- The House Appropriations Committee has released a draft budget bill that calls for funding cuts to the U.S. Labor Dept. (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), WK WorkDay Blog reports. The fiscal year 2018 bill is now headed to House subcommittees for review.
- The draft proposes $156 billion in discretionary funding for DOL, NLRB, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That amounts to a $5 billion cut from FY 2017. DOL would receive $10.8 billion of that, taking a $1.3 billion cut. NLRB faces a $25 million cut, with a $249 million budget proposed for next year.
- The draft legislation also proposes that DOL be barred from enforcing the fiduciary rule and that NLRB's "joint-employer" standard apply only to current disputes, Workday Blog says.
The GOP-led House appears to be making good on some of its long-time policy positions through the Appropriations Committee's proposal. Business groups have waged legal fights challenging various Obama-era standards, including the fiduciary rule and joint-employer position.
House Republicans asked Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to repeal the fiduciary rule during his first week on the job but he has so far only issued a "Request for Information," asking stakeholders whether some provisions should be delayed or changed. His agency also recently defended most of the rule's provisions in court. In June, House Republicans passed the Financial Choice Act, which would have repealed the fiduciary rule, but the bill failed to pass in the Senate. The spending bill, if passed, could finally rescind the fiduciary rule.
The bill also waters down the NLRB's "joint-employer" liability mandate by eliminating its use in future suits. That standard was thought to be in jeopardy anyway, but the bill could hasten its demise.