Legislative Updates

Iowa Caucuses:

  The Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest of the 2020 election cycle, begin this week. There are 41 pledged delegates up for grabs in the Democratic race, plus an additional eight unpledged (superdelegates) from Iowa. All eyes are on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who has taken a lead in recent polling in the state. If he is able to gain more delegates than former Vice President Joe Biden tonight then it is increasingly likely he could win his neighboring state New Hampshire next week which will worry establishment Democrats. There are a total of 1,679 precincts that will meet to caucus. The Democratic Party in Iowa will also hold a number of "satellite" caucuses for those who are unable to travel to a caucus location. At most Democratic caucus locations, a candidate must get support from at least 15 percent of attendees to achieve viability. If that threshold isn't met, a candidate's supporters must realign to a different viable candidate or join with other nonviable gro ...

Joint Employer Webinar:

 

On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the Wage and Hour Division will offer a public webinar to provide compliance assistance on the final Joint Employer rule covering:

  • Provisions of the final rule so that employers comply with the changes and inform workers and their advocates of their rights.
  • Specific changes that the final rule will make when it becomes effective on March 16, 2020.
  • Detailed information about new materials and resources available on the joint employer final rule website, https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/2020-joint-employment

Transportation Update:

 

House Democrats last Wednesday unveiled a $760 billion framework to fund infrastructure investments over five years. Pushing through a substantial infrastructure package in an election year is going to be tough and the framework is largely seen as an effort by Democrats to take their first steps on a top campaign priority following impeachment.

The framework notably does not specify how to pay for the increased funding and Republicans outlined their own set of priorities on Tuesday ahead of the release of Democrats’ framework, including addressing the long-term sustainability of the Highway Trust Fund, addressing infrastructure for rural communities and ensuring state flexibility for infrastructure needs.

Impeachment Update:

 

The third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history will conclude this week after Democrats were unable to convince 4 Republicans to vote for additional witnesses and evidence for the trial last Friday. It is expected that President Trump will be acquitted of the two impeachment articles against him, making impeachment largely a campaign issue for both sides during the 2020 presidential election. It is also possible that three Senate Democrats—Sinema (Ariz.), Jones (Ala.) and Manchin (W.Va.) could vote with Republicans to acquit and provide the president with bipartisan support against his removal from office.   

While impeachment will conclude, it is still possible that the House will continue to investigate the administration’s involvement with Ukraine, including a potential subpoena of former National Security Adviser John Bolton, as a way to further damage the president in the lead up to the 2020 election.

PRO Act Update:

  ABC continues to push against the PRO Act as it heads to a vote on the House floor this week. Although the bill is likely to pass, as it has a majority of the House co-sponsoring, we are expecting a strong opposition vote from most Republicans and some swing district, pro-business Democrats that have expressed their concerns with the bill. ABC is sending the attached Key Vote letter on the bill to the Hill today and encourages members to continue to contact their U.S. Representatives to oppose the bill: https://www.votervoice.net/iframes/ABC/Campaigns/70659/Respond. Also, please see the attached draft letter to the editor that can be customized and placed in your local markets and feel free to reach out to Rachel O’Grady (Ogrady@abc.org) if you need any assistance with drafting and placing. Below are some examples of recent articles that have posted from ABC’s Northern Ohio Chapter and others: https://www.cleveland.com/letters/2020/01/tell-rep-joyce-to-vote-against-union-backed-pro-act.ht ...

Impeachment Update:

 

Despite the continuously moving timeline on impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to meet with her caucus today to discuss the next steps in terms of sending the impeachment articles to the Senate. Once this is done, it will set off the trial in the Senate that should conclude by next month. With Majority Leader McConnell in full control, there remains no indication that the president is in any danger. Expect the President to be acquitted of the two impeachment articles that were passed in the House.

ABC PAC Portal Information:

 

Please note that the password has changed to an evergreen password:

ABCPAC As you know, there is now an online contribution portal for ABC PAC. To access the contribution portal, PAC.ABC.org. For more information on the portal and how to use it, please see the one-pager on national connections. This new website allows ABC members whose companies have given Prior Authorization to make fast, secure, and FEC compliant decisions about supporting ABC PAC.

 

PRO Act Update:

  House Democrats are pushing for a floor vote on the ABC-opposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act. While a vote likely won’t come until after the Martin Luther King Day recess, the bill currently has 218 cosponsors (a majority of the House) and it would be expected to pass if put on the floor. The provisions below are only some of the several of the bad provisions that the PRO Act contains. Recently, these were poll-tested by GS strategy Group for CDW, the ABC-led coalition that is leading the fight against the PRO Act. Repeal all state-passed right-to-work laws Limit an employer’s communication with employees about a union trying to organize that workplace Require companies turn over sensitive employee records, like cell phone numbers and home addresses to union organizers Limits the right to a secret ballot for union elections in favor of systems where a person’s vote is public Limits the ability of individuals to work as independent contractors Allows unions to strik ...

DOL Joint Employer Rule:

 

On Sunday, the Department of Labor released the final version of the Trump administration's long-awaited joint employer rule, and while the NRLB is expected to finalize a similar rule under the National Labor Relations Act, and the EEOC is set to propose its own rule clarifying when a company should be classified a joint employer under federal employment discrimination law, this is a major victory for the business community. The final rule uses a four-part test to determine whether a business is jointly liable for minimum wage and overtime violations. The test weighs whether the business, with regard to its franchisee or contractor, maintains the power to hire and fire; to supervise schedules and 'conditions of employment'; to set pay, and to keep employment records. The final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 16 and will go into effect 60 days after publication.

 

Mark Meadows Retiring:

 

On Thursday, North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows announced he won’t be seeking reelection in 2020, making him the 21st GOP retirement this cycle, but unlike many other GOP retirees, Meadows’s motivation for leaving Congress isn’t because he had reelection concerns, disagreements with President Trump or feared the loss of institutional clout if the GOP doesn’t retake the House in 2020. In his announcement, Meadows hinted that he might soon take a job working for the president, although it’s unclear what that role might be.

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