ABC-VA Blog

ABC Beltway Blueprint: ABC Slams Withdrawal of IC Final Rule

ABC Slams U.S. DOL’s Withdrawal of Trump-era Independent Contractor Final Rule:

On May 5, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the withdrawal—effective May 6—of the Trump-era independent contractor final rule. While expected, this action is extremely disappointing since ABC strongly supported the Trump DOL final rule, which would have clarified the department’s interpretation of independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act and promoted certainty for employers, independent contractors and employees. Read more.

 

Reminder--Sign on Letter to White House:

ABC is urging member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry, including opposition to the PRO Act, eliminating burdensome regulations, streamlining the permitting process, and supporting bipartisan workforce development efforts. We currently have over 1,000 sign-ons and will be closing the letter and finalizing signatures tomorrow afternoon. You may view the letter and sign on here.

 

Groups Sign on Letter Opposing PRO Act:

Today, Americans for Tax Reform led a letter with more than 70 other good governance groups in opposition to the PRO Act.

ABC’s Kristen Swearingen also released a statement regarding Sen. Mark Warner’s PRO Act comments from earlier this week, saying in part: “While Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) should be applauded for articulating that provisions of the PRO Act that would force American workers into an outdated ‘1980s type of economy’ putting independent contractors out of work, we urge him to dig deeper into the rest of the PRO Act, particularly those provisions that would devastate small businesses, strip away workers’ privacy rights and force them into labor agreements that eliminate Virginia’s right-to-work protections.”

 

ABC, Coalition Push Back on White House Promotion of Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements:

On May 5, ABC and a coalition of 16 industry and employer groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden raising concerns about the administration’s direct expansion and support of legislative policies encouraging or requiring controversial government-mandated project labor agreements on federal and federally assisted construction projects. Read more from today’s Newsline.

 

Language in Senate Clean Energy Tax Credit Overhaul Bill Would Chill Competition from Merit Shop Contractors:

On May 4, ABC sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) raising concerns about provisions in the Clean Energy for America Act that would expand new government-registered apprenticeship program requirements and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage regulations onto the construction of projects receiving clean energy tax incentives. ABC is troubled by provisions in the legislation that will needlessly increase construction costs and reduce competition from qualified companies and their skilled employees who participate in the construction of the clean energy marketplace. Read more in today’s Newsline.

 

President Biden Issues Executive Order to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 for Federal Contractors:

On April 27, President Joe Biden issued an executive order increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors, which would require federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage to workers working on or in connection with a federal government contract. Read more.

 

Register for the 2021 ABC Virtual Legal Conference on Thursday, June 24:

Join ABC leaders, legal and regulatory experts and government officials as they share the latest developments in labor and employment law and their impact on merit shop contractors. Learn more about the seven content-rich virtual sessions!

 

May 18 Webinar:  Marijuana Legalization: What Employers Need to Know:

Several states have enacted laws that protect employees who use marijuana outside of work and limit employers’ ability to take adverse action based on marijuana use.

Maury Baskin and Nancy Delogu of Littler Mendelson P.C., will present an overview of these new rules, employer’s rights and obligations in each state, employers’ drug testing policies and practices and recommended management actions. Learn more.

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: WH Sign-on Letter, ABC Priority Issues for Biden's First 100 Days, ETS Standard

Action Needed—Sign on Letter to White House:

ABC is urging member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry, including opposition to the PRO Act, eliminating burdensome regulations, streamlining the permitting process, and supporting bipartisan workforce development efforts. We will be keeping the letter open this week to allow more time for sign-ons. You may view the letter and sign on here.

 

Biden’s First 100 Days—Impacts on Merit Shop Contractors:

From supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act to rolling back Trump-era regulatory actions, the Biden administration got off to a fast start delivering on its election-year promises to unions. ABC has mobilized to protect merit shop construction and provide members with status and updates on key policy actions. Get the latest on project labor agreement mandates, right-to-work laws, the independent contractor rule and more in ABC’s comprehensive analysis.
 

