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From monthly archives: October 2020

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ABC COVID-19 Update: ABC’s Election Preview & Election Recap Webinars Next Week

ABC’s Election Preview & Election Recap Webinars:

 

Next week, ABC will host two 2020 election-focused webinars featuring ABC National Staff.  Registration is open for ABC’s 2020 election preview on Monday, Nov. 2, and election recap on Thursday, Nov. 5. Register for the events here.

 

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Melanie Pfeiffenberger for more information. 

 

 

U.S. Economy Expands at Record 33.1%:

 

The U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 33.1% during the third quarter of 2020, helping to offset a significant share of the economic loss sustained during the second quarter, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Increases in personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment and exports drove the partial rebound. However, ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator declined by half a month in September and stands at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2012. Read more in the ABC News Release here.

 

 

ABC Greater Baltimore Chapter Hosts Governor at Education Facility Opening:

 

On Oct. 27, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senate President Bill Ferguson and Sen. Cory McCray attended the grand opening of ABC Greater Baltimore Chapter’s new Construction Education Academy, located at a Project C.O.R.E site in East Baltimore. Learn more about ABC’s workforce development program and Gov. Hogan’s visit in this recent press release and in Newsline here.

 

 

REGISTER TODAY - ABC Legal and Policy Forecast Conference

 

Join ABC leaders and industry legal and policy experts on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 12:45-5:30 p.m. EDT for a virtual conference as they share insights and analysis on the 2020 election results and their impact on legislative, regulatory and legal issues important to the merit shop contracting community.

 

Hear how the elections will shape the future of labor and employment, workforce development, workplace safety and other issues affecting the construction industry. Learn how you can prepare your business for forthcoming challenges and opportunities.

 

Register here: http://legislative.abc.org/legal-policy-forecast

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ABC COVID-19 Update: Post-election COVID-19 Relief & ABC Comments on DOL Independent Contractor Rule

President Trump Touts Post-election COVID Relief:

 

Yesterday, answering a question from the White House lawn, President Trump blamed stimulus delays on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), but remaining confident that a package would come after the Nov. 3 election saying: “After the election, we’ll get the best stimulus package you’ve ever seen.”

 

The President’s comments come as the prospects of a COVID-19 relief deal appear to be dwindling. Despite President Trump’s enthusiasm for a deal, prospects remain unclear as negotiations have largely been shelved on Capitol Hill until after the election.

 

What is happening on the hill today - the U.S. Senate is holding a virtual hearing featuring the chief executives of Google, Facebook and Twitter, who are testifying before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee about their moderation practices focusing on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

 

 

ABC Supports Independent Contractor Status Revisions in DOL Proposal 

 

On Oct. 26, ABC submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule revising its interpretation of independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

In its comments, ABC expressed its support for the proposal, which clarifies the agency’s interpretation of independent contractor status under the FLSA and promotes certainty for employers, independent contractors and employees.

 

“ABC believes DOL’s proposed rule will promote economic growth in the construction industry by providing greater clarity to construction industry employers as to the proper classification of independent contractors and employees under the FLSA,” ABC said in its comments.

 

ABC also urged DOL to include further clarifications and a “safe harbor” with regard to enforcement of the FLSA, so that construction contractors do not jeopardize any independent contractor’s status as such while attempting in good faith to comply with the myriad of conflicting requirements of other federal and state laws.

 

More information on ABC’s comment letter and the DOL proposal can be found here.

 

 

ABC Nevada Chapter at Event With President Trump In Las Vegas:

 

Earlier today, ABC Nevada Chapter President & CEO Mac Bybee offered remarks at an event with President Trump in Las Vegas. ABC Nevada Chapter was joined by the Business Community Organizations at the event including: The Nevada Trucking Association, The Retail Association of Nevada and Startup Nevada. In his remarks, Bybee thanked President Trump for “creating an economic environment where construction was booming” and for his continued emphasis on workforce development and second chance programs.

 

President Trump held the even, prior to a campaign rally in Bullhead City, Arizona to be held this evening, to thank the organizations for their support and endorsements.

 

The event can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEfpYzoOBB0&feature=emb_logo  

 

 

Updated FAQs About American Small Businesses:

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy updated its most requested publication, Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business.  The publication is updated annually and includes the most-up-to-date statistics about American small businesses as well as their overall contribution to the U.S. economy.

