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NECA Legislative Top Three 9/26/19: Congress Avoids Government Shutdown for Now

Sep 26, 2019

1. Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Avoid Shutdown

Congress was able to avoid the upcoming fiscal deadline by passing a Continuing Resolution, H.R. 4378, Making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2020, and for other purposes. This bill allows the government to remain open at FY 2019 levels through midnight on November 21, 2019.

NECA’s Look Ahead: Included in the package were several other policy deadlines, which will also expire on November 21:

  • The National Flood Insurance Program

  • The Export-Import Bank

  • The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program

  • The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

  • National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity

  • EB-5 regional investor visas, the E-Verify program, and other immigration authorities

  • The Calfed Bay-Delta Program, which coordinates state and federal agency activities related to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in California.

NECA will continue to advocate for the full funding of the federal government through the appropriations process in order to avoid a government shutdown.

2. Congress Forms Conference Committee for National Defense Authorization Act

The House and Senate have formed an official conference committee for differences between the NECA-supported H.R. 2500, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and S. 1790: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

NECA’s Look Ahead: The timeline for legislation remains unclear but it is likely to become finalized before the end of the calendar year. NECA has advocated for several contracting reform sections to be included in the bill and will continue to discuss these issues with members of the conference committee.

3. Department of Labor Issues New Overtime Rules

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule modifying the exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules for employees in executive, administrative, professional, and computing positions, which will take effect on January 1, 2020. Key changes to the rule include:

  • Raising the “standard salary level” from the currently enforced level of $455 per week to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker);

  • Raising the total annual compensation requirement for “highly compensated employees” from the currently enforced level of $100,000 per year to $107,432 per year;

  • Allowing employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level, in recognition of evolving pay practices; and

  • Revising the special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and the motion picture industry.

NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA believes the final rule is a reasonable compromise that will work in every state, companies large and small, urban and rural areas. While it will result in more employees getting more overtime, it will do so without hurting small businesses, something NECA contractors were concerned about under the previously recalled version of the rule.