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Washington Weekly Update 3-4-24

Situation Awareness
Congress averted a partial government shutdown last week after striking an eleventh-hour agreement on a short-term spending measure that would further push back spending deadlines for all 12 appropriations bills. Appropriators will now have until March 8 to complete their work on the Agriculture-FDA, Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA, Transportation-HUD, Interior-Environment and Commerce-Justice-Science bills. Remaining measures that fund the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education will receive additional funding that expires on March 22. Congressional leadership and top lawmakers on the appropriations committees also reached an agreement in principle to fund agencies covered by the first six set of spending bills through the remainder of the fiscal year. 

Top lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee continue to try and find a way forward on the bipartisan tax package passed by the House last month, which includes extends interest deductibility for businesses that borrow at higher interest rates to meet payroll obligations and expand operations, and restores full and immediate deductions for capital expenses (i.e., equipment). According to reporting by Bloomberg, staffers from the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees—the top tax-writing bodies in Congress—are working through opposition from Senate Finance Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) over provisions of the child tax credit portion of the legislation.

EPA Releases Implementation Memos for Updated WOTUS Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two separate field memorandums last week that provide new insight into the agency’s implementation of its post-Sackett “Waters of the United States” conforming rule:

  1. LRB-2021-01386: This memorandum examines a draft jurisdictional determination (JD) examining two wetlands on a single property, and whether a subdivision road without culverts that runs between the two wetlands constitutes a “continuous surface connection.” The memorandum suggests that artificial structures don’t divide a wetland if a hydrological connection (i.e., a culvert) is maintained between the divided portions of the wetland. However, the EPA also notes that it will consider if a subsurface hydrologic connection is maintained. 
  2. MVS-2023-00288: This memorandum examines a draft JD that classified a stream as a non-relatively permanent tributary based on its flow characteristics. EPA determined that the JD adequately supports the non-jurisdictional status of the stream. 

#NCC24 Can’t Miss Education: Leadership, Economy, Health Care, Advocacy+

The 20th National Club Conference, April 28-30 at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort in Frisco, Texas features key education topics to drive your club to greater success, including sessions analyzing rising health care costs, the economic landscape of the private club industry, critical actions Washington is taking that impact clubs, and much more. Social and networking events include a Middleby Innovation Kitchens Tour—perfect for GMs and staff; night golf; an optional PGA Headquarters tour and other exciting activities. Learn more about #NCC24 and register here.

Business Groups File Amicus Brief on Allstates v. Julie Su

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) filed an amicus brief in the case Allstates Refractory Contractors, LLC, v. Julie Su at the U.S. Supreme Court. The brief challenges the constitutionality of OSHA’s statutory authority provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Act to issue safety standards in a workplace. In August 2023, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed OSHA’s authority to promulgate safety standards in its majority Allstates ruling. 

Senate Labor Committee Approves Su Nomination

Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee voted 11-10 to advance Julie Su’s nomination as Secretary of Labor to the Senate floor. The vote was held behind closed doors and was not broadcast live to the public. After her approval by Senate HELP last year, Su’s nomination was in limbo for several months after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) declined to hold a floor vote when it was apparent she would not receive the necessary “Yea” votes for full confirmation.

Visit Us at Booth 323!

Come see us this week at the CMAA World Conference & Club Business Expo! National Club Association staff will be in booth 323. Have questions about your membership? Looking for a resource? Need to register for the National Club Conference or another upcoming event? Just come ask. We can’t wait to see you in Las Vegas!