Published by Sarah Harrington
Tile Roofing Industry Alliance Lobbyist, Craig Brightup, has provided the latest government relations update and activities as of October 1st, 2023:
Government Shutdown Averted
With hours to spare on Sept. 30, the last day of the federal fiscal year, Congress passed a continuing resolution funding the government until Nov. 17, including disaster relief but no assistance for Ukraine. Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) needed Democrats’ help to pass the bill with 90 GOP members voting against it.
House Oversight Hearing on OSHA
On Sept. 27, I attended the House Sbcmte. on Workforce Protections hearing, “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration,” where DOL Asst. Sec. for OSHA Doug Parker was roundly criticized by Republicans. Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), who TRIA met with during last year’s fly-in, blasted Parker for OSHA’s heat standard, and Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) asked how much the heat standard will cost small businesses (Parker doesn’t know), and why OSHA wants to let union reps accompany inspectors in businesses with no unions (the Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process rule).
OSHA Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Rulemaking
TRIA signed the attached Construction Industry Safety Coalition comments submitted Sept. 19 to OSHA’s rulemaking on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in Construction. At issue is the lack of clarity in the revision to existing regs that PPE must fit employees “properly.”
OSHA Silica Standard Enforcement
On Sept. 25, OSHA launched a new enforcement initiative to supplement its National Emphasis Program for Silica. Asst. Sec. for OSHA Parker said it is aimed at stone cutting for countertops.
U.S. Extends Protected Status for Venezuelans
On Sept. 20, the Dept. of Homeland Security announced an 18-month extension/redesignation of Temporary Protected Status for individuals from Venezuela. Thousands of construction workers are likely to be affected by this action which provides employment protection for Venezuelans who arrived in the U.S. before July 31, affecting 242,700 with current status and 472,000 more under the redesignation.
Corporate Transparency Act
The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) in the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 is to crack down on criminals who use shell companies to launder money. The CTA’s requirements apply to businesses with under $5 million in annual revenues and fewer than 20 employees (32 million entities), but it’s unlikely criminals will report while legitimate businesses face paperwork, privacy risks, and fines. Treasury also hasn’t finalized CTA regs for the Jan. 1 effective date so Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Chairman, Financial Services Cmte., introduced the Protecting Small Business Information Act to delay the CTA and TRIA signed the attached coalition letter in support of his bill.