Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

District of Columbia | September 6, 2021

Four-day workweek gains traction despite pushback 

District of Columbia | September 6, 2021

The long Labor Day weekend could become standard if the four-day workweek catches on. Many U.S. companies are experimenting with a shortened workweek because of pandemic-related concerns, and legislation calling for a 32-hour workweek has been introduced in Congress. August job postings mentioning four-day workweeks climbed about 75% — 1,162 per 1 million compared with 657 per 1 million — from the same month in 2016, according to data from employment website Indeed. The number of jobs with four-day workweeks posted last month was 16% higher than the 1,003 jobs per 1 million a year earlier. In late July, Rep. Mark Takano, California Democrat, introduced legislation that would reduce the standard workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours and allow nonexempt employees to clock in overtime for any hours they work beyond that limit… (Excerpts from the Washington Times)

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District of Columbia | September 6, 2021

On Labor Day 2021, the end of enhanced unemployment benefits bring hope to US small businesses 

District of Columbia | September 6, 2021

This Labor Day, it’s small businesses that are celebrating. That’s because this Labor Day coincides with the end of enhanced federal unemployment benefits that were paying people not to work. These payouts have contributed to a record labor shortage that prevents small businesses from bringing the economy back. Oxford Economics estimates that roughly 11.2 million Americans will lose some form of federal unemployment benefits this week. This will help fill the 10.1 million available jobs nationwide.  There are still 5.3 million fewer people working than before the pandemic. On Thursday, the Labor Department announced its weekly jobless claims numbers, which suggest that overly generous unemployment benefits are to blame for this labor market slack. They show that about 60 percent more Americans filed continued unemployment claims in late August than in early 2020…..(Excerpts from Fox Business)

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District of Columbia | August 13, 2021

Passing the Baton on Data and Evidence

District of Columbia | August 13, 2021

Since the founding of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1961, scholars, practitioners, and politicians have debated how much, if any, foreign assistance the United States should provide in low- and middle-income countries.  While we do not claim to have a definitive answer, we do believe there is a straightforward, bipartisan consensus that the foreign aid the United States provides should be spent in the most effective way possible.  Regardless of political stripe, everyone can agree that, for the good of the taxpayer— and the world’s most vulnerable people the Agency strives to help—  USAID should focus on maximizing the impact per dollar of its funding.[1]

We firmly believe that better use of data and evidence, in every sector, is the key to making foreign aid as effective as possible.  We were pleased, therefore, to hear Administrator Samantha Power emphasize this idea in her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate“I will work tirelessly with Members on both sides of the aisle to ensure that taxpayer dollars are well spent. Guided by evidence, I will work with you to adapt or replace programs that are not delivering.”  This clear commitment to evidence and effectiveness echoes similar statements from former USAID Administrators on both sides of the aisle: Mark Green[2]Gayle Smith[3], and Raj Shah[4].  The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, the result of a bipartisan commission on the use of evidence, and the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 put wind in the sails of efforts to use data and evidence to improve the value for money of U.S. foreign-assistance spending.  While it is clear therefore that maximizing the value for money of foreign assistance is a bipartisan, even a non-partisan aim, it is also clear that much work remains to translate these pledges into reality. .. (Excerpts from the Wilson Center)

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District of Columbia | May 28, 2021

Just Six Percent of Small Businesses Have Fully Recovered Pandemic Losses, Poll Shows

District of Columbia | May 28, 2021

Just 6% of small businesses that were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic have fully recovered their losses, a Job Creators Network survey showed.

The vast majority of U.S. small business owners continue to “claw their way out” of the hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the poll commissioned by small business advocacy group Job Creators Network (JCN) and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. While 6% of small business owners that suffered losses related to the pandemic said they have recovered, 43% believed they would be fully recovered within six months.

The poll also showed that small business owners – who listed taxes as a top overall concern moving forward – are worried about President Joe Biden’s economic policies. More than half of respondents said they disapproved of the White House’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate.

Just 35% of those polled believe Biden’s economic and tax policies will help small businesses. Forty-two percent said the president’s policies will hurt them…

(Excerpts from the Virginia Star)

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District of Columbia | May 17, 2021

Cafe Owner Seeks to Temporarily Block Admin From Prioritizing Certain Groups for Grants

District of Columbia | May 17, 2021

A Texas cafe owner is asking a federal court to temporarily block the Small Business Administration (SBA) from prioritizing its grants for certain business owners.

Philip Greer, the owner of Greer’s Ranch Cafe, has filed a temporary restraining order seeking to immediately stop the SBA from prioritizing women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners for its $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Greer argued in a motion, filed by America First Legal (AFL), the SBA has already received 147,000 applications from women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged business owners who requested a total of $29 billion in relief funds. This means the funds will be depleted before other groups can be considered for relief…

(Excerpts from the Epoch Times)

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Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming | May 17, 2021

Enough! State Attorneys General URGE Facebook to Scrap Instagram for Kids

Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming | May 17, 2021

The National Association of Attorneys General had to urge Facebook to drop a potentially “harmful” project targeted at kids. Apparently, Facebook needs to be encouraged to protect children online.

Attorneys general from 44 states and territories sent a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Officer and founder Mark Zuckerberg. The Attorneys General urged Zuckerberg to scrap plans to develop an Instagram platform for children under the age of 13. Facebook is the parent company of Instagram. ..

(Excerpts from MRC News)


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