DMGS Washington DC Update

WASHINGTON, DC UPDATE
CONGRESSIONAL APPROPRIATIONS
Congress continues to prioritize the marking up and passage of 12 appropriations bills before the adjourn for summer recess. The chart below outlines where each appropriations bill is in the process.

ENERGY AND WATER APPROPRIATIONS BILL FAILS TO PASS HOUSE
The House FY 2017 Energy and Water appropriations bill failed to pass (with a vote of 112 in favor and 305 against). 130 Republicans and 175 Democrats opposed the measure. Democratic opposition to the measure centered around policy riders that would weaken the Clean Water Act, permit individuals to carry guns on land owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, and forbid the federal government from cutting off funds to North Carolina due to its new law regarding transgendered individuals and the restrooms they are permitted to use. On the Republican side, opposition came about from an amendment by Senator Patrick Maloney that would forbid federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT individuals. Failure to pass this bill could jeopardize Congress’ attempt to return to regular order in the budget process. Leadership in the House and Senate have committed to re-evaluating their approach in getting the remaining appropriations bill to the President’s desk. One such approach may include controlling the bills and amendment process more tightly.

 

CONGRESS IN SESSION
Dates below indicate when the House and Senate are in session from now until the end of August. Summer recess commences after July 15 and end on September 5.
Senate
Week of June 6:                   6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Week of June 13:                13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Week of June 20:                20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Week of June 27:                27, 28, 29, 30
Week of July 4:                    6, 7, 8
Week of July 11:                 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

House
Week of June 6:                   7, 8, 9, 10
Week of June 13:                13, 14, 15, 16
Week of June 20:                21, 22,23, 24
Week of July 4:                    5, 6, 7, 8
Week of July 11:                 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

 

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RULE ON EXEMPT AND NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEES
The Department of Labor has published a final rule that doubles the minimum salary employers must pay in order to classify employees as exempt (from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act). The new minimum salary level established by the rule is $47,476, more than double the current level – $23,660. This significant increase is $3,000 lower compared to the salary level put forward in the proposed version of the rule (published in February of 2015). This salary threshold will now be automatically updated every three years. The salary level for highly compensated employees will increase from $100,000 to $134,000. To see the final rule in its entirety, click here. It’s effective date is December 1, 2016.

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