Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018, which provides $1.1 trillion in discretionary funding for the federal government through 12 individual appropriations bills—Interior; Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, Science; Financial Services; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education; Homeland Security; State, Foreign Operations; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; Defense; Legislative Branch; Military Construction/Veterans Affairs; and Energy and Water.
ABC identified several amendments as key votes for the 2017 scorecard
during consideration of H.R. 3354. Below is a summary of ABC’s position on a number of the proposed amendments.
ABC opposed Rep. Don Beyer’s (D-Va.) Amendment #37, which was rejected by voice vote and would have prevented an expedited withdrawal of the previous administration’s “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule. The underlying bill’s language allows the administration to bypass the Administrative Procedures Act to repeal the 2015 final rule so that they may work quickly to propose a new rule for notice and comment.
ABC supported Amendment #173, submitted by Reps. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.), which passed by a vote of 221-196. This amendment prohibits funds from being used to enforce the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial “ambush election” rule. ABC has consistently opposed this rule as unfair to employers and employees and has raised privacy concerns over the proposal’s distribution of employees’ personal contact information.
ABC opposed Amendment #186, submitted by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), which was rejected by a vote of 191-226. This amendment would have an effect similar to the Obama administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13673, commonly referred to as “blacklisting,” which was repealed through H.J. Res. 37 when it was signed into law earlier this year. Rep. Ellison's amendment would have acted as an automatic, potentially multi-year debarment of federal contractors while entirely circumventing longstanding and proven suspension and debarment procedures addressing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations that are part of the federal contracting process. Moreover, the amendment completely ignores penalties and remedies that are already available under the FLSA.
ABC supported Amendment #187, offered by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), which passed by a vote of 215-201. This amendment would prohibit funds from being used to enforce the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final rule on Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, commonly referred to as the “electronic reporting and anti-retaliation final rule.” The anti-retaliation provisions of this final rule would limit post-accident drug testing and safety incentive programs. Further, the rule would require many employers to electronically submit detailed injury and illness records to OSHA, which could be publicized and expose sensitive employee information.
ABC expressed support of amendments submitted by Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that would ensure no funds appropriated by this bill are used to implement, administer or enforce the Davis-Bacon Act. None of the offerings of these amendments were adopted.
ABC expressed support of Amendment #167, submitted by Reps. Jason Lewis (R- Minn.), Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), and Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), which would increase funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE) State Grants by $70,246,000. This amendment failed with a vote of 153-263.
ABC expressed support for Amendment #44, offered by Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), which would prohibit funds from being used to enforce OSHA’s final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. This amendment was reported in order, but was ultimately not offered.
ABC is proud to work with our elected officials to support these priorities of our members and will continue to pursue efforts to prevent harmful rules and regulations from impacting our industry and the jobs of hardworking Americans throughout the country.