On Dec. 16, AGC submitted comments to OFCCP in response to its proposed rule prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who disclose compensation. The rule is in response to Executive Order 13665, signed by President Obama in April 2014. It applies to federal and federally-assisted contracts and subcontracts, as it amends Executive Order 11246.
On Dec. 16, as part of the tax extenders legislation, the Senate passed a provision that would increase a fuel tax to benefit inland waterway lock and dam construction and maintenance projects. The provision would raise the fuel tax from 20 cents to 29 cents per gallon on barges using the inland waterway system and will take effect after April 1, 2015. For the last several years, AGC has worked with a coalition of commercial barge, agricultural and labor interests in pressing for this increase in inland waterways infrastructure funding.
Hand counted sampling is now complete in the Tucson-area congressional district recount in both Pima and Cochise Counties, and Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper made the results official. Retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally (R) has defeated two-term Congressman Ron Barber (D) by 167 votes. In the original count from Nov. 4, McSally led the Congressman by 161 votes.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) announced yesterday that he will indeed form a political action committee for purposes of testing his viability in a campaign for president, thus following in his father’s and brother’s footsteps. The announcement is hardly a surprise based upon Mr. Bush’s political moves of the preceding weeks.
The National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) has issued a final rule revising union representation case procedures to unions’ advantage. As anticipated, the final rule is nearly identical to proposed rules issued in February 2014 and in June 2011. The rule is published in the Dec. 15, 2014, issue of the Federal Register and
Passage Expected in Senate
This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed a $1.1 trillion funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2015 by a vote of 219-206. The bill funds most of the government through September 2015. The House will also takes steps to allow the Senate time to vote while avoiding a government shutdown at midnight tonight. In addition to funding the government, the bill included many policy riders.
The House passed H.R. 5771, the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014” (tax extenders) legislation last week by a vote of 378-46. The Senate is expected to attach the tax extenders on to the $1.1 trillion funding bill. The legislative tactic would curtail any potential “holds” by senators. This week, Senator Coburn (R-Okla.) threatened to put a hold on the stand-alone $41.6 billion tax extenders bill.
On the last official legislative day in the House, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) officially introduced H.R. 1, the “Tax Reform Act of 2014.” This proposal formalizes the tax reform discussion draft released on Feb. 26, 2014, without modifications. “I hope that the formal introduction of this proposal in the House today will help spur further action on this critical issue in the 114th Congress,” Chairman Camp said in his statement.