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Government Affairs





April 2024

NAED continues to monitor what's happening in the political world for our member companies.


Be sure to click the image to read about everything affecting the electrical distribution world today. 


Click here for the latest edition of NAED's Washington Wire


Congress managed to pass a last-minute funding bill preventing another shutdown until the end of September. Passing this $1.2 trillion spending bill did not come without political drama, as fiery speeches on the floor about border security and Speaker Johnson’s role in negotiations led up to the 2am passage of the bill. The Senate continues to debate the House-passed tax bill which includes important business provisions for NAED members. News on regulations has been a mixed bag with DOL’s Walkaround Rule being finalized and the joint-employer standard rule being vacated.


NAED has teamed up with our industry partners in an effort to correct implementing regulations on the 25C tax credit, with the goal of ensuring distributors are not adversely affected by new product PIN requirements.


Here are a few of the issues that we are tracking out of Washington, DC:


Here are a few current issues we are tracking in Washington, DC.


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March 2024

NAED continues to monitor what's happening in the political world for our member companies. This summary is just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to click the image to read about everything affecting the electrical distribution world these days. 


Click here for the latest edition of NAED's Washington Wire


This month we expect to see more Congressional action in opposing the Department of Labor’s “joint employer” standard, yet another round of negotiations to avert a government shutdown, and a more focused effort in the Senate to move the NAED-supported House-passed tax bill forward, which includes restoring business provisions like bonus depreciation, the business interest expense, and R&D tax credit.


NAED has set our 2024 legislative priorities which focus on tax permanence, maintaining new energy efficiency credits, and pushing back against harmful regulations. As national campaigns heat up, Congress continues to legislate from crisis to crisis as they barely averted another government shutdown.


Here are a few current issues we are tracking in Washington, DC.


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January 2024

NAED continues to monitor what's happening in the political world for our member companies. There's lots to discuss this month, so below is a summary. To read more or to print, click this image.


Click here for the latest edition of NAED's Washington Wire


From the desk of Ed Orlet:


Happy New Year!

We are now officially in a Presidential election year with much at stake for electrical distributors, including the potential for massive tax increases in just two short years when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions expire. Electrification and its implementation are still being debated in the halls of Congress and on the state level. New energy efficiency tax credits passed through the Inflation Reduction Act could also be on the table for negotiation again. In the immediate, Congress hopes to pass a package of “tax extenders” which include restoring full bonus depreciation, the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit, and the section 163(j) business interest expense provision.


Here are the issues we are keeping an eye on this month:

  • Is Your Business Ready for the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)?
  • Labor: NAED Joins Efforts to Nullify Joint Employer Rule
  • Congress Continues to Push Towards “Tax Extenders” Package
  • House Companion Death Tax Repeal Bill Introduced
  • Regulations and Tax Credits Refresher
  • Election Year Politics Update



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October 2023

NAED's October Washington Wire: Uncertainty at the Capitol


NAED continues to monitor what's happening in the political world for our member companies. Here is the latest. (To read more or to print, click the image below.)

Click here for the latest edition of NAED's Washington Wire


After Three Weeks of Uncertainty, the House Elected a New Speaker with No Announced Plans to Work on Business Issues

Congress has had an interesting October. Following a vote to keep the government from shutting down over the last weekend in September, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a motion to vacate the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rep. Gaetz, seven Republican colleagues, and the entire Democratic Caucus voted to remove Speaker McCarthy as head of the chamber. Since then, 14 Republicans have run for Speaker, and Republicans chose four to be their speaker nominees. Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) never made it to a floor vote before dropping out due to a lack of support from their conservative colleagues, and Congressman Jim Jordan never received enough votes on the floor to be elected Speaker because he was considered too radical by a growing number of moderates with each vote.


