Last month, Congress was only in session eleven days of the entire month with the final vote set for September 30, giving members a full five weeks back home before Election Day. With Congress returning from recess and racing towards the midterm elections, many are eying the hot button issues they’ll be addressing this fall.
The month of September marked a move back to Congressional activity before members and their staff began an election push before November. Congress also avoided a government shut-down by passing a CR before September 30th, which while having a few add-on provisions, did not include any big-ticket ride-along measures relevant to NEA. The measure extended government funding levels through Dec. 16 with certain exceptions, or “anomalies,” for specific programs that need higher rates of funding. Congressional leaders also agreed to tack on $12.3 billion for assistance to Ukraine and $5 billion for assorted other purposes, like disaster relief and caring for unaccompanied migrant children at the border.
During September, the Biden Administration also avoided a total rail strike through negotiation with the industry and unions.
Lobbyit spent the month keeping its finger on the pulse of all policy priorities in both the state and federal contexts. Given many state legislatures were wrapping up their own legislative calendars, Lobbyit’s primary objective was legislative tracking.
On September 8th, Lobbyit and NEA met with staff from Representative Virginia Foxx’s (R-NC-5) office. Lobbyit’s outreach on the Hill are targeted to ensure that NEA is socialized among committee leadership that fit their policy objectives. Here, Representative Foxx sits as the Ranking Member on the House Education & Labor Committee. Foxx has introduced several bills over her tenure to bolster workforce development and aid employers and employees, alike. Lobbyit will provide updates to their office as we continue to socialize NEA on the Hill.
On September 15th, Lobbyit and NEA met with Representative Elise Stefanik’s office (R-NY- 21). Representative Stefanik serves as the third ranking House Republican in the 117th Congress. Additionally, she serves on the Committee on Education and Workforce as well as the Subcommittee for Workforce Protection. The meeting served as an introduction for NEA and their policy objectives. The staffer from her office walked us through some of the Representative’s priorities, namely, worker classification. Lobbyit expects to see more on the subject in the coming months. Lobbyit will continue to socialize NEA on the Hill with pertinent leadership as well as committees of jurisdiction. Lobbyit’s next group of targets will be on the House Education and Labor Committee.
The House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on Removing Barriers to Organizing. This hearing was hotly debated and accented the chasm that exists between the GOP and Democrats. This debate isn’t novel, nor is it divergent from arguments that have been levied by each party since the 1930s. However, the Biden Administration has self-described itself as “the most pro-union administration in history.
The Senate HELP committee spent most of their time in September finalizing nominations and held a hearing on Monkeypox. Once offices return to Capitol Hill, Lobbyit will begin a strong push within these committees.
Moving forward, we’ll continue to engage with the other committees of jurisdiction in the coming months, starting with the most impactful and pertinent. If you have any questions regarding what is included in this report, please reach out to me directly.