan and I will lead a discussion with NCA Board Member Tim Muessle of the Olympic Club and CMAA Board Member Joe Krenn of Farmington Country Club to discuss the strategic collaboration between the organizations to improve club governance. Join this exciting industry event by registering here.