 

Additionally, the SBA also publishes Small Business Profiles for each individual state’s small businesses. Included in each are snapshots into each state’s small business health and economic activity. Some economic data is also supplied for U.S. territories. State profiles can be found here.

 

 

TOMORROW - ABC’s Election Briefing Series Powered by FEA - Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions:

 

This Thursday, October 29th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern, ABC will continue its Election Briefing Series with a regional update for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions featuring ABC National Staff.  These updates are a part of the ABC Election Update Series, which is powered by the Free Enterprise Alliance. It is reserved for ABC members and registration is free of charge thanks to our generous sponsors.

 

Register here for this complimentary event: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7771051724349020688

 

 

NEXT WEEK - Election Preview & Election Recap Webinars:

 

Next week, ABC will host two 2020 election-focused webinars featuring ABC National Staff.  Registration is open for ABC’s 2020 election preview on Monday, Nov. 2, and election recap on Thursday, Nov. 5. Register for the events here.

 

Registration is reserved for ABC members and is free of charge thanks to our generous sponsors. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Melanie Pfeiffenberger for more information. 

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ABC COVID-19 Update: Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed to the Supreme Court

Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed to the Supreme Court:  

 

Last night, the Senate confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by a 52-48 vote, with all Senate Democrats and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) voting no. After the confirmation vote, Judge Barrett was sworn in at a ceremony on the White House lawn by Justice Clarence Thomas.

 

Ahead of the confirmation vote, ABC sent a Key Vote letter in support of Judge Barrett’s nomination. In the letter, ABC acknowledged that “while the circumstances surrounding Judge Barrett’s nomination have led to a partisan disagreement on process, ABC believes that we must look at the facts available and the proven qualifications of Judge Barrett as a capable and effective judge who should be confirmed to the Supreme Court.” ABC referenced that judge Barrett’s “strong record of judicial integrity, legal philosophy and respect for the Constitution, which is embodied by her belief that justices should decide cases based on how they interpret the Constitution” will make her an exceptional choice to serve on the Supreme Court.

 

Now-Justice Barrett represents President Trump’s third nominee to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, and coupled with the 162 district court judges and 53 appeals court judges who have been confirmed by over the past four years, the Trump administration has installed a third of both the Supreme Court of the United States and the entire federal appellate bench. 

 

 

Chances of COVID Relief Deal Diminished Until After Election:

 

Following the Confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until November 9 – a week after Election Day. This expected move makes a potential COVID-19 relief deal increasingly unlikely, since both chambers of Congress have now left Washington. Although House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin have continued their negotiations, they remain relatively far apart on a few key issues. The negotiations will likely continue into the lame duck session, which will also be highlighted by another government funding debate and congressional leadership elections/committee jockeying.

 

NEPA Modernization Bill Introduced in the Senate:

Yesterday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the Undoing NEPA’s Substantial Harm by Advancing Concepts that Kickstart the Liberation of the Economy (UNSHACKLE) Act (One Pager) (Issue by Issue). The bill, which is cosponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) mirrors the ABC-Supported H.R. 8333, the Building U.S. Infrastructure Through Limited Delays & Efficient Reviews (BUILDER) Act that was introduced in the House by Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.-06) in September 2020. The legislation would codify some of the Council on Environmental Quality’s National Environmental Policy Act rulemaking, which ABC also supports. The UNSHACKLE Act includes important provisions to create a more efficient NEPA review process, clarifies which projects require NEPA review, and promote better agency coordination while setting reasonable time limits for preparing environmental documents.

 

Read more about Sen. Lee’s UNSHACKLE Act here: https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=0E99678B-6CB7-4099-80E3-93DEEE7DC7A9

 

 

THURSDAY - ABC’s Election Briefing Series Powered by FEA - Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions:

 

This Thursday, October 29th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern, ABC will continue its Election Briefing Series with a regional update for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions featuring ABC National Staff.

 

These updates are a part of the ABC Election Update Series, which is powered by the Free Enterprise Alliance. It is reserved for ABC members and registration is free of charge thanks to our generous sponsors.

 

Register here for this complimentary event: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7771051724349020688

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ABC COVID-19 Update: Senate Poised to Confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett Tonight

Senate Poised to Confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett Tonight:     On Sunday, the Senate voted by a 51-48 tally to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett toward a final confirmation vote to be held Today around 7:30 p.m. The cloture vote was passed along mostly party lines with all Senate Democrats and two Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – voting no and Sen. Kamala Harris of California not voting.   Judge Barrett is expected to be confirmed this evening by a vote of 52-47, with Senator Murkowski announcing over the weekend that she ultimately would support Judge Barrett’s final confirmation saying: “While I oppose the process that has led us to this point, I do not hold it against her.”   Ahead of the confirmation vote, ABC sent a Key Vote letter in support of Judge Barrett’s nomination. In the letter, ABC acknowledged that “while the circumstances surrounding Judge Barrett’s nom ...

