Capitol Connection: November 30, 2021
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NOVEMBER 30, 2021

Congressional Resolution Introduced Against OSHA COVID-19 ETS

Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) introduced resolutions that, if passed by Congress and signed into law, would nullify the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring companies with 100 or more employees to have their workers vaccinated or regularly tested. The resolution utilizes the rules under the Congressional Review Act that, if implemented, prevent federal agencies from promulgating substantially similar rules ever again. A stay was granted by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals preventing OSHA from enforcing the rule until the legal challenges are ruled on by the 6th Circuit or, quite possibly, the U.S. Supreme Court. IEC has requested to be added to the petition for review brought forward by the Associated Builders and Contractors. You can support the CRA effort and tell your members of Congress to support the SJ Res. 29/HJ Res 65.

 
 
House Passes Reconciliation Bill

Before adjourning for the Thanksgiving recess, the House passed the Democrat-only reconciliation bill that would significantly increase taxes on IEC members. In addition, the bill includes unprecedented provisions that adversely impact merit shop electrical contractors, such as prevailing wage and registered apprenticeship mandates and massive increases in OSHA fines. The legislation will now receive consideration by the Senate, where the parliamentarian could, under reconciliation rules, strip provisions not related to taxing and spending. If you have not already done so, you can visit IEC’s Action Center and tell Congress to oppose the reconciliation bill.

Infrastructure Bill Passage

President Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill, so named for the 19 Republican senators who voted for the bill when it passed the Senate back in August. Fortunately, the bill did not include some of the labor provisions being proposed in other related bills, such as project labor agreements, Davis-Bacon expansion, local hire requirements, and registered apprenticeship mandates. Below are some of the highlights of the bill:

  • $110 billion for roads, bridges, and highways
  • $66 billion for rail infrastructure
  • $65 billion for the electrical grid
  • $65 billion for broadband internet
  • $55 billion for drinking water infrastructure
  • $50 billion for environmental resiliency and western water infrastructure
  • $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations
Congressman Fred Keller Visits Central Pennsylvania IEC
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During National Apprenticeship Week, Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) visited Central Pennsylvania’s apprenticeship program. While visiting, the congressman toured the chapter’s facilities and met with members who discussed issues impacting Pennsylvania electrical contractors to include workforce development challenges, the vaccine-or-test mandate, and the Protecting Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

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