July was a month of collaboration as our TRI Lobbyist, Craig Brightup worked behind the scenes in supporting initiatives that affect our members and the roofing industry.
UPS-Teamsters Contract Negotiations
The TRI Alliance worked with the U.S. Chamber-led collation to draft a letter that TRIA signed urging the White House to help both parties reach an agreement before the August 1 deadline, which they did.
Expiring Tax Breaks
In 2017, congressional Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) using budget reconciliation to avoid a Senate filibuster and 60-vote threshold, but beneficial tax breaks for TRIA members had to be temporary to meet reconciliation rules. Examples include the IRC Sec. 168(k) Bonus Depreciation Deduction of 100% for qualifying property that dropped to 80% this year and phases out in following years, or the Qualified Business Income Deduction (Sec. 199A) allowing S corporations, LLCs, partnerships and sole proprietorships to deduct 20% of their income through 2025. Individual tax breaks expire at the end of 2025, too, so the House Ways & Means Committee passed three bills on June 13 to extend the TCJA’s provisions under the banner “American Families and Jobs Act.” This is the first major step in a process that will likely be determined by the 2024 election.
Main Street Tax Certainty Act
On July 18, Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) introduced the Main Street Tax Certainty Act to make permanent Sec. 199A’s deduction for pass-through businesses. Over 80 cosponsors joined Smucker including Democrats Henry Cuellar (TX) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ), and all 25 Republicans on Ways & Means. The The TRI Alliance signed one to a letter of support for this companion to Sen. Steve Daines’ (R-MT) bill with 160 other trade associations.
Notes from the U.S. Chamber’s Labor Relations Committee Meeting on July 26:
- OSHA’s “Union Walkaround” rule is now at OMB-OIRA for review. It will expand employee walkaround rights during an OSHA inspection so union reps (organizers) can join OSHA inspectors whether the company being inspected is unionized or not. The Chamber will contest this rule when its ripe.
- OSHA’s National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Warehousing (attached) is likely aimed at Amazon but could hit lots of businesses.
- DOL’s Independent Contractor rule hasn’t gone to OIRA yet and could be sent in October.
- EEOC now has a 3-2 Democrat majority so expect more employee compensation disclosure requirements.
Electronic Injury and Illness Reports to OSHA
On July 17, OSHA announced a final rule for electronically submitted injury/illness recordkeeping reports that’s effective Jan. 1, 2024, and requires establishments with 100 or more employees in high-hazard industries to submit information from Forms 300 and 301 in addition to the Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. OSHA intends to post this data on its website for public review.
House Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill
On July 14, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services approved an FY24 Labor-HHS appropriations bill. The bill is $60.3 billion (29%) below FY23’s enacted level and $73 billion below the President’s Budget Request. It eliminates 61 programs and reduces funding for 54 other programs. DOL’s budget is cut $4 billion below FY23’s level and agency budgets including OSHA’s are cut by 18%. The bill also reduces funding for the National Labor relations Board (NLRB) by 33%, and its policy riders prohibit funds from being used for DOL’s Independent Contractor rule and NLRB’s joint-employer rule.