A Publication of the National Association of Manufacturers
March 31, 2011
EEOC Finalizes ADA Regulations. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has finalized long-pending regulations to implement the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which strikes a fair balance for people with disabilities and employers by updating important law that prevents illegal discrimination against people with disabilities. The NAM worked with other leaders in the employer community, along with advocates from disability groups, to develop the ADA Amendments Act. The final rule issued last week takes into account many of the concerns expressed in the NAM's regulatory comment response and better reflects the initial agreements reached by the NAM and the disability community. While the regulations still contain several concerning elements, the final rule is much improved from the proposed regulations originally introduced. For more information, click here. Details: Joe Trauger, (202) 637-3127.
Senate to Vote on Measures to Curb EPA Overregulation. Votes on measures geared toward curtailing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could begin this week in the Senate. Republican Leader McConnell's (R-KY) Energy Tax Prevention Act amendment to the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 would block the EPA's authority to regulate GHG emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act while keeping intact the GHG tailpipe standards for model years 2012-2016. In addition, three other amendments address GHG regulationsauthored by Sens. John Rockefeller (D-WV), Max Baucus (D-MT) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Of the various measures, the NAM supports Sen. McConnell's amendment as it provides the most certainty to the manufacturing community. The NAM is urging manufacturers to contact their legislators and ask them to support the measure. Details: Alicia Meads, (202) 637-3174.
FAA Scheduled for House Floor Vote This Week. The House is preparing to move its four-year FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 this week. Passage of the long-awaited FAA reauthorization in the House will allow important negotiations with the Senate to proceed on a final version of the authorization. The NAM supports Chairman John Mica's (R-FL) manager's amendment, which will address long-standing manufacturing concerns with an onerous Department of Transportation (DOT) rulemaking on the air transportation of lithium batteries. The rulemaking is awaiting final publication. The NAM strongly opposes an amendment offered by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) that will stall efforts to harmonize U.S. lithium battery transportation regulations with international safety standards by prohibiting the transportation of lithium metal batteries or cells on cargo aircraft. To read the NAM's key vote letter, click here. Details: Robyn Boerstling, (202) 637-3178.
NAM Weighs in with IRS on Medical Device Tax. The NAM sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Monday, March 28, regarding forthcoming regulations to implement the new excise tax on medical devices included in the health care reform law. While the NAM feels strongly that the new tax will stifle research, innovation and job growth, the NAM also recognizes the challenges the IRS faces in drafting guidance to implement this law. In the letter, the NAM urges the IRS to ensure medical devices that are of a type commonly bought by retail consumers for their individual use are exempt from the 2.3 percent medical device tax. Details: Dorothy Coleman, (202) 637-3077.
NAM Responds to OSHA Noise Proposal. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) proposal to fundamentally overhaul employer requirements to abate noise in workplaces has been withdrawn for now, the NAM continues to monitor the issue. Last week, the NAM filed comments with OSHA in response to the burdensome and costly proposed noise standards. The NAM estimates that implementation of the proposed standard would directly impose billions of dollars in additional compliance costs on the manufacturing sector and would be an excessive burden on small and medium-sized manufacturers. An NAM survey found that the proposal would cost manufacturers between $3,000 and about $10,000 per employee per year. Although the NAM has made considerable progress on this issue to date, the NAM remains vigilant of future efforts to bring back such a costly regulatory initiative. The comments are available here. Details: Joe Trauger, (202) 637-3127.
Tell Your Manufacturing StoryRegister Now for the NAM's Manufacturing Summit. Please join manufacturers from around the country at the NAM's third annual Manufacturing Summit in Washington, D.C., June 15-16, 2011. Manufacturers will meet with members of Congress and demonstrate the vital role of manufacturing in our nation's economy. As the new Congress considers action on a host of measures that will affect the business community, manufacturers in America must stand up and communicate the impact of proposed legislation on their bottom line. We have invited William Daley, chief of staff to President Barack Obama, and Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, to participate as keynote speakers at the Summit. Please visit www.nam.org/summit to reserve your spot today! Details: Colleen Vivori, (202) 637-3114.
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Managing Editor: Clare James Johnson
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