After 22 days, Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA), a relatively unknown member of Congress, gained unanimous support on the House floor from the Republican Conference to be the next Speaker of the House. Speaker Johnson outlined his plan for the remaining 14.5 months of the 118th Congress in a letter to colleagues announcing his candidacy. In the immediate, he is focusing on passing appropriations bills and negotiating with the White House and Senate on government spending. In addition, he plans to work on reauthorizing major programs like the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and USDA programs for farmers and those in need of food assistance. Unfortunately for businesses, nowhere in his two-page outline did he address the need for expired tax provisions or reduce the impact of regulations from the Executive branch.


Speaker Johnson is somewhat unknown to the business community because of his Armed Services and Judiciary Committee assignments. While he did vote in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a growing number of conservatives have expressed frustration with corporations, which could lead to policy decisions that negatively impact many small businesses. The uncertainty of the past three weeks will have a ripple effect on a possible end-of-year tax package and the future of tax policy until the business community has a chance to work more closely with the new Speaker.


Department of Labor has Released Proposed Overtime Rule for Salaried Workers


The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed changes to the white-collar exemptions to federal overtime pay requirements that could severely and negatively impact electrical wholesalers.


Currently, an employee must meet three criteria to qualify as “exempt” from overtime pay: first, they must be paid a salary; second, that salary must be more than $684/week ($35,568 annually); and third, their “primary duties” must be consistent with executive, administrative, or professional positions as defined by DOL.


DOL has proposed raising the minimum salary threshold to $1,158 per week ($60,209 annually) – an increase of nearly 70%. DOL is making this change despite the last increase occurring only four years ago. DOL also proposed automatically updating the minimum salary every three years.


This massive increase to the salary level, followed by automatic increases every three years, will harm wholesaler-distributors. Employers would be faced with crushing increases in labor and administrative costs, and the American people would see jumps in prices for goods and services as well as diminished customer service. At the same time, employers need to track nonexempt employees' hours, so employees who are reclassified from exempt to nonexempt could lose workplace flexibility, including the ability to work remotely, and workforce development opportunities, such as attending conferences or classes outside of normal work hours.


Department of Energy Says Massive Investments Needed to Meet Clean Energy Goals


The Department of Energy (DOE) is already investing billions in grid improvements across the country, but according to a report by the Grid Deployment Office, the current grid will only meet about 1/3 of the energy needs to meet President Biden’s clean energy goals. Primarily the grid needs greater transmission infrastructure to reduce congestion, more interregional transmission to supply more electricity, and significant differences in short-term and long-term needs.


This need to upgrade everything from local grids up to major interstate transmission lines offers an opportunity for NAED members who supply these materials. Meeting the growing demand for electric vehicles (EV) will require infrastructure at the home or business level, local grids supplying homes and businesses, regional infrastructure to supply and transmit the energy, and interregional transmission capacity to move energy from new transmission sources further from urban areas.


Unfortunately, the study also raises issues on getting projects approved by local jurisdictions and government agencies, unlike the federal interstate system, which sits solely under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation. The nation’s power grid is split into multiple operators, local utilities, state and local jurisdictions, federal agencies, including DOE and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and potentially foreign countries when power crosses international borders. Congress and the Administration are doing what they can to speed up the process, but years of bureaucracy are hard to unwind.


At the same time, DOE has plans to invest billions in new projects, while states are looking at their own investments to help spur private sector projects for power generation and end users of electricity. All creating opportunities for wholesale distribution.



National Labor Relations Board Unveils New Joint Employer Standard


The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reversed the Trump-era joint employer standards which helped to ensure employers are only liable for labor violations on workers they have actual control over. The new standard opens many employers up to potential violations by contracted entities. For example, a distributor may contract out janitorial services in their facilities to a third party, while the distributor has control over what and when cleaning activities are done by the firm, such as cleaning after the close of business, even though the distributor has no control over wages and benefits. Under this expanded standard a distributor could be liable because it sets, even indirectly, terms of employment by requiring the work to be done outside of business hours in this example.



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August 2023

NAED's August Washington Wire


NAED continues to monitor what's happening in the political world for our member companies. Here is the latest. (To read more or print, click the image below.)
Click here for the latest edition of NAED's Washington Wire


Congress leaves town focusing on spending instead of taxes

Normally the last week before the August recess is spent focusing on partisan priorities to talk about with constituents during the long break from DC.