OSHA Sends Draft COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard to OMB for Review:

On April 27, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration sent a draft OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget for review. The review at OIRA is usually the final step in the process before a rule is officially published, which could take up to two weeks. At this time, neither OIRA nor DOL have made the content of the ETS public, but ABC has requested a meeting with OIRA to discuss its concerns with an OSHA COVID-19 ETS. Read more.

 

REMINDER--PRO Act and FOCA Paycheck Stuffers:

Paycheck stuffers highlighting the PRO Act and Fair and Open Competition are now available for ABC staff and members to utilize.  Both copies may be viewed and printed here and are also available on national connections via FEA.

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: WH Sign-on Letter, Tariff Sign-on Letter, Biden Labor Nominees, DOL Covid Worker Protections, and Reminders

Action Needed—Sign on Letter to White House:

ABC is urging chapters and member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry, including opposition to the PRO Act, eliminating burdensome regulations, streamlining the permitting process, and supporting bipartisan workforce development efforts. We will be keeping the letter open until early next week to allow more time for sign-ons. You may view the letter and sign on here.
 

We have approximately 400 signatures to the letter and most Chapters have signed on. We could really use some of our member companies in the President’s home state of Delaware signing on, along with more member companies from the Carolinas, Louisiana, Indiana, Arizona, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Maine, and Alaska.

 

Labor Nominees Face Push Back from Republicans:

The Biden administration’s nominees for the government’s two most powerful workplace attorneys—Jennifer Abruzzo, for National Labor Relations Board general counsel, and Seema Nanda, for Labor Department solicitor—testified before the Senate HELP Committee yesterday on their nominations. Republican members of the Senate raised concerns about the duo’s partisan views in filling these apolitical legal posts. You can view a replay of the hearing and the nominees’ testimony here. And the ABC led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace released a statement on Abruzzo’s confirmation hearing yesterday as well, stating in part:

“As a hired gun heading up “strategic initiatives” for one of the country’s most powerful unions, we can expect Jennifer Abruzzo will be another planted ally at the NLRB to enable unions’ assault against small business employers and will turn a blind eye to their misleading and intimidation tactics against workers across the country.”

The Committee’s top Republican Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) repeatedly criticized what he described as the pair’s partisan motives, grilling Abruzzo in relation to Biden’s first-day firing of the Trump-appointed NLRB general counsel, and Nanda over her past work at the Democratic National Committee and controversial tweets.

 

Tariff Sign On Letter:

The Coalition for American Metal Manufacturers and Users is circulating a sign on letter to President Biden about the Section 232 tariffs for companies to sign on. There will be a later letter for associations and chapters. Companies can view the letter and sign on here.

 

DOL Launches COVID-19 Worker Protections Resource Page:

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division launched its Essential Workers – Essential Protections initiative to provide resources and offer information on common issues that employers and employees face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the DOL website, WHD’s initiative offers information on the federal laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, that provide critical worker protections regarding wages and hours worked and job-protected leave during the pandemic.

Additionally, WHD is offering various training opportunities for workers and employers on these workplace protections through the Essential Workers – Essential Protections initiative.

More information on these protections and other COVID-19 resources can be found on the DOL website and at abc.org/coronavirus.

 

REMINDER--PRO Act and FOCA Paycheck Stuffers:

Paycheck stuffers highlighting the PRO Act and Fair and Open Competition are now available for members to utilize.  Both copies may be viewed and printed here and are also available on national connections via FEA.

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: WH Infrastructure Letter, PRO Act & FOCA Paycheck Stuffers, Biden Joint Address, Water Infrastructure, Biden First 100 Days

Action Needed—Sign on Letter to White House on Infrastructure:

ABC is urging member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry. You may view the letter and sign on here, and we plan the close the letter tonight.

We have over 300 signatures to the letter and most Chapters have signed on. We could really use some of our member companies in the President’s home state of Delaware signing on, along with more member companies from South Carolina, Louisiana, Indiana, Arizona, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Maine, and Alaska.

 

REMINDER--PRO Act and FOCA Paycheck Stuffers:

Paycheck stuffers highlighting the PRO Act and Fair and Open Competition are now available for ABC staff and members to utilize.  Both copies may be viewed and printed here and are also available on national connections via FEA.

