Beltway Buzz, August 12, 2022
Congressional Update. It’s the dog days of summer in Washington, D.C., and both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are out on recess. But Congress is still making news.
- Inflation Reduction Act. Over the past weekend, the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. As the Buzz discussed last week, the legislation provides tax incentives related to certain clean energy projects where prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are met. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called House members back to Washington, D.C., to take up the bill on August 12, 2022. House Democrats can afford only four defections if the bill is to pass.
- House to Continue Proxy Voting. This week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) extended the practice of proxy voting in the U.S. House of Representatives. Members of the House have been allowed to vote by proxy since May 27, 2020—instituted as a safety measure in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The practice was scheduled to end on August 12, 2022, but it will now expire on September 26, 2022. Proxy voting obviously provides the House with more flexibility when it comes to advancing legislation. For example, it is being reported that more than 140 House members will vote by proxy on the aforementioned Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
OSHA Seeks More Feedback on AZ Proposal. On August 10, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it would reopen the comment period for an additional sixty days to receive additional feedback on its proposal to revoke Arizona’s State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health. During the initial comment period, OSHA received feedback from the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH), which stated that Arizona had “completed a number of measures to address the concerns OSHA identified in the proposal.” As a result, OSHA is reopening the public comment docket to allow stakeholders to address “any impact those actions should have on OSHA’s proposed revocation of the State Plan’s final approval.” A public hearing on the matter, originally scheduled for August 16, 2022, has been postponed.
Federal Contractor Proposal to Take Step Forward. Just a heads-up for comment-drafting procrastinators: Monday, August 15, 2022, is the deadline to submit comments on a proposed rule of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division that would implement President Biden’s Executive Order 14055, “Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts” (November 18, 2021). The DOL has a bit of a head start on drafting a final regulation, as versions of this rule have previously been on the books. This means that a final rule could be issued before the year concludes.
A Mistake by the Lake. Happy sixty-ninth birthday, Ohio! On August 7, 1953, Ohio was officially admitted into the United States. Seems a bit late, doesn’t it? Well, a technical oversight explains the delay. The Buckeye State petitioned for admission to the Union way back in 1802. Congress approved the petition in 1803 but forgot to ratify Ohio’s state constitution—a prerequisite in the statehood process. Technically, Ohio remained part of the Northwest Territory, which potentially invalidated all actions taken by every delegate—and the seven Ohio-born U.S. presidents—whom it subsequently sent to Washington, D.C. Fortunately, former U.S. representative George Bender (R-OH) became aware of the oversight and in 1953 introduced legislation to grant Ohio statehood retroactive to March 1, 1803. President Eisenhower signed the bill into law on August 7, 1953.