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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 6-19-23

Situational Awareness
The House and Senate are both in session for a short week due to the Juneteenth holiday. The House will consider several health insurance bills and a measure to override President Biden’s veto of a joint resolution to cancel his student loan forgiveness plan. The Senate will consider two nominations this week and could hold a vote to override the Environmental Protection Agency’s new truck emissions standards.

Water Management Bills Pass 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 Some energy credits will be modified or repealed as offsets.

  • 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 decisions.
  • H.R. 3675, 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.

Senate HELP Committee to Mark Up PRO Act & Other Labor Bills
On Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold an executive session on S. 567, the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) of 2023; S. 728, the Paycheck Fairness Act; and S. 1664, the Healthy Families Act. NCA has opposed these measures in the past and has signed onto a letter to the committee opposing the bills. Despite committee action in the Senate, the bills do not have the votes to pass in the Senate or the House.

Appropriations Work Continues
The House Appropriations Committee will continue its work to pass 12 separate FY 2024 funding packages. Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development passed its FY24 funding bill, which will have to be considered by the full committee before reaching the floor of the full House of Representatives. The legislation contains language that would prohibit the use of funds for the Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, while also providing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with an additional $1.5 billion for flood and storm damage reduction activities.

Spring Unified Regulatory Agenda Released
Twice annually, the federal government releases its Unified Regulatory Agenda to provide updates on its planned regulatory actions for the upcoming year. There are a number of actions NCA is following that may affect private clubs:

Department of Labor

  • Employment and Training Administration and Wage and Hour Division along with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are jointly proposing to update the process by which employers seeking to employ H-2B workers would obtain temporary certification from the DOL for use in petitioning DHS to employ a nonimmigrant worker. The agencies project a notice of proposed rulemaking in August 2023.
  • OSHA will convene a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel to explore the potential of rulemaking on a federal heat stress standard. The panel will take place in August 2023. NCA has weighed in with the agency urging caution in any rulemaking to ensure it is flexible and fosters a collaborative process between employer and employees.
  • DOL proposed to rescind the January 2021 Independent Contractor rule and establish an analysis for determining employee or independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While the regulatory agenda indicates the agency anticipates a final rule in August, recent court filings in a case challenging the repeal of the Trump era IC rule, the DOL indicated it requires an additional 120 days to finalize the rule. This would place a final rule release sometime in October 2023.
  • DOL is expected to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on updating the overtime threshold for exempt/nonexempt workers in October or November.

Department of Homeland Security

  • DHS plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking that will modernize and reform the H-2B worker program. The agency will propose to incorporate policies that produce program efficiencies, address current aspects of the program that may unintentionally result in exploitation or other abuse of H-2B workers, build upon existing protections against prohibited payments or other assessments of fees and/or salary deductions by employers in connection with recruitment and/or employment, and other protections for workers. The agency anticipates a notice of proposed rulemaking in September 2023.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plans a notice of proposed rulemaking this month that would change how FEMA defines a floodplain. Additionally, FEMA would use natural systems, ecosystem process, and nature-based approaches, where practicable, when developing alternatives to locating the proposed action in the floodplain