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Washington Weekly Update 3-18-24

Situation Awareness

Both the House and Senate are in Washington, D.C. this week to complete work on the second set of fiscal year 2024 spending bills. Lawmakers have until Friday evening to pass a broad package that incorporates six separate measures. Currently, disagreements on immigration provisions included in the Homeland Security spending bill have stalled progress on the so-called “minibus.” While final bill text is yet to be released, leadership in both chambers is expected to suspend rules on how much time is allowed for debate in an effort to secure swift passage with bipartisan margins. 

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the House will consider several energy and environmental bills, including H.R. 7023, the Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act. This legislation would streamline permitting under the Clean Water Act’s Section 402—the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)—that addresses discharge of most pollutants, and Section 404, which specifically addresses the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. 

Committees Begin FY25 Appropriations Work

The House Appropriations Committee will hold its first series of hearings with agency heads to discuss the President’s proposed fiscal year 2025 budget. The budget is intended to provide appropriators with a starting point as they produce their own appropriations bills. In the coming weeks, lawmakers will accept programmatic requests from eligible stakeholders. These requests include asks for increased funding for specific federal programs, a set-aside, report language or bill text. For example, an earlier version of the FY24 Energy-Water bill included bill text that would block the EPA from implementing its updated WOTUS rule.

However, in an election year, the President’s budget typically serves as a political document that outlines the President’s policy platform. The President’s budget includes the following labor and immigration-related provisions: 

Department of Labor:

  • The budget proposes to codify DOL’s independent authority to regulate the H-2B program.
  • The budget proposes instituting and significantly increasing penalties at DOL, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the NLRB for employers that violate workplace safety and, health, wage and hour, child labor, equal opportunity and labor organizing rules.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • In FY24, OSHA is planning to publish a final rule on walkaround representation requirements.
  • In FY25, OSHA expects to publish three proposed rules (Tree Care, Infectious Disease and Workplace Violence).
  • In FY25, OSHA plans to expand its outreach through health education campaigns on heat illness prevention and safety and health programs.

Early Bird Rate Ends 3/26: Grow Your Network at the National Club Conference

More than 90% of NCC attendees are motivated to attend for its immensely valuable networking opportunities. This 20th National Club Conference offers 15 of them, including two networking roundtable luncheons, the inaugural New Member Reception, and several fun golf events including Night Golf, the NCC Golf Tournament; and a putting tournament on The Dance Floor, a two-acre lighted putting green. 

NCC24 features industry-leading education on topics to help you better lead your club like the economy, health care, government relations and much more. Register today at the Early Bird Rate, ending March 26, at

EPA Faces New WOTUS Lawsuit from North Carolina Landowner

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers are facing a new lawsuit from a North Carolina landowner that seeks to block the agencies from implementing their final amended “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule nationwide. North Carolina is one of the 22 states where the post-Sackett amended WOTUS rule has been implemented, while the remainder of U.S. states follow a pre-2015 regulatory regime consistent with the Sackett ruling. The second grouping of states were issued a preliminary injunction last year in two separate federal court cases. The first set of states unaffected by pending legislation could now see enforcement of the amended WOTUS rule be blocked if a judge sides with the landowner.  The plaintiff, Robert White, is represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), the group that led the Sackett case which overturned the EPA’s original WOTUS rule.

Thursday Webcast: Tax Refresher for the Private Club Industry

Join us Thursday at 2pm ET for the latest tax updates that affect the private club industry, and details on the Inflation Reduction Act and the expansion of energy tax credit. Alexander Lazzaruolo, CPA, Esq, Partner, Condon O’Meara McGinty & Donnelly, will also discuss social club tax exemption and key tax areas such as private inurement, member income, limitations on non-member income, member/non-member record keeping, non-traditional income and much more. NCA members can register for free here.

GOP Lawmakers Target DOL Independent Contractor Rule

Last week, House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chair Kevin Kiley (R-Calif.) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the Department of Labor’s final worker classification rule. The CRA provides Congress with the authority to issue a joint resolution of disapproval that would overturn Federal agency rules and regulations. NCA published a backgrounder on the issue for clubs; download it here.

The CRA resolution comes a day after the Coalition for Workforce Innovation filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against the rule. Additional business groups joined the lawsuit, including the Chamber of Commerce and NFIB. The lawsuit states that DOL didn’t fully comply with requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act and didn’t provide adequate justification for rescinding the Trump-era independent contractor rule.