House Republicans Release Long-Awaited Tax Package. (Beltway Buzz - November 3, 2017)


The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what's happening in Washington, D.C. could impact your business.

House Republicans Release Long-Awaited Tax Package. On Thursday, November 2, House Republicans released the legislative text of their eagerly awaited tax reform bill. While the bill was originally rumored to be dubbed the "The Cut Cut Cut Act," Republicans went with the only-slightly-better moniker, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." The bill is the result of hyperactivity and last-minute scrambling, most of it behind closed doors—and nearly all of it undertaken in an effort to balance the ledger sheets. At this early stage, the Buzz is loath to go on record regarding details of a 430-page tax bill, but we will have more on this in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Republicans have released policy highlights as well as a section-by-section summary, and Democrats have responded as well. As for the employer community's reactions, the National Association of Manufacturers refers to the bill as a "grand slam," the National Retail Federation calls it "the perfect present for the American people and the U.S. economy," and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes that the bill is "exactly what our nation needs to get our economy growing faster." Conversely, both the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Association of Homebuilders have come out against the bill. The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to begin marking-up the bill on Monday, November 6. (Hat tip to Richard C. Libert.)

Overtime Appeal. Apropos of Halloween, the legal challenge to the 2016 changes to the overtime rules has come back to life . . . sort of. On October 30, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed an appeal of the August 2017 decision by a federal judge to invalidate the rules. But the DOL simultaneously announced that it would also be asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to hold the appeal in abeyance "while the Department of Labor undertakes further rulemaking to determine what the salary level should be." Like a National League team beating another National League team to win the World Series, this is all getting a bit confusing. Fortunately, Steven F. Pockrass has the details.

Democrats Outline Labor Policy Positions. This week, Democrats released the details of their "Better Deal" platform that relate to workers and employers. It is an ambitious...

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