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Byrne Introduces Save Local Business Act

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne has introduced legislation that would reverse an extreme joint employer regulation and protect American jobs and their creation. Rep. Byrne, R-Fairhope, introduced the Save Local Business Act that has bipartisan support from 29 co-sponsors.

“Federal labor policies should be focused on benefiting workers and helping small businesses grow instead of creating barriers that limit opportunity,” Rep. Byrne said. “Also important, Congress, not unelected federal bureaucrats, should set our nation’s labor policies through statute instead of executive fiat.”

Rep. Byrne said with this bipartisan legislation, workers, and the businesses they work for, will be given much needed clarity and certainty. Currently, local employers face an enormous amount of uncertainty because of a vague and confusing joint-employer standard.

The “Save Local Business Act” would amend the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act and restore commonsense definition of what it means to be an employer. The legislation clarifies that two or more employers must have “actual, direct, and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers, Rep. Byrne’s legislation states.

The legislation would roll back a 2015 ruling that stifles business expansion, job growth and could potentially drive up the cost of items. The Obama-era rule expanded the definition of a “joint employer” to include contractors in which an employer has “indirect” control over.

Bill supporters say the joint employment policy has been disruptive and creates conditions for lawsuits against parent companies of franchisees.

During the news conference, Roger Webb, franchise owner of 43 Wendy’s restaurants in Northwest Florida and Southwest Alabama, said, for example, that if a restaurant in Arizona were to be sued, any result could be applied to every restaurant across the country, destroying the concept of being an independent businessperson.


PIPELINE PROTESTERS USED CRIMINAL VIOLENCE

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week on its website revealed the criminal lengths that some Dakota pipeline protesters went through to “protest” the pipeline. The protesters’ actions included trying to penetrate the pipeline to cause a leak, which would have caused environmental damage they were protesting.

Actions include using the nation’s laws against law-abiding taxpayers who have to foot the bill for Quixotic attempts to disrupt legal activities: forcing numerous ballot initiatives and requesting public documents through the Freedom of Information Act, for example.

In North Dakota, taxpayers had to pay $38 million for police costs and the cleanup of the mess that Dakota Access Pipeline protesters made along the Missouri River. Protesters also attacked security guards and threw Molotov cocktails at police, the Chamber said.

In Ohio, shale energy opponents caused the city of Youngstown and Mahoning County to pay ballot advertising and printing costs on a losing ballot initiative.

“Thousands of dollars more could be spent, since fracking opponents have collected signatures to put another referendum on the ballot,” the Chamber wrote. “Whether it is property damage, violence, or wasted taxpayer dollars, communities are paying a high price for fracking opponents’ protests.”


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Congress Sends FDA Funding Measure to President Trump
The Hill (Weixel 8/03) “Senators voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass a key Food and Drug Administration (FDA) funding bill, sending it to President Trump’s desk. The Senate passed a five-year reauthorization of the FDA’s user fees in a 94-1 vote, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voting against the measure. The bipartisan legislation was spearheaded by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top lawmakers on the Senate Health Committee, and represents a major contrast from the partisan rancor surrounding the Senate’s recent efforts to repeal ObamaCare.

“The bill passed Thursday renews the FDA’s authority to collect fees from the prescription drug and medical device industries, which will account for $8-9 billion over 5 years and is over a quarter of all FDA funding. The fees help speed up the approval of new drug and devices. The funding reauthorizations are based on recommendations from industry groups and the FDA after a public process, and come about a month before the current user fee agreement is set to expire.

“The White House hasn’t said if it will sign the user fee bill. In a statement of administrative policy issued in July after the bill passed the House, the White House expressed concern with some minor provisions, though it did not threaten a veto.”

Senate Confirms Two Alabama Attorneys for Federal Posts
Al.com (Gattis 8/3) “The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed two attorneys will deep Alabama connections to federal positions. Stephen Boyd was confirmed as an assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice and Jay Town was confirmed as the U.S. attorney for Alabama’s northern district. Boyd and Town had been nominated for the positions by President Trump.

“Trump nominees as U.S. attorneys for Alabama’s middle and southern districts, Louis V. Franklin Sr. and Richard W. Moore, respectively, were approved in a Senate committee vote Thursday. They are awaiting confirmation by the full Senate.

“Boyd is currently chief of staff of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy. He previously served as former Sen. Jeff Sessions’ communications director as well as six years as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery. Boyd assisted Sessions in his preparation for his Senate confirmation hearing earlier this year.

“Town currently serves as a senior prosecutor in the Madison County district attorney’s office, where he has worked since 2005. Previously, Town served as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Marine Corps, where he served on active duty and as a reservist for twelve years. During his Marine Corps service, he received several personal and unit decorations. From 2002 to 2005, Town served as an associate at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP.  Town received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1995 and his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1998.”

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