May 20, 2016
This week, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 (NDAA), which includes a provision prohibiting President Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (a.k.a. "Blacklisting") from applying to the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration. The House passed the NDAA by a vote of 277 to 247 with the HR Policy-supported provision included after a contentious debate over a "religious liberty" provision that was included in the bill. Supporters of the executive order were foreclosed by the rule governing House floor procedures from offering an amendment to remove the blacklisting provision from the bill. The focus now moves to the Senate where its version of the NDAA includes a different HR Policy-supported provision that would limit the blacklisting executive order to only those defense contractors who have been debarred or suspended as a result of a federal labor law violation covered by the executive order. The Senate is currently expected to begin debate on its version of the NDAA the week of May 24th and proponents of the executive order are expected to offer an amendment to strip the provision from the Senate bill at that time. HR Policy will join its business community allies in lobbying against the amendment if it is offered. Importantly, the NDAA is considered a "must pass" bill. However, should the House's "religious liberty" provision be included in the final bill later this year, President Obama will likely veto it.