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Continued COVID Relief Negotiations

On Capitol Hill

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination to the Senate floor. The vote went forward even though the Democrats boycotted the meeting — part of an effort to denounce Republicans’ confirmation drive as illegitimate coming just days before the presidential election. The full Senate is expected to hold a final vote on Barrett's nomination on Monday.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/22/senate-judiciary-committee-approves-amy-coney-barretts-supreme-court-nomination-431160

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin picked-up discussions again today for a Phase 4 relief package with time running ever shorter for a deal before the election. The two sides “are better prepared to reach compromise on several priorities” after yesterday’s call between the main negotiators, a Pelosi spokesman tweeted. Pelosi and Mnuchin are still resolving “open questions” on the $2 trillion dollar deal, including liability concerns and funding for state and local governments.

Leader McConnell has made no promises on when the Senate might take up any compromise agreement, and some senior GOP lawmakers expressed skepticism whether the chamber would vote on one even after the election.

Biden, Trump Face Off in Final Debate

President Trump and Joe Biden will square off for 90 minutes in their final debate tonight.  In one of the last potential turning points of the 2020 election, both men will seek to improve their performances at 9 p.m. ET. 

The debate, at Belmont University in Nashville, will have one twist - moderators will now mute each candidate while the other gives his initial two-minute response on each topic.

*Please see attached WSJ piece on the PRO Act.

 

INCYMI:

ABC’s Free Enterprise Alliance Announces Million-dollar Issue Advocacy Ad Buy:

 

Official Press Release

 

ABC’s Free Enterprise Alliance today announced a million-dollar issue ad buy in 25 states nationwide. The advocacy campaign, which includes digital ads and mailers, will educate constituents on the dangers of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, highlight benefits of the Paycheck Protection Program and encourage voting in the upcoming election. The surround sound campaign will run through Election Day, Nov. 3.

 

The ads outline the negative implications of the ABC-opposed PRO Act, legislation that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 6 and remains a priority for Democrats.  Earlier this year Joe Biden released the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations campaign document, in which he vows to prioritize passing the PRO Act (H.R. 2474). If signed into law, the PRO Act will overturn freedom of choice in all existing right-to-work states, take away a worker’s right to a secret union ballot and eliminate the ability for workers to pursue independent contracting opportunities.

 

FEA will encourage constituents to tell members of Congress to oppose the PRO Act, running digital ads in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Ads directed toward the following representatives are now live: Sens. Peters (R-Mich.) and Jones (D-Ala.) and Reps. Slotkin (Mich.-08), Stevens (Mich-11), Shalala (Fla.-27), Davids (Kan. 03), Luria (Va. 02), Spanberger (Va.-07), Lee (Nev.-03), Casten (Ill.-06), Underwood (Ill.-14), Golden (Maine-02), Crow (Colo.-06), Craig (Minn.02), Phillips (Minn.-03), Pappas (N.H.-01), Cartwright (Pa.-08), Lamb (Pa.-17), Rose (N.Y.-11), Brindisi (N.Y.-22), Kind (Wisc.-03), Ryan (Ohio-13), O’Halleran (Ariz. 01), Kirkpatrick (Ariz.-02), Cisneros (Calif.-39), Porter (Calif.-45), Rouda (Calif.-48), Kim (N.J.-03), Malinowski (N.J.-07), Torres Small (N.M.-02), Allred (Texas-31), Wild (Pa.-07), Axne (Iowa-03), Fletcher (Texas-07), Mucarsel-Powell (Fla.-26), Peterson (Minn.-07) and Finkenauer (Iowa-01).

 

The multi-faceted campaign also aims to educate ABC members about the job-saving Paycheck Protection Program, that will speed America’s return to widespread prosperity. The PPP program is a vital lifeline for small businesses, including the more than 177,000 in the U.S. construction industry, ensuring access to the liquidity and resources needed to remain in business and provide pay and benefits for hardworking employees.  FEA will urge constituents to contact the following Senators and Representatives who supported PPP across digital and mail ads: Sens. McSally (R-Ariz.), Gardner (R.-Colo.), Tillis (R-N.C.), McConnell (R-Ky.), Perdue (R.-Ga.), Ernst (R-Iowa), Collins (R-Maine), Cornyn (R-Texas), Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Rep. Marshall (Kan.-01).

