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House Passes Bills to Expand Congressional Oversight of Regulatory Actions

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, January 6, 2017

This week the U.S. House of Representatives took their the first actions in the 115th Congress to address the regulatory agenda of the past 8 years. The House voted on and passed both the Midnight Rules Relief Act (H.R. 21) and the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (REINS Act or H.R.26) almost completely along party lines. When taken together H.R. 21 and H.R. 26 allow Congress greater influence and oversight over both the last regulations to come out of the Obama Administration and future proposed regulations. Over the last 8 years, the Republican Caucus has consistently criticized and challenged the regulatory overreach promulgated under the Obama Administration; passage of H.R. 21 and H.R. 26 were in line with the start of this new congressional session. 

The Midnight Rules Relief Act will amend the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to allow lawmakers to bundle together multiple rules and overturn them en masse with a joint resolution of disapproval, if it passes the Senate. The CRA would apply to regulations put forward for review within the last 60 legislative days of the 114th Congressional Session. Opponents of the bill argue that it will result in the overturning of regulations without considering the merits of individual regulations, while sponsor Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49) sees the action as streamlining the process of the CRA.

The REINS Act, true to its name, aims to curb the ability of agencies to promulgate unnecessary or overly burdensome regulations without Congress's sign off. Should the REINS Act pass the Senate and be signed into law, It would require Congressional approval of regulations, with an impact of $100 million or more on the economy, for them to take effect. 

These two bills would provide either more necessary oversight over the regulatory agencies or eat into the autonomy and power of the executive branch, depending on one's view of the jurisdictional limitations of the different branches of government. 

To read the Midnight Rules Relief Act click here.

To read the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 click here. 

Tags:  115th Congress  administration  Congress  GOP  House  legislation  overregulation  regulations  regulators  REINS 

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First Friday Ask IMA - Post Election Update TODAY

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, December 2, 2016

With the election finally over, DC is preparing for the start of a new Administration and Congressional Session in January. Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches, meaning there will be tremendous opportunity to enact their policy agenda. Please join IMA-NA staff today, December 2nd at 1:00pm EST to hear insights on how the Trump Administration's Cabinet choices could impact our industry, what the House and Senate are likely to focus on in the coming year, and how to get involved in shaping upcoming tax reform and the other issues important to the industrial minerals industry.

 

Click here to Register.

Tags:  administration  Congress  first friday  legislation  Legislators  politics  president  Regulations 

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Perkins Reauthorization Passes House

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This afternoon the House of Representatives passed the Perkins reauthorization, HR 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, with broad bipartisan support. The Perkins bill has not been reauthorized in over a decade and is an important federal investment in career and technical education across the United States.  In the current political environment or severe partisanship, it is important to note that HR 5587 passed out of the Education and Workforce Committee unanimously and today passed in the House by a vote of 405-5 (with 22 no votes). IMA-NA has worked with a broad coalition of industry and other stakeholders in support of the Perkins reauthorization and is pleased to note the continued bipartisan support for this measure. Indications seem to be that the bill will move through markup in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee next week, with the vote likely happening when Congress returns in December.

To read more about HR 5587 click here

Tags:  House  legislation  perkins reauthorization  Senate  training  workforce development 

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First Friday Ask IMA - This Friday

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Please join us this Friday, September 2nd for First Friday - Ask IMA at 1:00 EST.  As our last Ask IMA before our Annual Meeting, we'll be discussing numerous topics of importance some of which will also come up at the meeting. Amongst those topics we'll provide updates on the EPA's proposed rule on CERCLA 108(b), the ongoing project to update NISA's Dust Control Handbook, MSHA activities related to the proposed rulemaking on examination of working places in Metal-Non Metal mines, North American Minerals Days and Congressional engagement, our program for the Annual Meeting, and other issues IMA-NA staff has been working on this summer. Join us for an update on our activities as your association and to have any questions you may have answered.

To Register Click Here

Tags:  2016 annual meeting  education  first friday  legislation  member outreach  regulations 

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Workforce Development Bill Passes Out of Committee

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, July 7, 2016

Today the House Committee on Education and Workforce unanimously passed H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, out of Committee. The bill reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, an important law that hadn't been updated in over a decade.  The bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA)  is a reinvestment in workforce development in the United States. H.R. 5587 will allow for continued federal support for state and local career and technical education (CTE) programs but importantly improves upon the original legislation in the following ways:

• Aligns CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state, and local labor market;
• Supports effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers;
• Increases student participation in work-based learning opportunities; and
• Promotes the use of industry recognized credentials and other recognized post-secondary credentials.

As we face an approaching skilled workforce gap, legislation like H.R. 5587 supports educational programs that will make it easier for new workers to enter the workforce prepared and able to step into various roles. IMA-NA has supported reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act for several years and applaud the Committee on working together to produce bipartisan legislation that invests in our workforce. As such, along with other business leaders and trade associations, IMA-NA signed onto a letter to Committee Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Scott  expressing support for H.R. 5587 and urging rapid movement on the legislation. The letter is attached below. 

To read the bill click here.

To read the Committee press release click here. 