 

Biden Joint Address Calls for PRO Act, $4 Trillion in Spending:

President Biden on Wednesday called for the passage of the ABC-opposed PRO Act during his first address before a joint session of Congress. The legislation, which is the top priority of labor unions, remains stalled in the Senate. Please see ABC VP Ben Brubeck’s op-ed on the President’s push for PRO Act and infrastructure plan to share with members here.

"The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America, that’s what it says. And, it recognizes something I’ve always said. The guys and women on Wall Street, Wall Street didn’t build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions build the middle class," Biden said. "And that’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass the Protect the Right to Organize Act, the PRO Act, and send it to my desk to support the right to unionize.” Watch the clip.

 
   

Biden also pitched his plan to raise taxes to help cover the roughly $4 trillion in additional federal spending he is proposing. ABC released a statement on the administration’s most recent call to increase capital gains and the top tax-rate for Americans. Additionally, ABC’s coalition on small business tax policy, Parity for Main Street Employers, released a statement criticizing the tax proposal as well.

In some promising developments from the administration, President Biden said he welcomed Republican ideas on his infrastructure and antipoverty proposals and would continue to meet with members of the opposing party in the Oval Office. He also called on Republicans to work with Democrats to find a consensus on overhauling police practices, stopping short of endorsing the partisan House-passed legislation from earlier this year.

The president also called on Congress to pass the immigration proposal he released on his first day in office, which would create a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million people who entered the country illegally, overstayed visas or have obtained temporary protection from deportation, but doesn’t include the increased border security that Republicans have sought in exchange for legalization. ABC has raised concerns over the President’s proposal as well, for its lack of law enforcement and failure to address construction industry’s need for access to a foreign workforce to fill critical jobs.


Senate to Pass Bipartisan Bill Funding Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Investments:

The Senate will vote today on S. 914, the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (DWWIA) of 2021. Before the bill’s passage, ABC sent a letter of support urging U.S. Senators to support the bipartisan legislation.

DWWIA would authorize an investment of more than $35 billion in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the country that focus on upgrading aging infrastructure. The legislation includes nearly $30 billion in funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF) and an additional $6 billion in grant funding over 5 years.

Last December, Congress included the 2020 WRDA bill in the omnibus, but notably did not include any titles related to drinking water and clean water infrastructure. DWWIA builds upon legislation previously reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works in 2020 under Republican leadership, which passed by a vote of 21-0. In 2021, the EPW committee again favorably reported S.914 by a unanimous vote on April 14.

In the letter to Senators, ABC raised concerns that these funds would apply federal Davis-Bacon Act requirements to federal and non-federally funded projects - decreasing the value to taxpayers while not applying any restriction to size of the project and without requiring the Department of Labor to improve its ongoing wage determination issues. The Obama Administration’s implementation of the EPA’s Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations affecting the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs added Davis-Bacon wage requirements to the programs.

Additionally, before passage, ABC highlighted that the flawed and inflationary wage determination process increases the cost of construction and can have chilling impact on competition, particularly for small and minority-owned businesses to the EPW Committee.

However, ABC is encouraged by the bipartisan nature of the bill, as we continue to encourage lawmakers to promote a fair and open competitive procurement process free from ABC-opposed project labor agreement mandates, as this bill is.

 

Biden’s First 100 Days: Impacts on Merit Shop Contractors:

From supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act to rolling back Trump-era regulatory actions, the Biden administration got off to a fast start delivering on its election-year promises to unions. ABC has mobilized to protect merit shop construction and provide members with status and updates on key policy actions.

 

Get the latest on project labor agreement mandates, right-to-work laws, the independent contractor rule and more in ABC’s comprehensive analysis.

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: WH Infrastructure Letter, EO on Worker Organizing, President Biden Address to Congress, Federal Contractor Min. Wage Increase, Grassroots Awards, and Reapportionment

Action Needed—Sign on Letter to White House on Infrastructure:

Tomorrow, President Biden will issue his first address to Congress and is expected to focus on his infrastructure plan and priorities for his $2+ trillion American Jobs Plan.

ABC is urging member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry. You may view the letter and sign on here. 