 

Lastly, FEA will use digital and mail ads to encourage Americans in Minnesota, Florida and Pennsylvania to get out and vote in this upcoming election, prioritizing issues of free enterprise.

 

The work of FEA is made possible by ABC’s generous members and donors. For more information on how you can get involved and help expand FEA’s issue advocacy footprint, contact Melanie Pfeiffenberger at [email protected].

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FEA Announces Million-dollar Issue Advocacy Ad Buy & COVID-19 Relief Negotiations Continue as Senate Votes on Targeted Package

ABC’s Free Enterprise Alliance Announces Million-dollar Issue Advocacy Ad Buy:

 

Official Press Release

 

ABC’s Free Enterprise Alliance today announced a million-dollar issue ad buy in 25 states nationwide. The advocacy campaign, which includes digital ads and mailers, will educate constituents on the dangers of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, highlight benefits of the Paycheck Protection Program and encourage voting in the upcoming election. The surround sound campaign will run through Election Day, Nov. 3.

 

The ads outline the negative implications of the ABC-opposed PRO Act, legislation that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 6 and remains a priority for Democrats.  Earlier this year Joe Biden released the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations campaign document, in which he vows to prioritize passing the PRO Act (H.R. 2474). If signed into law, the PRO Act will overturn freedom of choice in all existing right-to-work states, take away a worker’s right to a secret union ballot and eliminate the ability for workers to pursue independent contracting opportunities.

 

FEA will encourage constituents to tell members of Congress to oppose the PRO Act, running digital ads in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Ads directed toward the following representatives are now live: Sens. Peters (R-Mich.) and Jones (R-Ala.) and Reps. Slotkin (Mich.-08), Stevens (Mich-11), Shalala (Fla.-27), Davids (Kan. 03), Luria (Va. 02), Spanberger (Va.-07), Lee (Nev.-03), Casten (Ill.-06), Underwood (Ill.-14), Golden (Maine-02), Crow (Colo.-06), Craig (Minn.02), Phillips (Minn.-03), Pappas (N.H.-01), Cartwright (Pa.-08), Lamb (Pa.-17), Rose (N.Y.-11), Brindisi (N.Y.-22), Kind (Wisc.-03), Ryan (Ohio-13), O’Halleran (Ariz. 01), Kirkpatrick (Ariz.-02), Cisneros (Calif.-39), Porter (Calif.-45), Rouda (Calif.-48), Kim (N.J.-03), Malinowski (N.J.-07), Torres Small (N.M.-02), Allred (Texas-31), Wild (Pa.-07), Axne (Iowa-03), Fletcher (Texas-07), Mucarsel-Powell (Fla.-26), Peterson (Minn.-07) and Finkenauer (Iowa-01).

 

The multi-faceted campaign also aims to educate ABC members about the job-saving Paycheck Protection Program, that will speed America’s return to widespread prosperity. The PPP program is a vital lifeline for small businesses, including the more than 177,000 in the U.S. construction industry, ensuring access to the liquidity and resources needed to remain in business and provide pay and benefits for hardworking employees.  FEA will urge constituents to contact the following Senators and Representatives who supported PPP across digital and mail ads: Sens. McSally (R-Ariz.), Gardner (R.-Colo.), Tillis (R-N.C.), McConnell (R-Ky.), Perdue (R.-Ga.), Ernst (R-Iowa), Collins (R-Maine), Cornyn (R-Texas), Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Rep. Marshall (Kan.-01).

 

Lastly, FEA will use digital and mail ads to encourage Americans in Minnesota, Florida and Pennsylvania to get out and vote in this upcoming election, prioritizing issues of free enterprise.

 

The work of FEA is made possible by ABC’s generous members and donors. For more information on how you can get involved and help expand FEA’s issue advocacy footprint, contact Melanie Pfeiffenberger at [email protected].

 

 

COVID-19 Relief Negotiations Continue as Senate Votes on Targeted Package:

 

House Speaker Pelosi sent a letter last night to her colleagues which said that the self-imposed Tuesday deadline to reach a COVID-19 relief deal: “enabled us to see that decisions could be reached” and that “both sides are serious about finding a compromise.” House committee chairs have been deputized to work out some remaining points to be resolved on the elusive package ranging from $2.2 to 1.8 Trillion.  

