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Week ahead: ISIS vote could overshadow regs offensive

House Republicans crafted their September agenda to conclude with passage next week of a sweeping, if symbolic, legislative package meant as their answer to what the GOP views as a regulatory system run amok.

The measure is a compilation of more than a dozen bills, half of which take direct aim at regulations by adding new restrictions to agency rulemaking or by giving Congress more control over the process. 

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The idea was meant to reaffirm the party’s pro-business credentials in the final days before House members leave Washington and turn their focus to the midterm elections.

But the tidy message could be overshadowed by debate over a government funding bill and the U.S. response to Islamist militants in Syria.

House Republicans are divided on whether to authorize President Obama to arm and train Syrian rebels fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL). The discord has pushed a vote on the issue until at least next week, which could be the House’s last before it goes into recess until after the elections.

The matter is complicated by the White House’s request that the Syria language be inserted into stopgap spending legislation needed to keep the government from shuttering this fall.

Unresolved questions have raised the prospect that the House will go remain in session after next week.

But House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) appears intent on moving forward with the regulatoryreform bill, which he says would boost job creation and spur economic growth.

Included in the bundle is the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require congressional sign-off on the costliest regulations, and the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act, which would force additional analysis before rules are issued and public disclosure of their “true cost.”

The bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s regulation defining a 30-hour workweek as full-time employment and contains language ensuring the rules enacted under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law don’t divert capital from small businesses. http://j.mp/1rI8vhI

Many of the measure have passed the House before, only to stall in the Democratic controlled Senate.

”Next week, if its so difficult for the Senate to act, we’ll package these bills together — on jobs, on lowering the energy costs for individuals throughout America — package them together to make it easier for the Senate to pass before we depart,” McCarthy said this week.

McCarthy announced Thursday that the measure would be brought the floor for a vote next week. With Syria and the funding bill expected to dominate, Republicans are hoping that voters will notice.

On Tuesday, hundreds of members of the International Franchise Association will blow into town to pressure lawmakers to oppose a National Labor Relations Board finding that the group says could upend the business model used by the fast food restaurants and hotel chains, among other industries.

The NLRB’s general counsel concluded in July that McDonald’s has joint employer status, along with its franchisees, over the chain’s thousands of workers. If not overturned by the agency or the courts, the decision could expose the company — and potentially any other franchisor — to claims from workers who say their labor rights have been violated. http://j.mp/1rKZYbz

The IFA intends to throw its full weight against into the issue and is looking to build support in Congress. Next week’s fly-in and conference will feature remarks from Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerMcCarthy woos Freedom Caucus with eye on Speakership Feehery: How GOP takes back the House in two years Warren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pick MORE (R-Ohio), among others.

Coming at the NLRB on another front will be Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderMcConnell chokes up saying goodbye to 'friend' Lamar Alexander in floor speech Mark Kelly sworn in to Senate seat Longtime GOP lawmaker urges Senate to restore itself in farewell speech MORE (R-Tenn.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks GOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package MORE (R-Ky.). A GOP aide tells The Hill the lawmakers intend to introduce legislation to “reform” the labor board, which has become a magnet for Republican criticism under the Obama administration.

On Tuesday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonCornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel Trump faces tough path to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac overhaul Several hurt when truck runs into minimum wage protesters in Michigan MORE (D-S.D.) will convene a hearing looking at the state of small depository institutions. Regulators from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the National Credit Union Administration will testify.http://j.mp/1D0ZCVw

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is expected to vote to confirm NLRB nominee Sharon Block.

She was among the labor board’s members whose appointments were found unconstitutional this summer by the Supreme Court. Republicans will oppose the nomination, but are outnumbered by Democrats who are standing behind Block — and the president. http://j.mp/1wcxPiQ

 

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