The Senate voted 72 to 26 to pass a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill to fund government operations through the end of Fiscal Year 2014. The House of Representatives passed the bill earlier this week by a vote of 359 to 67.
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Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid successfully led an effort to change long-standing Senate rules to greatly restrict minority party use of the filibuster to prevent or delay votes on most federal nominees. Senate rules previously required 60 Senators to agree before the chamber could move forward on most legislation or nominations. Under the change, only a simple majority of 51 votes will be required to advance the Obama Administration’s picks to key federal posts.
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On November 12, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing on the willful misclassification of workers as independent contractors by their employers.
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In a vote of 55-44, the Senate approved the nomination of Richard Griffin as General Counsel of the NLRB on Tuesday evening. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the lone dissenting Republican to join her Democrat colleagues in voting for Griffin’s nomination. His nomination was expected to pass easily with enough Republicans indicating they would vote for a motion to invoke cloture on the nomination, ending debate and allowing the Senate to move forward with a vote. Eight Republicans voted for cloture to bring the tally to 62, exceeding the necessary 60 vote majority.
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On Wednesday evening, the U.S. Senate voted 81 to 18 on a deal that would both reopen and fund the government through January 15, 2014 and also raise the debt ceiling through February 7. Late into the night, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) led the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the agreement by a vote of 285 to 144, just before the widely accepted deadline of October 17 when the nation would default on its debt. The bill was signed into law by President Obama around midnight, and federal agencies re-opened with furloughed staff reinstated on October 17.
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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.”
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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.
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Mistakes happen, to err is human, and it is not unusual for the first edition of a book to have typos. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn holds the record for the most mistakes in a first printing. In general the more errors the first generation of a literary book has, the more valuable it is to a collector.
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The code making process is not only for those involved in IEC at the national level. Many companies can benefit from working closely to create and change the National Electrical Code® (NEC). I challenge you to take your company to a higher technical level through participation in the code making process of the NEC.
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The story of the arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) is an interesting one as it is technical in nature, wrapped in controversy, fueled by passion, and delivers a positive electrical safety impact to the electrical industry. The 2014 National Electrical Code® (NEC) again modified Section 210.12, expanding AFCI coverage and providing more options. When you open your code book to Section 210.12 this year, don’t let the size of the section intimidate you. It’s not all that big of a change.
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