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EIW Today - February 8th, 2024

Prism Group's Daily Summary



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-one state legislatures are in regular session. 

 

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING: 


The Missouri Senate's operations are at a standstill due to internal disagreements in the Republican majority, delaying the debate and passage of legislation, including a crucial bill to reauthorize taxes funding Missouri’s Medicaid program. The gridlock threatens to lose $4.3 billion in Medicaid funds, with various GOP senators pushing for amendments that could jeopardize the bill's passage. 

  

Kansas Sen. David Haley (D) has expressed uncertainty about his stance on a proposed 5.25% flat tax, estimated to cost $1.589 billion over three years. Sen. Haley’s decision is critical for upholding or overturning Gov. Laura Kelly's (D) veto of the legislation, as Republican leaders are seeking a veto override in the chamber. 

 

LAWMAKERS... IN OR OUT? 


The House... the house is out of session today.

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


HAPPENING ON THE HILL 


The House...  

Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing next Wednesday, 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 TODAY, 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 TODAY, 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 TODAY, 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 TODAY, 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. 

 

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