Last week Congress averted a fiscal showdown at the end of the month by passing a short-term funding bill through Dec. 8 that included a down payment on disaster relief and raising the debt ceiling. Congress must still work to pass a bill that funds the government for the full 2018 fiscal year. This week the House finish considering all 12 annual appropriations bills, the first time in more than a decade that the House has passed all 12 bills before the end of a current fiscal year.
The House-passed funding bills include many AGC priorities. The bill that funds the Department of Labor includes funding cuts, but not on the same level as the president’s budget request. The bulk of the president’s proposed funding cuts were to job training programs, and ultimately, the House restored much of that funding. The bill contained policy changes supported by AGC such as amendments that would block OSHA’s record keeping rule that prohibited post-accident drug testing, block the NLRB controversial quickie election rule and overturn the NLRBs new joint employer standard. The bill also contains a prohibition that the OFCCP and EEOC merge together as the president’s budget had requested.
The House-passed bill does include a prohibition on OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grants. However, AGC remains hopeful that the Senate version, which provides full funding for the grants, will survive the full legislative process. It also includes language that would prohibit the Federal Election Commission from using FY18 funds to enforce prior approval on corporate-member trade associations like AGC of America.
With the House completing its work for FY 2018, the package must be negotiated with the Senate prior to becoming law. At this point it remains uncertain how many of the policy provisions could survive the Senate process and how deep funding cuts could be.
For more information, contact Jim Young at [email protected] or (202) 547-0133.
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