 

Even if a deal manages to come together between House and White House negotiators, it wouldn’t be guaranteed to receive attention in the Senate as, there is less room for compromise in the upper chamber.  Majority Leader McConnell has teed up a vote this afternoon on a $500 Billion targeted COVID-19 relief package, which mirrors the targeted ABC-supported S. 178 (Section by Section) bill that failed to advance in the Senate in September. Just as the procedural vote failed on stand-alone PPP funding bill yesterday, the relatively larger bill that will be voted on today is not expected to gain the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate. After today’s vote, the Senate will move to begin the confirmation process of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, beginning with the Senate Judiciary Committee vote tomorrow and final confirmation vote early next week.

 

 

ABC CEO Mike Bellaman Op-Ed - What's at Stake for Construction in the 2020 Elections:

 

In an Op-Ed posted today in Construction Business Owner, ABC CEO Mike Bellaman, highlighted what is at stake for the construction industry in the 2020 elections. In the piece, Bellaman noted the importance of key issues such as: rebuilding America’s infrastructure through fair and open competition, the ABC-opposed Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and expanding workforce development opportunities.

 

Read the full Op-Ed here: https://www.constructionbusinessowner.com/popular-now/op-ed-whats-stake-construction-2020-elections

 

 

OSHA Issues FAQs on N95 Respirator Effectiveness Against Coronavirus:

 

On Oct. 19, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a set of Frequently Asked Questions on the effectiveness of N95 respirators against coronavirus exposure as part of the agency’s COVID-19 FAQs page.

 

According to an OSHA news release, the agency is aware of incorrect claims stating that N95 respirators do not capture particles as small as the virus that causes the coronavirus, and OSHA’s new FAQ explains why an N95 respirator is effective at protecting users from the virus.

 

In addition to these new FAQs, OSHA recently issued frequently asked questions and answers regarding the need to report employees’ in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities resulting from work-related cases of the coronavirus.

 

Additional coronavirus resources can be found on the OSHA website.

 

 

OFCCP Launches Landing Page Related to Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

 

On Oct. 21, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced that it has launched a landing page for Executive Order 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping, which was issued on Sept. 22 by President Trump. According to OFCCP, while the order took effect immediately, federal contractors’ specific requirements apply only to federal contracts entered into beginning November 21, 2020.

 

The following resources are available on the new landing page:

 

Additional compliance assistance resources are available on OFCCP’s website at www.dol.gov/agencies/ofccp/compliance-assistance.

 

 

State Legislative COVID-19 Relief Efforts Article:

 

As states have continued to hold special legislative sessions or continuations of their regular sessions through the summer and into the fall, many are taking significant action through various grant programs and other financial vehicles to alleviate the economic effects of COVID-19 on the small business sector. This article contains a comprehensive roundup of where these efforts stand around the country. ABC National’s State Affairs team will continue tracking these bills and are available to assist in supporting them and helping your members take advantage of the subsequent tools at their disposal where successfully passed and made available.

 

 

TOMORROW - ABC’s Election Briefing Series FEA Featuring National Republican Senatorial Committee:

 

Tomorrow, ABC will continue its Election Briefing Series with a National Update featuring Kevin McLoughlin, Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

 

These updates are a part of the ABC Election Update Series, which is powered by the Free Enterprise Alliance. It is reserved for ABC members and registration is free of charge thanks to our generous sponsors.

 

Register here for this complimentary event: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4032543964631545104

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ABC COVID-19 Update: Senate Voting on COVID-19 Relief Bills

Senate Voting on COVID-19 Relief Bills:

 

Yesterday afternoon, the Senate voted on a bill titled Continuing Paycheck Protection Program Act, which would have provided additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), allowed qualified small business to access the loan program a second time, and included certain 501C(6) organizations. The bill was not agreed to by a vote of 57-40 after receiving only 4 Democratic votes.

 

On the heels of the defeat of the targeted PPP bill, Senate Republicans plan to bring a separate targeted COVID-19 relief bill up for a vote on tomorrow which includes roughly $500 billion in funding for schools, federal unemployment insurance, funds for vaccine distribution, and liability protection. Senate Republicans will head to the floor tomorrow seek to pass the bill which mirrors the targeted ABC-supported S. 178 (Section by Section) bill that was considered in September. Senate Democrats are expected again to block the advancement of the bill, maintaining their stance that targeted relief bills are inadequate to meet the needs of the pandemic, holding out for a sweeping deal instead. Should the bill be defeated, the Senate is likely to focus exclusively on the confirmation of Judge Amy Cony Barrett until she is confirmed early next week.

