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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 6-12-23

Situational Awareness
The House and Senate are both in session this week. The House is trying to get back on track after a mini-revolt from a group of conservatives who are unhappy with the debt ceiling deal. The House will consider legislation originally on the schedule last week regarding federal regulations generally with the REINS Act and legislation specifically aimed at preventing regulation on gas stoves. The Senate will consider nominations.

Tax Bills Up This Week in House Ways and Means Committee
The House Ways and Means Committee will mark up several tax bills this week that cover personal income taxes, research and development tax break, full bonus depreciation and interest expense deductions. Some energy credits will be modified or repealed as offsets.

Acting Secretary of Labor Su Testifies in House
Last week, Acting Secretary of Labor, Julie Su, testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee. Several Representatives inquired about the Department of Labor’s ongoing independent contractor rulemaking process. In responding to questions, Su clarified that the proposed rule under consideration does not include the ABC test and reiterated several times that the Department is not seeking to eliminate “bona fide independent contracting.” A potential update to the overtime threshold was also raised by Congressman Tim Walberg (R-Mich.). Acting Secretary Su did not provide insight on when a proposed rule might be issued, but emphasized the Department’s efforts to understand the impact of a change. NCA has weighed in with the Wage and Hour Division at Labor, which has the lead in developing a proposed rule.

DOL Provides Timeline to Court for Independent Contractor Final Rule
As part of ongoing litigation surrounding independent contractor status, on Friday the Department of Labor (DOL) requested the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to continue its delay of action on a rule issued in October of 2022 that would repeal the Trump-era independent contractor rule, and stated they needed an additional 120 days to finalize the rule. While the new rule was scheduled to be finalized in May, the request by the Department means the rule is likely to be finalized in October.

New York Pesticide Legislation
Last week, legislation in the New York State Legislature advanced that would prohibit the use of neonicotinoid insecticides in the state. The legislation effectively disregards regulatory actions in the state that would limit the procurement of products containing neonicotinoids to applicators certified by the state to use such products. NCA and state organizations are urging Governor Hochul to veto the legislation and allow regulatory efforts time to work. You can find a fact sheet on Neonicotinoids and the legislation in New York here.

Senators Question Labor on H-2B Processing Times
Last week, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) sent a letter to Acting Secretary Julie Su raising concerns about the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration struggle to process H-2B visas in a timely manner. The letter highlights the DOL’s FY2024 budget request acknowledgment of an increase in H-2B processing as a concern, but that the agency has failed to conduct a “thorough evaluation of its processes or identified specific refinements that need to occur” to resolve delays in processing. The letter requests a response from Acting Secretary Su by June 22, 2023.

PGA Tour – LIV Announcement Met With Scrutiny in Congress
The announcement of a merger of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV last week raised some eyebrows in Congress and several members have indicated they intend to take a close look or block it outright:

  • Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would close a tax loophole that allows the PGA Tour and other professional sports leagues to claim tax-exempt status.
  • Senate Finance Committee Chair, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has indicated he intends to examine whether the merger would give Saudi Arabia’s government unfair access to U.S. real estate.
  • More than 20 senators have said they will closely watch the Department of Justice’s review of the proposed merger and how it could impact players, sponsorships and broadcast rights.

House Hearing on Water Management Legislation
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries is scheduled to hold a hearing this week on three bills that seek to improve water management practices in the West:

  • H.R. 1607, sponsored by Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) would enable the Bureau of Reclamation to explore the construction of pumped-storage hydropower facilities in Arizona’s Salt River reservoir system.
  • H.R. 3027, sponsored by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) would reauthorize funding for the U.S. Department of Interior’s Reclamation Climate Change and Water Program. The program supports studies addressing imbalances between water supply and demand in western river basins, and establishes site-specific pilot programs that incorporate climate change information into water management systems.
  • H.R. 3675, sponsored by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), would allow certain agricultural and municipal recipients of Bureau of Reclamation funding for water storage and delivery projects to prepay allocated costs owed to the federal government.

NCA’s Call for Committee Volunteers
NCA invites our member primary contacts (typically the GM) to serve on a committee that interests you and suits your talent. With every new volunteer, NCA grows more energized and better equipped to serve the private club industry. NCA volunteers enjoy deepened industry knowledge and engagement, expanded networks of club community contacts and friends, and the opportunity to work on initiatives and projects that are important to them and their clubs. To submit your interest, please complete this short form. Submissions are due by June 23, 2023.

Register Today for Upcoming NCA Webcasts

  • Thurs., June 15 | 2 pm ET. Sorting Through all the Racket (About Racquet Sports). Free to all NCA members. Register here.
  • Thurs., June 22 | 2 pm ET. Pathways to Success: Transitioning to a New General Manager/Chief Operating Officer. Free to all NCA members. Register here.