June 3, 2023

Washington Wire: Tell Congress NO to Tax Increases, YES to Career Training Investment



Tell Congress NO to Tax Increases, YES to Career Training Investment
In 2017, One Voice fought hard and won with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, creating a tax code that incentivizes domestic manufacturing through lower rates and stronger investment provisions. However, Congress is now considering rolling back many of the provisions included in the 2017 law and raising taxes on manufacturers in the U.S. They are targeting pass-through businesses, C-Corporations, and what happens when you pass your company down to the next generation.
At a time when manufacturers, like you, are working to grow their businesses, Congress should be investing in manufacturing such as by increasing funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE) and training not placing additional financial burdens on America’s job creators. 
Click here to contact your members of Congress today and call on them to support American manufacturers by opposing tax increases in the budget reconciliation. 



Congress Returns to Washington Amid Deadlines
Congress is set to return to Washington later this month facing numerous deadlines to fund the government, deal with the debt ceiling, and pass legislation on infrastructure and the Democratic $3.5 trillion spending package. Senators are scheduled to be back in Washington on Monday, September 13 while the House of Representatives is set to be back in session after their summer recess on September 20. 
With a self-imposed deadline of September 15 for committees to finalize their induvial components of the spending package, House committees are holding markups to consider the various policies and spending priorities to include in the reconciliation bill. The House has also set a September 27 deadline to vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill.
Those target dates are set to collide with the deadline to fund the federal government, as Congress has until October 1 to pass appropriations legislation to prevent a government shutdown. While the House has passed nine out of the twelve fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills, the Senate has yet to pass any. With opposition from Senate Republicans, lawmakers are likely to be forced to use a short-term continuing resolution (CR), funding the government at current funding levels, for several months until they can come to an agreement on the full-year bills to keep the government funded. 
A CR could also be used as a vehicle to raise the debt ceiling and emergency disaster funding. While Republicans have vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling, attaching the measure to the must-pass CR and disaster funding would force members to take a tough vote. 
With so many measures clogging the congressional calendar, Congress will attempt to move at a fast pace to move all the pending legislation. 



One Voice Coalition Calls for Removal of 232 Steel Tariffs
One Voice’s Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU) released a statement on September 1, 2021, calling on the Biden administration to remove the Section 232 tariffs on steel following the release of its latest steel price tracker showing a spike in steel prices for U.S. manufacturers. “The crisis involving steel prices and supply continues to worsen,” the statement reads. “The United States has become an island of high steel prices.” CAMMU also argues that the steel shortage will only get worse following the congressional passage of an infrastructure bill with an increased demand for raw materials. Manufacturers are also experiencing a significant increase in the price of aluminum available in the U.S.
One Voice continues to lobby members of Congress in both parties as well as the administration to act and reverse the tax on imported steel and aluminum used by NTMA and PMA members. Especially during times of economic uncertainty, artificially inflating the price of raw materials as the 232 tariffs have done reduces cash flow the business could use now.



Judge Vacates Trump-Era WOTUS Rule
In a ruling on August 30, 2019, the U.S. District Court in Arizona struck down the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) definition established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers under the Trump administration.  U.S. District Judge Rosemary Márquez wrote that Trump officials committed serious errors while enacting the regulation, finalized last year and that leaving it in place could lead to “serious environmental harm.”
In June, the Biden administration announced plans to initiate a two-step rulemaking process to first revert the WOTUS definition to the pre-Obama definition and then to update the standard through a second regulation. Following the decision by the court in Arizona, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are immediately interpreting WOTUS by the 1986 regulatory definition and are considering their next steps in the rulemaking process. 



OSHA to Let COVID ETS Expire
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to let the current COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) expire this year before a permanent infectious disease standard is proposed. The ETS, which was limited to the healthcare industry, is set to expire on December 21. 
Despite the recent statement from Deputy Director of OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance Andy Levinson that the plan is to not extend the ETS past the initial 6-month timeframe, Levison did note that future developments in the pandemic could cause OSHA to reconsider. Technically, under the OSH Act, an ETS can only remain in effect for up to six months at which point it expires or is superseded by a permanent standard based on the temporary one. However, in the past courts have allowed OSHA to amend an ETS without notice-and-comment and could also allow for the extension of an ETS. With the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant and labor organizations pushing OSHA to expand the coverage of the ETS to include non-healthcare industries, the December sunset is not a guarantee, and employers must remain vigilant and ensure that they are following all recommended state and federal guidelines.