Download File (DOCX)

Tags:  committee on education and workforce  Congress  legislation  training  workforce development 

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WEBINAR TODAY: The New Toxic Substances Control Act - Dealing with the Present and Looking to the Future

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Register Here for Today's Webinar

Jul 06, 2016 2:00 PM EDT 

The Toxic Substance Control Act has received a great deal of attention recently, with Congress passing the first major revision to the Act in 40 years early this summer. This summer is also important for compliance with TSCA’s existing Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) program, which requires companies that manufacture or import certain chemicals in excess of the applicable threshold to submit reports to EPA every four years. Reporting for the period from 2012-2016 is due by September 30, 2016. This Webinar will provide an overview of the CDR program with an emphasis on key factors for IMA members to consider in determining whether or not they are required to report. EPA has lowered the applicable thresholds for reporting so companies cannot simply assume they are not required to report this year because they haven’t reported in the past. The webinar will then provide an overview of the amendments to TSCA recently passed by Congress, focus on key aspects of the amendments that may impact IMA members, and highlight the opportunities to participate and shape EPA’s implementation of the amendments in the near future.

Presented by: Ben Machlis and Steven Barringer (Holland and Hart LLP)

Cost: $39/person for IMA members $69/person for non-members

* This webinar will be recorded and distributed along with all .PPTs to all registrants following the webinar

Tags:  chemicals  EPA  legislation  regulations  tsca  webinar 

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President Obama Signs TSCA Reform Into Law

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, June 23, 2016

Yesterday morning, June 22nd, President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act into law. The bill was a bipartisan effort that amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  This legislation is the first major update to TSCA in 20 years. Updating and amending TSCA has been a priority for both the Environmental Protection Agency and industry groups for some time.

The Lautenberg Act creates a risk-based standard requiring that chemicals be safe for their intended use, as opposed to a precautionary principle-based approach. It sorts the TSCA inventory of chemicals into high-priority and low-priority chemicals, and establishes a procedure for EPA assessing those chemicals. It provides preemption of the patchwork of state chemical laws and regulations, so manufacturers have clear rules of the road. And it requires the best available science and protects manufacturers' confidential business information. The passage of the Lautenberg Act and its subsequent signing into law is a victory of the collaborative efforts from both the business community and Congress. 

 

In an effort to further educate the public on the changes to TSCA, next Thursday, June 30, 2016, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST, EPA will host a webinar to provide an overview of the new Act. This initial webinar will be informational only to help inform those unfamiliar with the new law. To log in to the webinar next week click here. You will need to sign in as a guest and for audio, please call 866-299-3188, and enter code 2025648098#.

Tags:  chemicals  law  legislation  obama  regulations  TSCA 

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IMA-NA Joins Group Supporting Appropriations for USGS

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, April 25, 2016
Last week, as a member of the Minerals Sciences and Information Coalition (MSIC) IMA-NA signed onto a letter of support for President Obama's budgetary request for the US Geological Survey (USGS). The Coalition submitted the letter to the Senate Committee on Appropriations on April 20th. In the letter, the signatory organizations applauded President Obama's request for $49 million for the USGS Mineral Resources Program (MRP) and requested an additional $5 million be added specifically for the development of minerals forecasting programs. As a member of MSIC, IMA-NA works to promote the important work of USGS in cataloging, researching, and mapping our geological resources.  Additionally, due to the criticality of stable mineral supply chains MSIC continues to push for an expansion of the current programs at USGS to include forecasting abilities. IMA-NA is pleased to work with our fellow Coalition members as a voice for minerals science in DC.

Tags:  appropriations  budget  coalition  comments  legislation  minerals science  msic 

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Senate Passes Energy Policy Modernization Act

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This morning the Senate passed Senator Murkowski's Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (S. 2012) by a vote of 85-12.  The bill grew out of a bipartisan effort in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and addresses a wide array of energy issues including: energy efficiency standards, electric grid infrastructure, across the board energy development, and resource management funding. IMA-NA supported the bill, specifically Subtitle D. which was comprised entirely of Senator Murkowski's American Mineral Security Act of 2015 (S. 883).  Passage of S. 2012 is impressive for the scope of the issues addressed by the legislation but for the mining industry it is a step towards greater recognition of the important role minerals play in our economy and energy development.  Subtitle D. pushes for greater funding for USGS and their minerals sciences, specifically with the goal of mapping and forecasting our resources in the United States. The Senate vote this morning on a comprehensive energy bill is the first success since 2007 and the inclusion of minerals and minerals sciences is an important step forward. 

To read the bill click here. 

Tags:  energy  industrial minerals industry  legislation  minerals science  msic  Senate  USGS 

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First Friday Ask IMA - Today

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, April 1, 2016

This afternoon IMA-NA is hosting our inaugural First Friday - Ask IMA at 1:00 EST. First Friday will be an opportunity for IMA-NA to update members on current issues and answer your questions. This month IMA-NA staff plan on discussing the recently released final crystalline silica rule, our legislative agenda in Q1, the issues that we will be meeting with legislators and regulators on at our Spring Meeting in May, and our upcoming association activities. We are looking forward to launching this monthly initiative to keep our member interactions dynamic and responsive to member interests. 

To join us for April's First Friday, click here

Tags:  first friday  legislation  member outreach  regulations 

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