 

In separate COVID-19 relief negotiations, there are still “open items” between the White House and House Speaker Pelosi, but negotiations today were reportedly productive and will continue, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on CNBC. Separately, Speaker Pelosi told reporters, when asked whether she thinks there can be a deal by the end of the week: “I hope so. That’s the plan.”

 

 

SBA, Treasury Issue Revisions to PPP Procedures:

 

On Oct. 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of the Treasury issued an interim final rule with additional revisions to the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness and loan review procedures. As part of these revisions, SBA is issuing an alternative Loan Forgiveness Application, SBA Form 3508S, for use by PPP borrowers applying for loan forgiveness on PPP loans with a total loan amount of $50,000 or less, except for those borrowers that together with their affiliates received loans totaling $2 million or greater.

 

According to an SBA news release, this action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Additionally, as part of this rulemaking, SBA and Treasury have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing lenders to process forgiveness applications more swiftly.

 

More information on the IFR can be found on the SBA website. ABC has followed the implementation and additional revisions to the PPP and submitted comments on a previous rulemaking related to the program.

 

 

TOMORROW - ABC Members and Chapter Staff Only Webinar: ABC’s Fight Against Government-mandated Project Labor Agreements–A 2020 Update:

 

Get the latest update about ABC’s fight for fair and open competition against government-mandated project labor agreements. Participants will receive an overview of the contentious PLA issue and learn about the current status of federal and state policies on government-mandated PLAs and how the 2020 election outcome will shape future policies impacting the ability of merit shop contractors to compete on a level playing field to win public works contracts. Hear insights about a variety of ABC resources and legal, public relations and grassroots tactics ABC members, contractor employees and chapter leaders can utilize to become effective advocates for the merit shop contracting community in our continued fight for fair and open competition.

 

The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 3 p.m. EDT  and will include speakers Ben Brubeck, Brandon Ray and Nick Steingart from ABC National’s Government Affairs team and ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin.  More information on the webinar and registration is available here.

 

 

THURSDAY - ABC’s Election Briefing Series FEA Featuring National Republican Senatorial Committee:

 

ABC will continue its Election Briefing Series with a National Update featuring Kevin McLoughlin, Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.

 

These updates are a part of the ABC Election Update Series, which is powered by the Free Enterprise Alliance. It is reserved for ABC members and registration is free of charge thanks to our generous sponsors.

 

Register here for this complimentary event: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4032543964631545104

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ABC COVID-19 Update: Federal Legislative Update

Federal Legislative Update:

 

As the Senate prepares a vote Wednesday on a COVID-19 relief bill similar to one it took up in September, which was a more “targeted” package focusing on PPP and Liability relief, across Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin are still trying to hash out disagreements over their own deal, but as the House and White House negotiators continue to meet, they remain relatively far apart. Speaker Pelosi said on Sunday that if a deal is to be done before the election, “it would have to be in the next 24 hours.”

 

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22nd to vote on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. The committee, led by Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will almost certainly send the nomination to the floor with a “favorable” recommendation, needing only a simple majority vote to advance the nomination to the full Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced last week that he would put the nomination on the floor as early as Friday, Oct. 23. Senate Democrats will reportedly try to filibuster the floor proceedings, although it is clear that the process can not be stopped completely, only delayed into the weekend or early next week.

 

 

SBA Flags Potential Phishing Scam Targeting PPP Borrowers:

 

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sent an email describing an email scam originating from “sba-attorneys.com” that seeks to create alarm among PPP loan borrowers. The email falsely warns that PPP funds were issued to the recipient in error, and that immediate action must be taken to avoid "potential criminal liability." If you receive such an email, consider marking the item as SPAM and deleting it from your inbox. Under no circumstances should you reply to the sender or click on any of the message's embedded links (all of which have been removed here for your protection.

 

 

DOL Issues Proposal on Labor Organization Financial Disclosure Reports:

 

On Oct. 13, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards issued a proposed rule to provide additional information to labor organization members and the public about the financial activities of labor organizations under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. According to a DOL news release, the proposal, officially titled Labor Organization Annual Financial Reports: LM Form Revisions, would revise Form LM-2, which labor organizations use to report their financial conditions and operations. Additionally, the proposal would introduce a new enhanced LM-2 Long Form for labor organizations with annual receipts of $8,000,000 or more.