This year, however, the House focused on two spending bills and, due to a rebellion from the right wing of the conference, could only pass one before leaving town.


We were expecting the House to take up the Ways & Means passed tax bill that would have brought back the Research and Development Tax Credit, expanded the standard deduction, and increased Section 179 expensing. In the days leading up to the announcement of the final week schedule, it was rumored that enough high-tax-state Republicans were defecting over the lack of changes to the limitation of how much state and local taxes (SALT) can be deducted. Changing the limited SALT deduction is a priority for a handful of Republicans in blue states that represent wealthier districts where their constituents max out the SALT deduction. This is a stark contrast to the rest of the Republican conference which is focused on helping those who pay lower amounts of taxes to further reduce their tax bills.


With the end of the fiscal year coming up on September 30 and likely more disagreements within the Republican conference on the remaining spending bills, it is unlikely the House will have a chance to take up the tax bill until October, if not later in the year. For many in the business community, the passage of the House tax bill would have been an unofficial starting pistol to negotiating a larger end-of-year tax package to help clear the way for a future agreement on extending the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. With this latest inaction, the business community will continue to face uncertainty.


DOE releases guidance for states to implement energy efficiency and electrification rebate programs


The U.S. Department of Energy has released guidance to implement two home energy rebate programs administered at the state level. The Inflation Reduction Act approved nearly $9 billion to improve energy efficiency in homes across the country through electrification and whole-home energy usage. Many of the approved improvements will require updating wiring and service panels within the home, allowing NAED members to work with their customers to take advantage of the money flowing to the states.


Department of Labor preparing new rules on exemptions from overtime requirements for salaried workers


The Fair Labor Standards Act established requirements for paying overtime to certain workers who do not meet a minimum salary threshold or are exempted based on their duties. During the Obama and Trump Administrations, the business community has urged the Department to make a limited update to these requirements. Now the Department of Labor is examining what positions are exempted from the minimum salary requirements. The proposed rule is expected to be published in September.


NAED joins industry in expressing concerns about “Build America, Buy America” guidelines to the White House


In early August, NAED joined six trade associations in sending a letter to the White House expressing concerns over guidance for the Administration’s Build America, Buy America program for future infrastructure projects. The guidance created unclear requirements in trying to implement the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Without clear and achievable guidance, it will be significantly harder for businesses to supply products to complete infrastructure projects funded by the legislation. NAED continues to work with our allies to put pressure on the Administration to release better guidance that can help businesses to comply with the Build America, Buy America program.


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June 2023

NAED's June Washington Wire


NAED continues to monitor what's happening in the political world for our member companies. Here is the latest. (To read more or print, click the image below.)

Click here for the latest edition of NAED's Washington Wire


House Ways and Means Committee Passes Tax Package Aimed at Growing Economy


The House Ways and Means Republicans have put together a package of tax bills aimed at enacting pro-growth tax policies, including expanding Section 179 expensing to $2.5 million, restoring the Research and Development Tax Credit that has lapsed, requires businesses to amortize R&D expenses over five years, and extends interest deductibility.


The bill will likely come to the floor before the House goes to August recess, where it will likely be approved along party lines. The goal of the legislation is an opening offer for an eventual bipartisan tax bill at the end of this year or the end of this Congress. Democrats have pushed for an extension of their expanded Child Tax Credit, however, the cost of the extension is high, and Republicans want an equal amount of their tax priorities in exchange. This economic package, along with other expiring provisions such as full business expensing through Bonus Depreciation, could provide the parity needed to pass a larger bipartisan tax package. A similar bill was passed in 2015 called the PATH Act and helped clear the path for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in 2017.


House Passes Several Healthcare Bills to Help Small Businesses


The House of Representatives has passed the CHOICE Arrangement Act, which would take the Association Healthcare Plan rules created by the Trump Administration and put them into law. Association Health Plans allow groups to form joint healthcare insurance plans to reduce rates closer to those paid by large employer healthcare plans. The rules passed by the Trump Administration were struck down by the courts in 2022, making Congressional action necessary.


