March 6, 2017 Weekly Legislative Update
House Votes to Disallow OSHA Recordkeeping Rule
Over a year ago, TIA came out in opposition of OSHA's new recordkeeping rule as did thousands of businesses, but OSHA moved forward anyway with the regulation. We knew with the Trump administration and a Republican Congress we would and will have an opportunity to roll back this and other regulations. Last week, the first steps were taken to roll back this new and controversial regulation on recordkeeping.
In fact, last week House Republicans voted to roll back a federal rule that requires employers to keep better record of workplace injuries.
Lawmakers availed themselves of the same arcane tool they've used to undo other federal regulations in recent weeks: the Congressional Review Act, or CRA. The 1996 law enables Congress to dismantle a regulation within 60 days of it being finalized, while also forbidding agencies from rolling out a similar regulation in the future.
The GOP-controlled House approved the measure, known as a "resolution of disapproval," in a mostly party-line vote. It now heads to the Senate, which is also led by a Republican majority.
The Obama administration issued the new record-keeping rule in December through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The rule states that employers have an ongoing obligation to maintain accurate records of injuries and illnesses, and that OSHA has up to five years after they happen to cite employers for failing to keep track of them.
House Republicans referred to the new rule as a burden on business as did TIA. In a statement last Wednesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called the rule a "power grab" by OSHA.
"Nothing in the statute suggests Congress sought to endow this bureaucracy with the power to hold a discrete record-making violation over employers for years, and then cite the employer long after the opportunity to actually improve the workplace has passed," McCarthy said.
Regulations that were introduced during the Obama era have come under attack since Trump assumed office. TIA expects many more regulations to be slashed or put on hold.
TIA attends CPAC 2017
A little over a week ago, TIA attended CPAC, the largest annual gathering of conservative activists from across the United States. It's an event that keeps growing, with attendance topping the 4,000 mark this year. It's four days of speeches, panel discussions, breakout sessions, networking breakfasts, and dinners, all with plenty of patriotic music mixed in, where the crowd consists of leading conservative voices - some of them elected officials, some best-selling authors or media stars, and other icons of the movement.
This year TIA heard speeches at the conference from, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in addition to Senator Ted Cruz as well as many Representatives including: Ron DeSantis, Mike Burgess, Kevin Brady, Jody Hice, French Hill, Barry Loudermilk, Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, and Mark Walker.
Over 100 speakers spoke at the event. Tax reform, repeal of Obamacare, trade, foreign policy, and transportation were all topics of conversation over the four-day conference.
RMP Act Update
Just a quick note to let you know that Sen. Bill Nelson (FL) has cosponsored S. 203. This means that all five Democrat cosponsors from last year have now rejoined the effort. Our immediate focus is on securing three more Senate Democrat cosponsors to demonstrate that the bill is able to garner the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. The RPM Act broke the "100" cosponsor mark in the House earlier this week and continues to gain momentum. Below are current cosponsor totals for the House and Senate bills:
* HR 350: Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) & 103 cosponsors (11 Democrats)
* S. 203: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) & 25 cosponsors (5 Democrats)
TIA and SEMA look forward to working with Congress to enact the RPM Act and make permanent the Clean Air Act's original intention that race vehicle conversions are legal.