 

Additional information on Form LM-2 and the LMRDA can be found on the DOL website. The public can submit written comments on this proposed rule on or before Dec. 14, 2020. The ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace plans to submit comments on the DOL proposal.

 

ABC will continue to provide updates on this rulemaking in Newsline.

 

 

TODAY - Exclusive Donor Briefing: 2020 Political Engagement:

 

You are invited to an exclusive webinar Monday, Oct. 19, at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Please join our ABC National political team as we dive into the political engagement strategy for 2020. Topics include fundraising updates, the Free Enterprise Alliance issue advocacy campaign, ABC PAC spending, state investments and more.

 

Exclusive Donor Briefing: 2020 Political Engagement

Monday, Oct. 19

4:30-5:30 p.m. EDT

REGISTER HERE

 

 

WEDNESDAY - ABC Members and Chapter Staff Only Webinar: ABC’s Fight Against Government-mandated Project Labor Agreements–A 2020 Update:

 

Get the latest update about ABC’s fight for fair and open competition against government-mandated project labor agreements. Participants will receive an overview of the contentious PLA issue and learn about the current status of federal and state policies on government-mandated PLAs and how the 2020 election outcome will shape future policies impacting the ability of merit shop contractors to compete on a level playing field to win public works contracts. Hear insights about a variety of ABC resources and legal, public relations and grassroots tactics ABC members, contractor employees and chapter leaders can utilize to become effective advocates for the merit shop contracting community in our continued fight for fair and open competition.

 

The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 3 p.m. EDT  and will include speakers Ben Brubeck, Brandon Ray and Nick Steingart from ABC National’s Government Affairs team and ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin.  More information on the webinar and registration is available here.

 

 

10/21 Chapter Webinar: Collecting Workforce Data to Enhance Chapter Advocacy and Safety Efforts:

 

ABC chapter presidents, government affairs directors and chapter staff are invited to join market leader and ABC member Field Control Analytics, ABC Empire State President Brian Sampson and ABC National staff to explore technology that can capture labor data that can:

 

  • Assist ABC members with their safety practices during COVID-19 and beyond
  • Provide ABC members with critical workforce labor reports
  • Take advantage of workforce demographics data for use in political advocacy efforts, as was recently done by the Empire State Chapter

 

Chapters covering blue states and localities are strongly encouraged to attend this webinar, at 11AM EDT on Wednesday, October 21, to learn how to leverage this technology to aid political advocacy efforts. Register here.

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COVID Relief Negotiations & SCOTUS Updates

COVID Relief Negotiations Continue Amid Higher Jobless Claims:

 

This morning, the Department of Labor reported 898,000 Americans filed for new unemployment claims last week, up 53,000 from the previous week. Continuing claims fell by 1.1 million to just over 10 million. On the heels of this report, President Trump reiterated his support for a COVID relief bill. With the election about 19 days away, theirs is a reported sense of urgency to get a deal done at least when it comes to White House and Democratic negotiators, as the larger-relief-package-averse U.S. Senate is currently tied up in the SCOTUS confirmation process.   

 

However, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin threw some doubt on the White House negotiators side saying today “At this point, getting something done before the election and executing on that will be difficult.” Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke again today for an hour (as they have every day this week), but lawmakers and senior aides are increasingly acknowledging that drafting and passing a trillion-dollar-plus bill in the next 20 days is all but impossible and at best is a long-shot. Further complicating matters is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Tuesday pledge to hold a vote on new funding for the Payment Protection Program when the Senate returns the week of Oct. 19.

 

 

Senate on Track to Confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett Before Election:

 

With the Senate Judiciary Committee lined up to vote and advance Judge Barrett’s nomination next week on Oct. 22, the full Senate is likely to vote by end of month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that he expects Judge Barrett’s nomination will be on the Senate floor starting Friday, Oct. 23, and added that the Republican caucus has the he votes to confirm her to the Supreme court before the election.

 

 

EPA Announces Expedited Pathway for Companies to Claim Efficacy for Antiviral Products: 

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday released draft guidance in an effort to ensure Americans have access to as many tools as possible to clean and disinfect surfaces and protect themselves from the coronavirus. The draft guidance released by the Agency will allow companies to demonstrate that their products have "long-lasting" or "residual" effectiveness on surfaces. 