In addition to the CHOICE Arrangement Act, the House also passed the Employer Reporting Improvement Act, which would make it easier for employers to comply with or respond to penalties imposed under the Affordable Care Act. Currently employers may be penalized for tax credits given to employees with a limited window to appeal the penalty. This legislation would extend the appeal timeline to 90 days.


Pass-through Business Tax Deduction Permanency Introduced in Senate, Soon in House


Section 199A, the pass-through business tax deduction, a 20% deduction on income from a pass-through business entity, is one of several tax provisions set to expire in 2025. Without Section 199A, pass-through businesses would be severely disadvantaged compared to C-corporations, which pay a 21% tax rate. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) has introduced the Main Street Tax Certainty Act, which would make the deduction permanent. A companion piece of legislation will soon be introduced in the House of Representatives. NAED has supported both pieces of legislation with a coalition of business trade associations.


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April 2023

NAED's April Washington Wire


NAED continues to monitor what's happening in the political world for our member companies. Here is the latest. (To read more or print, click the image below.)

Click here for the latest edition of NAED's Washington Wire


NAED Opposes the PRO Act

Congressional Democrats recently reintroduced the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act is a well-intentioned bill that aims to strengthen labor laws and workers’ rights in the United States. Unfortunately, how the bill intends to achieve those goals defies the rules of economics and would create more harm than good for the private sector, especially small family-owned businesses. NAED opposes the PRO Act for the following reasons:

  • Infringement on employer rights: The PRO Act infringes on the rights of employers by limiting their ability to operate their businesses.
  • Burden on small businesses: If passed, the PRO Act would impose significant costs and administrative burdens on small businesses that would be required to comply with a variety of new regulations and rules. This would very likely lead to job losses and harm small businesses, which are already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Unions have too much power: The PRO Act would prioritize union membership at the expense of employee welfare and privacy. The resulting increased labor costs could ultimately harm businesses and workers.
  • Negative impact on 1099 workers: The PRO Act could harm gig workers, who are currently classified as independent contractors and therefore not eligible for benefits like health insurance and paid time off. The PRO Act would make it easier for independent contractors to be classified as employees, which could lead to higher costs for businesses and potentially limit the flexibility of their work.

NAED opposes the PRO Act due to the impact it would have on businesses and the economy, as well as the perceived power imbalance between workers and employers. Supporters argue that the PRO Act is necessary to strengthen workers' rights and ensure that they have a stronger voice in the workplace. NAED supports empowering our people in a way that leads to win/win solutions to employer/employee issues. If passed, the PRO Act would do the opposite of its intended purpose by pushing workers out of the workforce and making it harder for businesses to operate.


House Republicans Push Permanent Tax Relief for NAED Businesses

In 2017, NAED worked with coalitions of other small business groups to help usher in a number of tax reductions, including the small business tax deduction, improved expensing laws, lower marginal rates across the board, and improvements that protect more family businesses from the hated death tax. As many of you are aware, because of budget rules in the Senate, Congress was forced to make many of these tax cuts temporary. The tax cuts helping NAED small businesses are amongst the 27 expiring tax provisions due to come up for reconsideration over the next two years. This critical tax relief will expire on December 31, 2025, meaning the next Congress and President will decide the fate of the tax code. NAED is pushing now in support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Permanency Act, HR. 976 to make sure Congress understands how high of a priority addressing tax relief should be.


The bill's main sponsor, Rep. Buchannan of Florida said: “In 2017, Republicans delivered the most comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. tax code in more than three decades and achieved historic economic growth. With Americans continuing to suffer under the weight of record-high inflation and an uncertain economic future, we need to provide some much-needed relief and certainty to hardworking families and Main Street businesses and ensure these tax cuts do not expire.”


The Biden Administration has voiced support for higher taxes on business and is not likely to support making these tax cuts permanent, however, public policy battles are fought between the 20’s (to borrow a football analogy). If we don’t continually push our priorities, the forces of higher taxes on business will gain ground in the debate. We will continue to keep you updated as Congress debates these tax policies.


