On January 23rd, President Trump had a White House meeting with the Building Trades leadership, including UA General President Mark McManus. On January 24th, President Trump signed an Executive Order to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.
On January 20, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing agency heads to roll back implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions that impose burdens on states or added costs, fees, taxes, penalties, and regulatory burdens on individuals and families. Agencies are also directed to roll back provisions of ACA through the notice-and-comment regulatory process.
This Executive Order marked the beginning of the regulatory process at the agencies while parallel legislative reform takes shape in Congress. Details about which mandates and taxes will be rolled back are pending until the Treasury and Health and Human Services Secretaries take office and set departmental policy on the Executive Order. MCAA will monitor how and when the employer mandate is affected as well as when the Cadillac tax and high income and capital gains surcharges are turned back.
Also on January 20, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum to all federal agency heads and departments entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” which put all proposed regulations on hold for 60 days, pending agency review and possible suspension or revision by the notice-and-comment process.
The memo is not self-executing and will require further agency action. However, the general regulatory freeze memo, like the Executive Order on the Affordable Care Act, is a substantive beginning to the process at each agency. Each agency will compile a list of affected regulations and explain the process to deal with each going forward.
It is expected that more Executive Orders rescinding Obama Executive Orders will be coming soon. MCAA will monitor regulations that impact MCAA employers directly, including the Federal Sick Leave Executive Order, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces worker pay and classification notices, the new non-discrimination and affirmative action regulations for registered apprenticeship programs, and the new overtime pay requirements that are currently under a court injunction.
Pension Reform Push and Saving Davis-Bacon Top MCAA’s Legislative Agenda
Additionally, MCAA has been meeting with key Congressional offices this week, in advance of the Democratic and Republican policy retreats, seeking favorable discussion of multiemployer pension reform and enactment of new plan designs.
Also among MCAA’s legislative concerns are potential proposals to remove Davis Bacon protections from any new infrastructure spending. The fight in the House and Senate to preserve Davis Bacon on federal and federally-assisted projects, as well as new funding mechanisms such as tax credit and public-private partnership measures, will be an ongoing battle throughout the First Session of the 115th Congress.