 

Traditional disinfectants only kill viruses and bacteria that are on the surface at the time they are used, while surfaces treated with residual antimicrobial products kill pathogens on surfaces for days, weeks, or years after the product is applied. The EPA will immediately begin expediting the registration process for these products and may revise the guidance after the 60-day public comment period ends. 

 

Some additional information is here.

 

 

Two Separate Presidential Candidate Town Halls Tonight:

 

Tonight, on what would have been the second out of three Presidential debates, President Trump and Joe Biden will appear at dueling, simultaneous televised forums on starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Biden will be hosted by ABC News in a forum held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia moderated by ABC’s chief news anchor, George Stephanopoulos while President Trump will be hosted by NBC News in an outdoors event at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami moderated by the “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie.

 

 

MONDAY - Exclusive Donor Briefing: 2020 Political Engagement for ABC PAC & FEA Contributors Only:

 

On Monday, Oct. 19 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern, the ABC National Political team will be hosting a webinar for all ABC PAC and FEA contributors highlighting ABC’s 2020 political engagement including: PAC and FEA fundraising updates, FEA’s 2020 issue advocacy campaigns, and ABC PAC and state investments. ABC PAC and FEA contributors can register using this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3344986361070052621

 

 

Recorded Webinar on the Latest Updates on DOL’s COVID-19 Paid Leave and Other Hot Topics:

 

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, ABC and ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin discussed how the revised FFCRA guidance impacts construction contractors and chapters on a webinar that is now available on ABC’s Academy for Construction Ethics, Compliance and Best Practices site, which is restricted to ABC members in management positions and chapter staff. The materials included in the Academy are intended for and limited to members of management. In order to receive log-in information and gain access to the password-protected site, the request must come from an ABC member in a management position or Chapter Staff* via the online Academy Login Request Form.

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Senate Issues Statement on COVID-19 Relief Strategy

Senate Issues Update on COVID-19 Relief Strategy Amid Pressure From Executive Branch:

 

This morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement vowing to hold a vote on new funding for the Payment Protection Program when the Senate returns the week of Oct. 19. McConnell said: “When the full Senate returns on October 19th, our first order of business will be voting again on targeted relief for American workers, including new funding for the PPP. Unless Democrats block this aid for workers, we will have time to pass it before we proceed as planned to the pending Supreme Court nomination as soon as it is reported by the Judiciary Committee.”

 

This statement comes after Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urged Congress to come together on a coronavirus stimulus package in a letter sent Sunday. House Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin have renewed meetings, and are reportedly exchanging offers on some of the remaining issues. Given the President’s willingness to support a larger stimulus, revenue would be available to resolve most of the Speaker’s issues centering on families, healthcare, and schools.  This suggests the biggest remaining issues are protections from legal liability related to COVID-19, and funds for state and local governments. It remains unclear if Leader McConnell will accept any package that is around the 1.6-2 Trillion price tag, which is the range being discussed between Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin.

 

 

TOMORROW - Latest Updates on DOL's COVID-19 Paid Leave and Other Hot Topics Webinar:

 

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 14

Time: 1 p.m. EDT

Speaker: Maury Baskin, Littler Mendelson P.C.

 

On Aug. 3, an Obama-appointed federal judge in New York nullified key sections of the U.S. Department of Labor’s rules governing paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Following the court decision, on Sept. 11, the DOL revised its guidance that restricted paid leave during layoffs and furloughs, required employer consent to paid intermittent leave and required employees to provide documentation before taking leave. ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin will discuss how the revised FFCRA guidance impacts construction contractors and chapters.

 

Register today.

 

 

ABC Members and Chapter Staff Webinar: ABC’s Fight Against Government-mandated Project Labor Agreements–A 2020 Update:

 

Get the latest update about ABC’s fight for fair and open competition against government-mandated project labor agreements. Participants will receive an overview of the contentious PLA issue and learn about the current status of federal and state policies on government-mandated PLAs and how the 2020 election outcome will shape future policies impacting the ability of merit shop contractors to compete on a level playing field to win public works contracts. Hear insights about a variety of ABC resources and legal, public relations and grassroots tactics ABC members, contractor employees and chapter leaders can utilize to become effective advocates for the merit shop contracting community in our continued fight for fair and open competition.

 

The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 3 p.m. EDT  and will include speakers Ben Brubeck, Brandon Ray and Nick Steingart from ABC National’s Government Affairs team and ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin.  More information on the webinar and registration is available here.

Read the rest of entry »

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