DOE Releases Executive Summary Report to Bolster Domestic Manufacturing and Deployment of Clean Energy Technologies

The Department of Energy (DOE) has been gathering input from key stakeholders to increase domestic manufacturing and deployment of clean energy technologies, including transformers and grid components, solar photovoltaic components, as well as future technologies such as fuel cells. This information has been condensed into an Executive Summary Report was created to help DOE determine a path forward in utilizing $500 million in Defense Production Act (DPA) funds. In June 2022, President Biden released a presidential determination that DOE could use the DPA to increase domestic production and adoptions of clean energy technologies and in August 2022, Congress included $500 million in the Inflation Reduction Act to implement the program. The department sought input from companies, trade associations representing the supply chain, labor unions, energy and environmental justice groups, and environmental organizations.


The largest theme from the report is the need for long-term budgeting by the federal government in investments to encourage adoption, including incentives to consumers, education and workforce development for the installation of clean energy technologies, and direct purchases for use in government facilities. While Congress has appropriated nearly $10 billion for home energy efficiency upgrades and electrification on top of the $500 million in DPA funds, it is unlikely future funding will be appropriated to make other investments suggested in the report. One key recommendation that could impact NAED members is the use of “Buy American” policies in future projects; distributors would need to source products that meet the production standards included in these policies.


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January 20, 2023

Washington Wire Discusses 2023 Legislative Agenda


While there hasn’t been any new legislation since the November election, there’s definitely been a lot of “politics” happening since the new Congress was sworn in earlier this month. NAED's Ed Orlet breaks down what that will mean for the legislative agenda in 2023, and he talks in the Washington Wire about how to take advantage of the opportunities that still exist in the electric vehicle (EV) market for NAED distributors because of the Infrastructure Act.


Watch this video:



Meanwhile, there are other situations that NAED continues to monitor for our member companies (click this image for more info):

Click here for the latest edition of NAED's Washington Wire


DOE Proposes New Lamp Efficiency Requirements

The Department of Energy (DOE) has released a proposed rule that would increase energy efficiency requirements for lightbulbs from 45 lumens per watt to 120 lumens per watt. This increase in energy efficiency will reduce energy consumption by the equivalent of 29 million homes per year, according to the DOE.


This action comes after the energy advocates have pushed the Department to increase the pace of energy efficiency rulemaking. The Biden Administration plans to release over 30 additional energy efficiency rules later this year.


Congress Fails to Extend Immediate Deduction of Research and Development Costs

For distributors designing electrical and control systems, Congress’s failure to extend immediate deduction of research and development (R&D) costs will impact your business tax liability. Under current law, businesses will be forced to amortize R&D costs over five years instead of immediately deducting their value.


Tax writers continue negotiating a possible agreement to bring back the tax credit; however, the passage is likely to be retroactive and pass closer to the end of the year.


New Congress, New Majority, New Expectations

With a new Congress comes a new majority in the House of Representatives and new expectations about what will happen in 2023. Republicans flipped the House of Representatives and now have a four-seat majority, a very thin margin to work with. However, Republicans are the opposition party compared to the White House, and their agenda is much more about politics than policy, as evidenced by the opening days of the 118th Congress and the 15 votes to elect a new Speaker.


House Conservatives pounced on the thin majority to extract concessions from Speaker McCarthy to try and shape the tone of the new Congress compared to previous Republican majorities. These conservatives have been able to secure seats on the powerful Government Oversight and Judiciary Committees, where they will be able to exercise additional power to examine what the Biden Administration has been doing and use their power to subpoena officials over issues the party cares about. This likely means far less legislating than in years past, and the bills that do make it out of the chamber will be focused on messaging rather than making new laws.


While we expect to see votes on issues that help restrain the regulatory powers of the Executive Branch, we are unlikely to see true reforms while the Senate remains in Democratic hands.


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October 5, 2022

NAED’s Washington Wire Breaks Down Current Polling Information


With the 2022 Mid-Term Election just about a month away, we are seeing a variety of polling information for the closely contested races.


