Legislative Advocacy

Recent News

Update on OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)

This week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) continued meetings with stakeholders regarding the COVID-19 vaccination mandate which will soon be implemented through an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). NLBMDA met with the White House and OSHA on Friday on behalf of the lumber and building material (LBM) dealers in the U.S. to express serious concerns with the mandate, which is expected to be finalized and officially published very soon.

As NLBMDA is the recognized national voice of the LBM industry, NLBMDA was quoted today in the Washington Post, specifically in an article on the vaccine ETS and concerns from various industry stakeholders. This is an illustration of the national recognition NLBMDA has with policymakers and media organizations alike.

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Washington Update: State of Play on Infrastructure and Budget Reconciliation

Last week, the House of Representatives postponed a scheduled vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed the Senate in August. The vote was scuttled by progressive Democrats in the House who said they will not vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress also advances President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan for social safety net programs, called the Build Back Better Act.

The progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party in Congress continue to be at odds over how to proceed on both pieces of legislation. While progressives are demanding that passage of the two bills be linked together, moderates are advocating for immediate passage of the infrastructure bill, separate from any vote on the reconciliation bill. Progressive Democrats are worried that they will lose leverage over moderate Democrats should the infrastructure bill pass Congress before the reconciliation bill.

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Congress Passes Legislation to Avert Government Shutdown

Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government at existing levels through Dec. 3, 2021. The CR also includes $28.6 billion for natural disaster relief and $6.3 billion for Afghan refugee resettlement. President Biden signed the legislation on Thursday, September 30.

House Approves $3.5 Trillion FY 2022 Budget Resolution

Recently, the House voted to approve a FY 2022 budget resolution on a party-line vote of 220-212. Passage of the budget resolution is the first step in the budget reconciliation process which directs legislative committees in the House and Senate to begin drafting a bill that could spend up to $3.5 trillion on several legislative initiatives supported by President Biden and congressional Democrats. In order to secure enough votes for the resolution in the House among moderate Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has agreed to hold a vote on the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill by Sept. 27, 2021.

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Senate Approves Budget Resolution

Recently, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh sent a letter to Congress announcing that President Biden will not seek an extension of emergency COVID-19 supplemental unemployment insurance programs once they expire on Sept 6, 2021.

These programs, which have been in place since the start of the pandemic, provided unemployed workers with an additional $300 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits. The Biden administration cited an improving labor market and unemployment rate as reasons for not seeking an extension of the benefits.

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Senate Approves Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation

Recently, the Senate passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by a vote of 69-30. The legislation would provide $550 billion for new infrastructure projects over the next five years including roads, bridges, ports, rail, waterways, airports, public transit and broadband. The legislation contains several NLBMDA-backed provisions that would benefit the lumber and building material dealer industry including reforms to streamline and expedite the federal permitting and environmental review processes, new workforce development initiatives to help alleviate labor shortages, and no tax additional increases on individuals or small businesses.

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Biden Administration Will Not Seek Extension of Supplemental Unemployment Insurance

Recently, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh sent a letter to Congress announcing that President Biden will not seek an extension of emergency COVID-19 supplemental unemployment insurance programs once they expire on Sept 6, 2021.

These programs, which have been in place since the start of the pandemic, provided unemployed workers with an additional $300 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits. The Biden administration cited an improving labor market and unemployment rate as reasons for not seeking an extension of the benefits.

To read more, please click here.

IRS Releases Additional Guidance on Employee Retention Credit

Last night, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released additional guidance on the employee retention credit, including guidance that addresses changes made by the most recent COVID-19 relief law (American Rescue Plan Act of 2021). These changes are applicable to the third and fourth quarters of 2021.

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Recent NLBMDA Advocacy

Recent NLBMDA Webinars

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