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October 2, 2019
External Relations Update
September was an exciting month with 7 events throughout the Carolinas. These events included our first Coastal Fishing Rodeo that hosted over 125 people and 19 boats! We also had luncheons in Charlotte and Lowcountry, socials in Triad, Triangle, Upstate and Midlands and started Craft Training Classes this month. It was so great for us to see so many members at each of these events, and we are so excited to keep the energy going into October! Check out the Upcoming Events section below and sign up for an event near you!
We're also excited to announce the 2020 Nail Down the Dates Flyer will come out this month! We feel like 2020 will be our best year yet, with planned events like Meet the Generals, Hard Hat Day, Summer Convention in Myrtle Beach, Safety Conference, and so much more!
We appreciate all your support and look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!
-Kristen Powell
Director of External Relations
Governmental Affairs Federal Update
PRO Act Update:
Last week, the House Education and Labor Committee approved the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 2474) on a party line vote of 26-21, setting up a potential vote in the full House once lawmakers return from recess in October. ABC sent a letter to the committee opposing the bill, which currently has 210 Democratic cosponsors in the House, only eight away from a majority of House members supporting the bill. ABC has been leading efforts against the passage of this bill and it is critical that your U.S. Representatives hear from ABC members about the detrimental impact this legislation could have on the construction industry. You can view additional information from the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and below are a number of talking points from ABC’s recess toolkit for you to use.

Please reach out to your representatives right now and tell them to  oppose the PRO Act . You may view ABC’s PRO Act legislative update here and view House cosponsors  here   and Senate cosponsors  here . Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

The PRO Act is a fundamental threat to American businesses and the construction industry. In an attempt to increase union membership at any cost, this bill would make radical changes to well-established law like “right-to-work” protections, which guarantee workers can seek employment without fearing they will be required to join (or pay) a union if they are hired. In addition, it would diminish employees’ rights to privacy and association, destroy businesses and threaten entire industries that have fueled innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation. ABC strongly opposes this bill. 
Currently, there are 27 states that have adopted right-to-work laws. The PRO Act would remove these protections and effectively take away workers’ right not to join a labor union.
Click here for more Information
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INDUSTRY NEWS
Presidential Impeachment Update
On Tuesday night, September 24, after months of division among Democrats, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) announced the chamber’s decision to formally launch an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump in response to the president's discussion with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky that included a request that Zelensky investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 presidential election rival, and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.
 Below is a brief overview of the impeachment process and an overview of the Clinton impeachment timeline. We will continue to send updates with any new developments.
 Please note that impeachment carries with it a number of political and legislative implications for Congress, so please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
 
Impeachment Process:
 The U.S. Constitution states the president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Throughout its history, Congress has generally defined the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” to include exceeding or abusing the powers of the presidency, or misusing the office for improper purpose or gain.
 In her comments last night, Speaker Pelosi said she is directing six committees that are already investigating President Trump – Judiciary, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight, Ways and Means, and Financial Services – to proceed with their probes under the “umbrella” of a formal impeachment process.
 If the Democrats decide to move forward with impeachment proceedings against the president, these committees will each provide their recommendations for what should be included in one or more articles of impeachment. It is likely that Speaker Pelosi will play a significant role in how the proceedings move forward and what articles of impeachment will be included in the resolution.
 The House Judiciary Committee would then consider the articles of impeachment resolution and schedule a vote on it. If the resolution is passed by the Committee, then the full House would likely hold a vote to impeach the president.
 If a majority of House members voted for the impeachment resolution, then the president will have been impeached.
 Although there are no set rules for a Senate trial, the Senate would then, most likely, serve essentially as a jury tasked with the decision to convict the president and remove him from office or acquit the president of the charges against him through a guilty or not guilty vote on each article of impeachment.
 The resolution to set the trial in motion, though, and the procedures governing the trial are all set by majority vote. The Republican majority in the Senate could vote to immediately dismiss the case without any consideration of the evidence. However, several vulnerable Republican Senators in swing states up for reelection and other Senators that have publicly criticized the President’s actions on the call could provide the votes needed to move a trial forward.
 To convict and remove the president would require the support from a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes, in the Senate on any article. If found guilty the president would be removed from office and the vice president would take over.
 
Clinton Impeachment:
 To give a sense of what we could see from the timeline of potential impeachment proceedings, below is a brief timeline of the previous impeachment of President Clinton.
 On October 5, 1998, the House Judiciary Committee voted to launch a congressional impeachment inquiry against President.
 On October 8, 1998, the full House of Representatives voted for impeachment proceedings to begin against Clinton.
 On December 11, 1998, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment on a 21-16 party line vote. The three articles accused President Clinton of lying to a grand jury, committing perjury by denying he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, and obstructing justice.
 On December 9, 1998, President Clinton was impeached by the Republican controlled House, approving two of articles (lying to a grand jury and obstruction of justice) of impeachment by votes of 228-206 and 221-212.
 On January 7, 1999, the Senate formally began its impeachment trial of the president on the two charges approved by the House, with Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court William Rehnquist presiding with Chief Prosecutor Henry Hyde and his team of Republicans from the House Judiciary Committee and the President’s defense team including White House Counsel Cheryl Mills and her staff. A resolution on rules and procedure for the trial was adopted unanimously on the following day.
 On February 12, 1999, the Senate voted against convicting President Clinton on the two articles by a vote of 55-45 on perjury and 50-50 on obstruction.
Study: Project Labor Agreement Mandates Inflate Cost of New Jersey School Construction by 16.25%
study  released in August by  the Beacon Hill Institute  found that New Jersey schools built under controversial government-mandated project labor agreements cost 16.25% more than schools that were bid and constructed through fair and open competition, free from PLA requirements. The study, which looked at 107 schools built in New Jersey since 2002, found that those built under a PLA mandate cost $57.84 more per square foot (in 2018 prices) relative to non-PLA projects. Taxpayers would have saved $565.1 million, or more than $7.1 million per project, if PLAs had not been used. . READ MORE
Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors to Increase January 1, 2020
On Sept. 19, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published a  notice  in the Federal Register to announce that the minimum wage for federal contractors will increase to $10.80 per hour from the current $10.60 beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
The increase comes as result of the Obama DOL’s  final rule  implementing  Executive Order 13658,  Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors (Feb. 12, 2014), which raised the hourly minimum wage paid by contractors to workers performing work on covered federal contracts to $10.10 with annual increases thereafter. This was determined by the secretary of labor in accordance with the methodology set forth in the order. READ MORE
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