Legislative Updates

From the monthly archives: February 2020

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'February 2020'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Grassroots Awards:

 

Reminder that the 2019 Grassroots Award application is live and available for completion by chapters. The form can be accessed here (abc.org) or here (National Connections). The deadline for completing the application is Friday, March 6th. If you have any questions, please reach out to Patrick McCarty (mccarty@abc.org).

Election Update – The Nevada Caucuses:

  Although the final results have not been completed, Sen. Bernie Sanders has won the Nevada Causes with 40.7% of the aligned vote.  Vice President Biden ran second recording 19.7%, as compared to Mayor Buttigieg’s 17.1%.    An interesting anecdote coming out of the Nevada caucuses was Sen. Sanders’ good performance among Nevada’s powerful Culinary Workers Union on Saturday. Sen. Sanders “dominated” other candidates among culinary workers despite the Union’s leaders’ high profile battle with and “non-endorsement” of Sen. Sanders over his proposed “Medicare for All” plan, which union leaders argue would completely dismantle union-negotiated healthcare plans.  With a decisive victory, Sen. Sanders has emerged as the frontrunner for the nomination, with several others failing to keep pace with his delegate count.   The next state to vote is South Carolina on Saturday, Feb 29th. The Palmetto state is the final state ...

Presidential Budget Request Hearings:

 

As is the annual tradition, the House and Senate will host the several agency heads in their committee rooms over the next couple weeks to further explain their agency’s plan and priorities in presidential budget request. This week, Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Secretary Betsy DeVos of the Department of Education and, and newly appointed SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, will be among the administration officials testifying in the respective committees on the FY2021 budget request.

Transportation/Infrastructure Update:

 

Continuing the push of a bipartisan $287 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill, the Senate will hold a hearing series on the reauthorization of surface transportation. This week, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Public Transportation Stakeholders’ Perspectives.”

Meanwhile, the House will also hold hearings this week in coordination with House Democrats’ $760 billion framework with no determined funding source. Those hearings include: The House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure Hearing: Moving America's Infrastructure Forward, and a House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Hearing: "Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2020.

Hearing on National Apprenticeship Act Reauthorization:

 

On Thursday, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment will hold a hearing titled: “Reauthorizing the National Apprenticeship Act: Strengthening and Growing Apprenticeships for the 21st century.” The hearing will start the reauthorizing process to the National Apprenticeship Act that was passed in 1937. Although the bill looks to focus only on the registered apprenticeship programs, ABC continues to talk with the Committee to ensure that the reauthorization provides more flexibility while modernizing the current registered apprenticeship program to work better for the entire construction industry, not just union labor.

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 ...