Legislative Updates

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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.

 

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.

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.

NDAA:

 

The House and Senate passed the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2020, which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense and other national security programs and contains several provisions that have an impact on contractors and apprenticeship programs in the United States. The legislation passed the House on Dec. 11 and the Senate on Dec. 17 and is expected to be enacted into law. Included in the conference report is a requirement that the U.S. comptroller general conduct a report on DoD contractor violations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 or the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. It also directs the comptroller general to conduct a study on the contracting practices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that specifically focuses on how the Corps complies with and enforces the Davis-Bacon Act.

USMCA & Trade Update:

  After last week’s announcement of the agreement to modify the president’s trade deal, the House moved quickly to ratify the USMCA. The House approved the deal in a vote of 385-41 on Thursday. Now the deal needs to be approved by the Senate, and the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to hold a markup of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal on Jan. 7. ABC believes the USMCA will help to ensure certainty in the supply chain and reduce volatility in pricing for building materials from Mexico and Canada to further lift the economy, support more projects and help address the much-needed modernization of our nation’s infrastructure. ABC also believes that the USMCA will further benefit the U.S. economy, with estimates that it will add $68.2 billion to the U.S. economy and create approximately 176,000 new jobs. President Donald Trump also signed off on a phase-one trade deal with China, averting the Dec. 15 introduction of a new wave of U.S. tariffs on about $160 billion of consumer goods. ...

H2B Visas:

 

The spending package also includes language that gives DHS the discretion to release additional H-2B  and report language that states that, “USCIS is encouraged to leverage prior-year materials relating to the issuance of additional H-2B visas, to include previous temporary final rules, to improve processing efficiencies.”  

End of Year Spending and Tax Bills:

  The all-encompassing appropriations bills, split in two for domestic spending and military and national security spending, contained a host of provisions that will affect the construction industry. First, the bill extended tax provisions for the 179D deduction for energy-efficient buildings, which allows a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for the installation of energy-efficient property. Specifically, builders have to show a 50 percent reduction in the energy utilized by the building's envelope, lighting and HVAC systems; the New Markets Tax Credit, which attracts private capital into low-income communities; and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which is available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The bill also eliminated the HIT tax. A product of the controversial 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have resulted in tens of millions of Americ ...

Impeachment Update:

 

The House voted 230-197 to charge Trump with abuse of power and 229-198 to charge him with obstruction of Congress. The votes were largely split along party lines: just two Democrats voted against both articles, Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who switched parties following his vote. A third, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, voted for one impeachment article. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, voted present for both articles. Following the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stirred up controversy, announcing a delay in sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate, seeking more clarity on the rules for President Trump’s trial and potentially pushing the proceedings well into the new year.

 

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