 

PRO Act and FOCA Paycheck Stuffers:

Paycheck stuffers highlighting the PRO Act and Fair and Open Competition are now available for ABC members to utilize.  Both copies may be viewed and printed here and are also available on national connections via FEA.

 

President Biden Issues EO on Worker Organizing and Empowerment:

On April 26, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that establishes the Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment. ABC is concerned that the Biden administration is promoting policies that undermine workers’ choice whether to freely join a union, such as government-mandated project labor agreements.

 

According to the EO:

“The Task Force shall, within 180 days of the date of this order, submit to the President recommendations for actions as described in subsection (b) of this section to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining in the public and private sectors, and to increase union density. The Task Force may, at the Chair’s discretion, recommend appropriate or time-sensitive individual actions to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining before the deadline established by this section. The Task Force and its members shall work to implement all recommendations that the President may approve, to the extent permitted by law, and shall report their progress as directed by the Chair.”  

 

This reduces competition for small, women and minority businesses and workers and increases construction costs by 12%-20%, resulting in fewer jobs and improvements to America’s infrastructure. The Biden administration is also a strong supporter of the ABC-opposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which undermines a worker’s right to a secret ballot in a workplace election and eliminates worker choice by repealing 27 state right-to-work laws that prohibit compulsory union membership in order to work.

 

Construction industry employers and employees should be watching the task force’s recommendations closely for its support of additional policies that will also increase costs to taxpayers, eliminate opportunities for small businesses, discriminate against nonunion workers and undermine America’s economic resilience and competitive edge in the global economy.

 

Vice President Kamala Harris chairs the task force, which includes the heads of several federal agencies.

 

Biden Joint Address Tomorrow:

Tomorrow, President Biden will address a joint session of Congress. While it is expected that the President will make a push for his American Jobs Plan to support infrastructure, a large part of his address will be the unveiling of the second half of his plan, the “American Family Plan”, which is set to focus on childcare, paid family leave, and other social welfare issues, where the first portion was centered on infrastructure. The price tag is expected to be at least $1.5 trillion but the details of Biden’s address are still being finalized and House and Senate Democrats are involved in a last-minute lobbying blitz to try to sway the White House on what to include in the package. The plan is also expected to include pay-fors that could include tax increases for pass-through businesses and the top individual rate.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richie Neal (D-Mass.) also proposed a discussion draft on legislation that could play into the Biden plan. The Chairman’s “Building an Economy for Families Act” would create a new mandatory paid leave program, giving up to 12 weeks paid family and medical leave for all workers, and seeks to permanently extend three tax credits included in the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress: a child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child; an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit; and the Child and Dependent Care Credit of up to $8,000 for one child, $16,000 for two or more.

 

White House Raises Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors:

Today, the President issued an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15. The current minimum wage for federal contractors is $10.95 per hour, and the increase to $15 will be a pay hike for roughly 700,000 federal contractors covered under this order. The new wage will come into effect next year and is indexed to inflation.

 

U.S. Census Reapportionment:

Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau announced its once-in-a-decade reapportionment totals, which will result in new congressional districts and electoral votes upon certain states while taking them away from others. In total, seven districts will move from one state to another, based upon population shifts. Those states gaining seats are: Texas +2, Colorado +1, Florida +1, Montana +1, North Carolina +1, and Oregon +1. While those losing seats are: California -1, Illinois -1, Michigan -1, New York -1, Ohio -1, Pennsylvania -1, West Virginia -1.

 

While Republican led states saw a greater increase, which could boost Republican chances of recapturing the U.S. House of Representatives from Democrats in next year’s midterm elections, the new congressional district maps won’t be redrawn until later this year, at the earliest. State legislators and independent commissions will decide how redistricting is done, and Republicans could lose seats in Democratic led states like New York and Illinois.

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: Republicans Release Infrastructure Framework

Action Needed—Sign on Letter to White House on Infrastructure:

Yesterday, Republicans in the Senate introduced their infrastructure framework in an effort to pursue bipartisan negotiations with Democrats on a massive infrastructure package. ABC commented on the new framework, which would allocate $568 billion towards traditional infrastructure.

