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EIW Today - February 6th, 2024

Prism Group's Daily Summary



PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS FOLLOW THE RISING JOBS TREND SEEN NATIONWIDE... The federal government added 11,000 jobs in January. All in all, the U.S. Postal Service and other federal agencies contributed to a total increase of 86,000 jobs over the last year. This growth marks the highest level of federal employment in two decades, excluding census years, and is driven largely by special hiring initiatives at the Internal Revenue Service and Veterans Affairs Department. Federal employment has risen in 16 of the last 17 months. 

 

CONGRESS INTRODUCES A BILL TO INCREASE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES’ PAY… To address the private sector pay gap and assist with rising everyday costs, Senator Brian Schatz (D–HI) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D–VA–11) introduced companion bills proposing a 7.4% pay increase for federal employees in 2025. The bill has been supported by various federal worker organizations, and reflects a commitment to recognizing the roles federal employees play in the U.S. 

 

REPORT SUGGESTS MODERATING PAYROLL GROWTH IN SMALL BUSINESSES...  Bank of America reported a moderation in payroll payments for small businesses in December, indicating a more sustainable growth path. While payroll growth has slowed from its peak in March 2022, it suggests easing labor shortages and wage inflation, particularly in sectors like healthcare. 

 

THE STATE OF THE STATES 


SESSIONS BY THE NUMBERS: 


Forty state legislatures are in regular session. 

 

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING: 


Twenty state attorneys general expressed opposition to the Biden administration's AI regulation plan. Led by Utah's Sean Reyes, the attorneys general argue the plan bypasses congressional authority. The group is now advocating for a bipartisan approach to AI regulation that benefits all Americans without introducing political bias. 

 

New Mexico's Senate Finance Committee advanced a paid family and medical leave bill, moving closer to offering employees up to 12 weeks of paid leave funded by workers and larger employers. Despite mixed votes and procedural attempts to block it, the bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. A similar bill failed to pass the legislature last year. 

 

LAWMAKERS... IN OR OUT? 


The House... convenes today at 12:00 PM. The full schedule may be found here. 

The Senate...  convenes today at 10:00 AM. The full schedule may be found here. 


HAPPENING ON THE HILL 


The House...  

Committee on Financial Services will hold a hearing on TODAY, 2/6 at 10:00 AM on “The Annual Report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.” 

Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing on TODAY, 2/6 at 10:00 AM on “Hearing on Examining Chronic Drug Shortages in the United States.” 

Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing TODAY, 2/6 at 10:00 AM on "Politics Over People: How Biden’s LNG Export Ban Threatens America’s Energy and Economic Security.” 

Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a hearing TODAY, 2/6 at 10:15 AM on “Protecting Missing and Exploited Children.” 

Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing TODAY, 2/6 at 10:00 AM on “Under the Microscope: Reviewing the SBA’s Small Business Size Standards.” 

Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing next Tomorrow, 2/14 at 10:00 AM on “Burdensome Regulations: Examining the Impact of EPA Regulations on Main Street.” 

Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing next Thursday, 2/15 at 10:00 AM on “Leveling the Playing Field: Challenges Facing Small Business Contracting.” 

 

The Senate...  

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing Thursday, 2/8 at 9:00 AM on “The Financial Stability Oversight Council Annual Report to Congress.” 

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing Thursday, 2/8 at 9:30 AM to “Examine the Administration’s Pause on LNG Export Approvals and the Department of Energy’s Process for Assessing LNG Export Applications.” 

Committee on Finance will hold a hearing Thursday, 2/8 at 10:00 AM on “Artificial Intelligence and Health Care: Promise and Pitfalls.” 

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing Thursday, 2/8 at 10:00 AM entitled “Why Does the United States Pay, by Far, the Highest Prices in the World for Prescription Drugs?” 

 

BILLS OF INTEREST 


  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) introduced a bill to amend title 17, United States Code, to expand the copyright protection provided to architectural works to golf courses, and for other purposes. 

  • Rep. Zachary Nunn (R-IA-3) introduced a bill to amend the Housing Act of 1949 to extend the term of rural housing site loans and clarify the permissible uses of such loans. 

  • Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-MI-13) introduced a bill to amend the Small Business Act to increase the maximum gross loan amount for a loan made under section 7(a) of such Act. 

 

AT THE AGENCIES 


The US Department of Labor 

The US Department of Labor and Office of the US Trade Representative jointly announced the successful remediation of denial of workers’ rights at Goodyear tire plant in Mexico. 

 

The US Department of the Treasury 

The US Department of Labor issued a joint statement on the U.S.-UK Financial Regulatory Working Group. 

 

The US Department of Commerce 

The US Department of Commerce announced that the U.S. economy added over 350,000 jobs in January, exceeding expectations. 

 

The US Trade Representative 

The Office of the US Trade Representative announced that it will hold a virtual hearing on USMCA autos. 

 

The US Small Business Administration 

Check back tomorrow for possible updates. 

 

Curious for more information? 

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