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NCA’s Washington Weekly Update 7-10-23

Situational Awareness
The House and Senate are both in session this week following a two-week recess. The House will consider the National Defense Authorization Act for FY24–must-pass annual legislation that specifies how the Pentagon will allocate their federal budget. In addition, the House will also vote on bipartisan legislation intended to streamline the SEC’s Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation’s process to gather timely information, such as field surveys.

  • For the remainder of the month, leadership in both chambers will dedicate most of their policy bandwidth to negotiating discrepancies on the House and Senate FY2024 spending bills. The three major points of contention will be the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education and Homeland Security accounts, which are billions of dollars apart:

Labor Nominee Facing Questions

Last week, House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office asking the agency to clarify acting Labor Secretary Julie Su’s legal authority governing her acting service and how long she can stay in the position. Despite expressing optimism about her nomination to the top position in the Department of Labor (DOL) in a recent interview with CNN, Su’s confirmation has stalled in the Senate. As as a result, the DOL has delayed any rulemaking on a laundry list of policy priorities. This includes updated rules on independent contractors, overtime threshold and outdoor heat standards.

Despite her concerns over Su’s legal authority, Chair Foxx, along with Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chair Kevin Kiley (R-Calif.), sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su regarding processing delays of H-2B applications. Ahead of final negotiations over FY24 spending bills, it’s possible that the committee could hold a public hearing examining these delays and the importance of providing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with the appropriation resources to resolve the current problem.

SBA Hearing on Fraudulent Loans

The House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing featuring Isabella Guzman, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Administrator Guzman will provide more insight on a recent report released by the SBA Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which concluded that the SBA disbursed more than $200 billion in potentially fraudulent loans through federal pandemic relief programs. The hearing will examine how the federal government can recoup mismanaged loans.

PGA-LIV Merger Subject of Senate Hearing

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will hold its highly anticipated hearing examining the proposed merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf league and the effect the merger will have on the U.S. golf industry. The two witnesses who will testify before the subcommittee are Ron Price, COO of the PGA Tour, and Jimmy Dunne, board member of the PGA Tour who is credited with being a leading figure in the configuration of the joint venture. While it’s expected that the hearing will feature copious criticisms of the industry and broader antitrust law, it’s more likely senators will step aside for the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct its own review of any possible antitrust violations.

Short-term Health Plan Changes Ahead

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced proposed rules that would restrict the use of short-term, limited-duration health plans. The proposed regulations are set to replace Trump administration era-expansions to the limited duration health plans that the Biden administration views as attempting to weaken the Affordable Care Act. The rules would align more closely with the Obama-era version, allowing consumers to purchase short-term plans for three months, with a potential extension for a fourth month.

Register for Thursday Gov’t Relations Webcast

This Thursday at 2, Rob Smith, senior vice president, Platinum Advisors and I will host a webcast outlining what’s going on in Washington that might affect member clubs and what club professionals and board members can do to engage. Topics include WOTUS, labor and other critical issues. Register here.