As the president continues to hold infrastructure talks with key members of Congress, ABC is urging chapters and member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry. You may view the letter and sign on here. We plan the close the letter out by Wednesday of next week so please reach out with any questions or concerns.

 

REMINDER: EEOC to Open EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collection for 2019 and 2020 on April 26

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection will open this Monday, April 26, 2021, and the deadline for filing this data will be Monday, July 19, 2021.

According to an EEOC news release, the EEO-1 Component 1 collects workforce data from employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees. When the collection opens, resources to assist filers with their submissions will be available on a new dedicated website for the EEOC’s data collections.

More information on EEO-1 Component 1 data and other EEO data collections can be found on the EEOC website.

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: Action Needed on Infrastructure, Tax Credit for Small Biz, & OSHA FAQs

Action Needed—Sign on Letter to White House on Infrastructure:

 

As the president continues to hold infrastructure talks with key members of Congress, ABC is urging chapters and member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry. You may view the letter and sign on here. We plan the close the letter out by Wednesday of next week so please reach out with any questions or concerns.

 

White House Announces Tax Credit for Small Businesses That Provide Paid Time Off for COVID-19 Vaccinations:

 

On April 21, President Joe Biden encouraged every employer to take steps to get their employees vaccinated. He also announced a paid leave tax credit under the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319) that will help offset the cost for eligible employers to provide full pay for any time their employees need to get a COVID-19 vaccination or recover from that vaccination.

 

Businesses with fewer than 500 employees will get reimbursed for any paid time off they provide to employees — up to $511 per day per employee. Guidance for small businesses on the tax credit is available on the IRS website. More information can be found in the White House and U.S. Department of the Treasury press releases.

 

OSHA Issues New FAQs on Recording Illnesses Caused by Required and Recommended COVID-19 Vaccinations

 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently posted new Frequently Asked Questions on recording illnesses caused by required and recommended COVID-19 vaccinations. Read more.

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: Action Needed on Infrastructure, CDW Statement on Manchin, DOL & PPE Guidance

ABC MEMBER AND CHAPTER ACTION NEEDED - Sign on Letter to White House on Infrastructure:

As the president continues to hold infrastructure talks with key members of Congress, ABC is urging chapters and member companies to sign on to a letter to the administration highlighting concerns with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations for improvements to assist the construction industry. You may view the letter and sign on here. Please send this to ABC Members who are interested in joining this effort. We plan the close the letter out by Wednesday of next week so please reach out with any questions or concerns.

 

CDW Statement on Manchin PRO Act Support:

Following the announcement from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that he would be cosponsoring the ABC-opposed PRO Act, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and Chair Kristen Swearingen put out a statement which may be viewed here.
 

With Sen. Manchin’s support leaves only 3 Democratic Senators currently not supporting the legislation: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). It is critical that members continue to contact these offices to urge their opposition to the bill, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to hold a floor vote on the bill if it obtains 50 cosponsors in the Senate. You can contact your Senators on the PRO Act with ABC’s Action Alert.
 

ABC’s Pennsylvania Chapter also put together a template letter for other state chapters to use to contact their U.S. Representatives and Senators to oppose the PRO Act. You can also download a word version of the template here and work with your members to get local signatures.

 

DOL Issues Guidance on the American Rescue Plan Act COBRA Subsidy

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act that contains a new, temporary COBRA subsidy. From April 1, 2021 through September 31, 2021, the ARPA requires employers to cover 100% of an employee’s cost of continuing group health coverage under COBRA if the employee was eligible for COBRA continuation coverage during the indicated period regardless of whether the employee may not have previously elected coverage or discontinued coverage. Employers that provide such paid coverage may recover the cost through deductions on quarterly payroll filings. On April 7, 2021, the Department of Labor released answers to frequently asked questions related to the ARPA COBRA subsidy and published model notices for use with the ARPA COBRA subsidy. Read the Littler Mendelson article to learn more.

Also, the DOL will be offering a compliance webcast on April 26 regarding COBRA premium assistance under ARPA. Learn more about the DOL webcast.

