Biden and GOP Abandon Infrastructure Talks:
President Joe Biden and GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito walked away from their weeks long infrastructure negotiations, according to an administration official, and the president will now focus on working with a bipartisan group of 20 U.S. Senators. The administration also has the option of pushing for a package through budget reconciliation, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has expressed his opposition to the move, leaving Democrats at least one vote short without Republican support.
An administration official said Biden never agreed to shift coronavirus relief funds to pay for infrastructure – a major GOP request – and that Republicans never increased the price tag of their offer enough to satisfy Biden, who sought at least $1 trillion in new spending over current infrastructure spending levels.
Cornyn Davis Bacon Amendment Vote in Senate:
Today, an amendment offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to remove unnecessary Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements included in S. 1260, failed a vote by 42-58. ABC sent a letter key voting in support of the amendment #1858 to S. 1260, the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, formerly the Endless Frontier Act. The final vote on S. 1260 passed 68-32.
8 Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the amendment, Sens. Blunt (Mo.), Capito (W.Va.), Daines (MT), Kennedy (La.), Murkowski (Alaska), Sullivan (Alaska), Portman (Ohio), and Rubio (Fla.).
ABC Key Votes Motion on Paycheck Fairness Act:
Today, ABC sent a key vote letter in opposition to a Senate vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 7. The cloture vote failed to pass the 60-vote threshold needed to advance the bill in the Senate.
ABC is adamantly opposed to unlawful discrimination of any kind and is strongly committed to equal employment, but believes current laws, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, properly address problems with wage disparities and discrimination in the workplace. We are concerned about many of the provisions contained in this legislation, including its unprecedented government intervention.
Update on State COVID-19 Liability Protection Laws:
As many states wrap up legislative sessions in these early summer weeks, note that 30 states have now enacted liability shield policies for businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, providing members with a layer of protection against undue litigation stemming from employee coronavirus exposure when proper protocols and safeguards have been implemented and enforced by the employer. States saw a significant need to protect employers, particularly small businesses, who have acted in good faith and executed effective COVID safety plans to minimize exposure and spread while continuing essential work. The map below (via Bloomberg Law) shows the states that have taken action so far, with two additional states, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, currently advancing legislation. For further information on these policies, as well as other COVID-related legislation, please consult this useful database from the National Conference of State Legislatures, of which ABC is a member through FEA support.
Register Today 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!
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