January 20, 2021

Washington Wire: Join the One Voice Legislative Conference


Have Your Voice Heard: Join the One Voice Virtual Legislative Conference  

This week, your fellow One Voice members are marching on Capitol Hill to tell Congress about the importance of manufacturing, the challenges with workforce recruitment and training, and how the tariffs on steel and aluminum impact your business. You have a chance to join them by making your voice heard as part of the 11th Annual NTMA/PMA One Voice Legislative Conference.
The 2018 elections brought many changes to Washington with Democrats now in control of the House and a solidified Republican majority in the Senate. The past two years, One Voice’s advocacy efforts have resulted in the passage of a major tax bill, rolled back significant regulations and raised the profile of apprenticeships in the nation’s capital. This year, One Voice members will have a chance share their story with members of Congress and their staff and to tell policymakers about the priorities that affect their company, their industry, and their community.
While not everyone might be able to attend in person, you can still have a chance to have your voice heard by the policymakers who are creating the laws of the nation. No matter where you are, we are calling on you to participate in One Voice’s Virtual Legislative Conference.
Click here to contact your members of Congress today and make your voice heard! Congress needs to hear from you on the issues impacting manufacturers and your business.



Section 232 Steel Tariff Case Appealed to U.S. Court of Appeals
On April 3, the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS) announced it had filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in its case against the administration’s use of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act to implement tariffs and quotas on imported steel and aluminum. The announcement by AIIS came soon after the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) ruled against the group’s argument that Section 232 violated the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. In its decision, the CIT’s three judge panel said it was bound by the precedent established by a 1976 Supreme Court case, Federal Energy Administration v. Algonquin SNG Inc.
In the Algonquin case, the Supreme Court found that Section 232 established “no looming problem of improper delegation” by Congress to the President. While the CIT acknowledged the binding force of Algonquin in reaching its decision, the opinion by Judge Gary S. Katzmann noted that the broad language of Section 232 makes “it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the statue has permitted the transfer of power to the president in violation of the separation of powers.” However, the judge stated, it was beyond the CIT’s power to address the constitutionality of Section 232 “given the Supreme Court’s decision in Algonquin.”



Judge Blocks Labor Department’s Rule Allowing Association Health Plans
On March 28, Judge John Bates of the District of Columbia ruled against the Department of Labor’s final rule on association health plans (AHPs). Last year, the Department of Labor released a final rule supported by One Voice changing the definition of “employer” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), permitting trade associations to form AHPs and offer health insurance across state lines. Before the final rule, AHPs could not thrive because they were subject to each state’s insurance regulations. However, because the final rule would exempt the plans from most state regulations (similar to the health plans of large employers operating in multiple states), the judge found it was in violation of the Affordable Care Act. Since this decision could effectively invalidate AHPs formed under the agency’s final rule, the Department of Labor has stated it is considering all available options on whether it will file an appeal or rewrite the rule.



States File Lawsuit against President Trump’s 2-for-1 Deregulatory Order
On April 4, California, Minnesota and Oregon filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration’s attempts at deregulation. At the beginning of his presidency, President Trump signed an executive order requiring all federal agencies to revoke at least two current regulations when issuing a new regulation. Known as 2-for-1, President Trump’s Executive Order attempts to offset the costs of any new regulations by removing unduly burdensome and unnecessary rules. The lawsuit filed by the three states argues that the 2-for-1 Order is unconstitutional and violates the Administrative Procedures Act. Even though this lawsuit is in its initial stages, with an outcome far from certain, One Voice will continue working with this administration and members of Congress to hold federal agencies more accountable and create a more straightforward rulemaking process.



EEOC Opens Web Portal to Collect Component 1 of EEO-1 Data
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently opened its online collection portal for Calendar Year 2018 EEO-1 Component 1 data. The EEO-1 is an annual survey requiring all private employers with 100 or more employees and federal government contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract, sub-contract or purchase order amounting to $50,000 or more to file the EEO-1 report. Originally, the EEO-1 form collected company employment data categorized by race/ethnicity, gender, and job category. In 2016, the Obama administration changed this EEO-1 reporting requirement into “Component 1” and added “Component 2,” which would include an employee’s W-2 compensation.
The Trump administration attempted to freeze the compensation reporting requirement under Component 2, only requiring employers to file the previously approved EEO-1 form data on race/ethnicity, gender, and job category (Component 1) by May 31. However, a federal judge recently ordered the Trump administration to move forward with the collection of Component 2 data. In response to the judge’s order, the EEOC stated it will not be able to electronically collect compensation data (Component 2) until later this summer, with a deadline of September 30. While the EEOC has not released guidelines for submitting Component 2, Component 1 is still due by May 31. Click here to access the EEO-1 Survey collection portal.