 

Recent Updates to CDC N95 Guidance—What Employers Need to Know:

On April 9, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its “Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators.” The update includes changes to respirator-provision strategies at Conventional Capacity, Contingency Capacity (periods of expected N95 shortages), and Crisis Capacity (periods of known N95 shortages). Employers required to provide respirators as personal protective equipment should review the updated guidance for any changes that may impact their PPE strategies. Read the Littler Mendelson article to learn more.  

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: Infrastructure Update (From Friday, 4/16)

Infrastructure Update:

While President Biden held talks with bipartisan groups of lawmakers this week on infrastructure, Republicans and Democratic moderates in the Senate have also suggested an infrastructure plan that could range from $600 billion to $800 billion, a significant reductions from Biden's $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, and would focus on traditional infrastructure in their proposal. Additionally, The GOP's plan would eliminate Biden’s proposed lifting of the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, along with other tax increases, and would instead be financed with "user fees," such as taxes on vehicle mileage traveled, which House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) has signaled his support for, or an increase to the gas tax.

However, key Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) indicated on Thursday that he isn’t ready to settle on an $800 billion target for infrastructure spending. “We’re going to do whatever it takes. If it takes $4 trillion, I’d do $4 trillion but we have to pay for it,” he said.

Rep. Garrett Graves also introduced the ABC-supported BUILDER Act, which would modernize the NEPA permitting process. ABC’s statement made the “What they are saying” in the Committee’s press release here. Additionally, Rep. Budd’s FOCA sign-on letter along with 25 other signatures from House Republicans was sent to House T&I Committee leadership on Wednesday, and the House FOCA bill is up to 52 cosponsors in the House and 6 cosponsors in the Senate.  

A group of Democratic U.S. House Reps. also signed a letter demanding that a repeal of the $10,000 cap of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction in legislation based on President Biden's infrastructure proposal. With only a 218-212 majority for Democrats in the House, the SALT issue could cause problems in passing legislation out of the lower chamber.

 

ABC Opposes DOL’s Proposals to Rescind Trump-era Independent Contractor and Joint Employer Rules:

On April 12, ABC submitted comments in opposition to proposals from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division to rescind the Trump-era independent contractor and joint employer final rules. Read ABC’s comment letters.

 

ABC Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit:

ABC has launched a COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit as part of the Coronavirus Update webpage to help inform and educate members about the latest available resources and information on the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about the toolkit.

 

REMINDER – COVID-19 Related Tax Credits for Paid Leave Extended to Sept. 30:

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which extends tax credits for private employers with 499 or fewer U.S. employees that voluntarily decide to provide emergency paid sick and/or family leave according to the otherwise-expired standards in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act. Tax credits apply to qualifying leave taken from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. Read the Littler Mendelson article to learn more. Also, visit the IRS for more information.

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ABC Beltway Blueprint: Manchin Supports PRO Act

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Supports PRO Act:

Today, at an event with the National Press Club, Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he is co-sponsoring the ABC-opposed PRO Act, claiming it will "level the playing field" for union workers, adding he wants to work with both parties to move it through the "legislative process." Sen. Angus King of Maine also added his name as a cosponsor to the bill on April 15.

Manchin’s support leaves only 3 Democratic Senators currently not supporting the legislation: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). It is critical that members continue to contact these offices to urge their opposition to the bill, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to hold a floor vote on the bill if it obtains 50 cosponsors in the Senate. You can contact your Senators on the PRO Act with ABC’s Action Alert.
 

ABC’s Pennsylvania Chapter also put together a template letter for other state chapters to use to contact their U.S. Representatives and Senators to oppose the PRO Act. You can also download a word version of the template here and work with your members to get local signatures.

 

Union Claims Illegal Interference in Amazon Union Election:

On Friday, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union filed objections to the National Labor Relations Board, accusing Amazon of illegally interfering in the union campaign held earlier this month at the company’s warehouse in Alabama where employees overwhelmingly rejected unionization. Amazon spokeswoman Heather Knox said in a statement: “The fact is that less than 16% of employees at BHM1 voted to join a union. Rather than accepting these employees’ choice, the union seems determined to continue misrepresenting the facts in order to drive its own agenda. We look forward to the next steps in the legal process.”

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