Here are the top political and regulatory stories that will directly impact your business and the merit shop.
House Committee Holds Hearing on NLRB “Ambush Elections” Rule
IEC Submits Testimony on OSHA Circumvention of Regulatory Process
On Tuesday, February 4, IEC submitted written testimony for the record to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing “OSHA's Regulatory Agenda: Changing Long-Standing Policies Outside the Public Rulemaking Process.” The hearing focus was recent actions taken by OSHA to regulate by other means without issuing rules through the formal public comment and review process.
Congress Approves $1.1 Trillion FY 2014 Spending Bill
Senate Democrats Invoke “Nuclear Option” to Restrict Republican Filibusters of Nominees
Issue of Employee Misclassification Heats Up in Congress, DOL
Congress Strikes Deal to End Government Shutdown, Raise Debt Ceiling
On Wednesday, the bipartisan so-called “Gang of Eight” of U.S. Senators unveiled their immigration overhaul package, a product of months of closed-door negotiations with business groups and big labor. The bill is intended to address the status of millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the country, provide new enforcement measures, and restructure our nation’s guest worker program. The proposal has received a lukewarm reception at best, with some business groups concerned about the bill’s ability to meet their workforce needs.
Fall 2013 Legislative and Regulatory Outlook
Depending on the outcome of the current government shutdown precipitated by Congress’ failure to agree to a funding resolution to keep federal agencies running, previously projected legislative and regulatory actions could potentially be delayed or derailed by an ongoing fiscal crisis. However, a number of items remain on Congress’ and agencies’ radars despite the impasse on funding.
IEC Submits Hearing Statement on Career and Technical Education
This morning, IEC submitted a written statement for the hearing record to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on ways to improve career and technical education. The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education invited education system representatives – both from administration and from public schools – to testify on challenges perceived and possible solutions to overcome them in “Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs: A Discussion on Career and Technical Education and Training Programs.”
Senate Confirms Five New NLRB Members
Tuesday evening, the U.S. Senate confirmed all five pending nominees to the NLRB. An agreement was reached between leaders of both parties earlier in July to move on the Administration’s picks as part of negotiations to avert Democrat-threatened filibuster reform.
Senate Committee Votes to Advance Perez Nomination for DOL Secretary
In an expectedly party-line vote of 12-10, the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions (HELP) endorsed Thomas Perez for the position of Secretary of Labor, vacated by Hilda Solis in January of this year. The vote brings the White House nominee one step closer to approval for the cabinet position, with the full Senate set to vote on Perez in the coming weeks.
IEC Legislative Brief: Potential Impacts of the Sequester on IEC Members
On March 1, 2013, federal agencies will see an across-the-board automatic spending reduction take effect. The initial cut of $85 billion will occur immediately and apply equally to defense and non-defense spending, with cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over a 10 year period. However, many large mandatory programs (such as Social Security, Medicaid, veterans benefits, and low-income services) are exempt from the cuts. As a result of these cuts, federal agencies may be forced to reprioritize, down-size projects and staff, and even terminate programs.
Recess Appointments to the NLRB Unconstitutional
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court ruled unanimously that President Obama violated the U.S. Constitution when he appointed members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during a Senate recess. IEC actively opposed the appointments and applauds the Appeals Court's decision (Official case name is Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board).