But polls don’t always provide the full picture. Alex Ayers, who is NAED’s lobbyist in Washington, D.C., reminds us that polls don’t always tell the full picture.


For this month’s Washington Wire, Alex looks at polls that have valuable, accurate data, and ignores polls that don’t have valuable data, so you can have a better idea of how the midterm election is shaping up right now.


Keep in mind — a lot can change over the next 32 days, and Alex will be working with NAED’s Government Affairs to keep you updated on what to expect before November 8.


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August 17, 2022

In today's Washington Wire, Ed Orlet discusses the newly-passed Inflation Reduction Act:

  1. Newly Passed Climate Bill Makes a Big Push for Home Electrification
    1. One of the components of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the newly created High-efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program which provides state energy offices with funds to give low and medium-income homeowners and landlords a rebate of up to $14,000 on qualifying changeovers to move homes from gas appliances to electric.
  2. Long-term Extension of Energy Efficiency Tax Credits Provides Opportunity; New Contractor Requirements Could Impact Utilization
    1. As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, Senate Democrats included long-term extension of Section 25C, the renamed Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit; Section 45L, New Energy Efficient Home Credit, and updates to Section 179D, Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction.
  3. Inflation Reduction Act Includes Indirect Tax Changes with the Potential to Impact Distributors
    1. The Inflation Reduction Act included several direct tax changes aimed at large corporations, however indirect tax changes including new IRS funding have the potential to impact NAED members. While changes to pass-through business taxation were discussed in earlier versions of the IRA, no tax rate changes were included in the final bill for pass-through entities, however, a limitation on loss deductions was extended for two years later this decade.

While the overall impact of the IRA is more beneficial for NAED members than negative, the precedents set by the legislation and the uneven playing field created by the labor provisions are troublesome.




Click this link for the current Washington Wire newsletter,which describes the issues in full and watch Ed Orlet's video below:




June 9, 2022

  1. The Biden Administration Adds the Electrical Industry to its List of Sectors Using the “Defense Production Act” to Increase Domestic Production

    1. In a surprise move to the industry, the Biden Administration announced it would be using the “Defense Production Act” (DPA) to increase domestic production of clean energy products. The announcement is part of the Administration’s response to high energy prices, even though the actions taken will have a limited impact on current prices.
  2. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's 180 Day Progress Update

    1. So far, the DOE has already released $10 billion in funding. As funding for these programs rolls out to individual projects, there will be opportunities for NAED members to sell energy-efficient equipment and supplies.
  3. Fighting Against Tax Hikes on NAED Members:

    1. At the beginning of this year, NAED joined other small business associations in pushing back against some major tax threats.




Click this link for the current Washington Wire newsletter, which describes the issues in full and watch Ed Orlet's video below:



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May 5, 2022

  1. Senator Manchin Urges Bipartisan Cooperation on Energy and Climate Policy

  2. DOE Reinstates the Minimum Energy Efficiency Rule for Light Bulbs, Once Again Eliminating Incandescent Bulbs

  3. The First Quarter GDP Estimate Shows a Shrinking Economy, First Negative GDP Since COVID Lockdowns Slowed Growth in 2020

  4. Primary Season has Begun, Marking the Next Phase in the 2022 Election Cycle




Click this link for the current Washington Wire newsletter, which describes the issues in full.


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April 11, 2022

  1. The White House releases plans for improving energy efficiency in public schools, opportunities for NAED members

  2. NAED Joins Trade Associations Supporting Senator Scott’s Employee Rights Act to Counter Union Overreach PRO Act:

    1. Secret Ballot Elections  

    2. Criminalized Union Threats

    3. Political Protection  

    4. Union Decertification

    5. Gig Worker Benefits

    6. Protection for Local Businesses  

    7. NLRB and NLRA Reform 

  3. DOL to bring back overtime rule settled during Trump Administration




Click this link for the current Washington Wire newsletter, which describes the issues in full, and watch Ed Orlet's video:



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