Legislative Advocacy

Recent News

NLBMDA, NAHB and Canadian Trade Delegation Hold Talks on Softwood Lumber 

Posted By Administration, June 9, 2023

On Monday, June 5, the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) hosted a trade delegation from the Québec government for in-depth discussions concerning softwood lumber trade negotiations between the United States and Canada. Softwood lumber plays a critical role in the construction of housing as a primary material used for various structural components, including framing, flooring, roofing, and walls. The ongoing U.S.-Canada softwood lumber dispute has had significant economic implications for both countries, affecting the lumber industry, housing market, and trade relations. NLBMDA President & CEO Jonathan Paine and Director of Government Affairs Jacob Carter held strategic talks with NAHB and the Québec trade delegation led by Ambassador Raymond Chrétien, who served as the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. from 1994 to 2000 during the Clinton Administration and is now Québec’s chief negotiator on softwood lumber.

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Congress Passes Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

Recently, Congress has approved a continuing resolution that will keep the federal government open until December 16, avoiding a looming government shutdown at midnight that allows lawmakers to go home for the entire month of October ahead of the elections in November. The temporary spending package was passed this afternoon by the House of Representatives by a vote of 230-201, after being approved by the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 72-25. The legislation also includes an additional $12.3 billion in aid for Ukraine, reauthorizes Federal and Drug Administration user fees through 2027, and provides $2 billion for natural disaster relief efforts. Earlier this week, a contentious energy permitting reform provision championed by Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) was removed from the spending bill after it became clear that it lacked support and could ultimately tank efforts to keep the government open.

When Congress returns after the elections in November, they will have just five weeks to negotiate the final details of a broader omnibus spending bill that will fund the government through fiscal year 2023. The political dynamics affecting the negotiations could change by then depending on the results of the election and whether Republicans take control of either the House or Senate.

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Credit Card Competition Act of 2023 Introduced in 118th Congress

Posted By Administration, June 9, 2023

On Wednesday, June 7, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers introduced the Credit Card Competition Act of 2023 (S.1838/H.R.3381), legislation that would enhance competition and choice in the credit card network market which is currently dominated by the Visa-Mastercard duopoly. This landmark legislation would help fix a broken market that has allowed Wall Street megabanks and global card networks to block competition and unfairly profit at the expense of LBM dealers and small business retailers for far too long. Building off of debit card competition reforms enacted by Congress in 2010, the bill would direct the Federal Reserve to ensure that giant credit card-issuing banks offer a choice of at least two networks over which an electronic credit transaction may be processed. The bill was introduced in the 118th Congress by U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Tom Tiffany (R-WI) and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), along with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Peter Welch (D-VT), and J.D. Vance (R-OH).

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NLBMDA Releases 2023 National Policy Agenda

Posted By Administration, January 17, 2023

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) released today the 2023 National Policy Agenda, a comprehensive advocacy agenda for 2023, which outlines important policy priorities for the lumber and building material industry that will boost the housing and construction industry and support continued job creation across the U.S. economy.

“NLBMDA members are essential to the national supply chain for building and residential construction,” said Jonathan Paine, President & CEO of NLBMDA. “Our policy agenda highlights areas for Congress and the White House to collaborate and implement meaningful policy that will allow small businesses to thrive while strengthening the U.S. economy with new jobs and affordable housing options for Americans in every part of the country.”

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OSHA Expands Severe Violator Enforcement Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has expanded criteria for placing employers in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which focuses the agency’s inspection resources on employers who either willfully or repeatedly violate federal health and safety laws or demonstrate a refusal to correct previous violations. In addition to being included on a public list of the nation’s severe violators, employers are subject to follow-up inspections. The changes broaden the program’s scope and updates several procedures and criteria. Specifically, the updated criteria include the following:

  • Program placement for employers with citations for at least two willful or repeated violations or who receive failure-to-abate notices based on the presence of high-gravity serious violations.
  • Follow-up or referral inspections made one year – but not longer than two years – after the final order.
  • Potential removal from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program three years after the date of receiving verification that the employer has abated all program-related hazards. In the past, removal could occur three years after the final order date.
  • Employers’ ability to reduce time spent in the program to two years, if they consent to an enhanced settlement agreement that includes use of a safety and health management system with seven basic elements in OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.

The updated program instruction can be found here and replaces the 2010 SVEP instruction.

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