The House and Senate are both in recess through the election with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel striking a deal with Senate Democrats to confirm three circuit court and 12 district court judges, allowing Democratic Senators in tough re-elections campaigns to hit the trail back in their home states.

OSHA Clarification on Drug Testing and Incentive Programs

On Oct. 11, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a memorandum clarifying its position on workplace safety incentive programs and post-incident drug testing included in the 2016 final rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses (also known as the Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule), issued under the Obama administration. ABC National plans to offer a webinar on the memo—details should be announced this week.

Infrastructure Update:

On Oct. 10, the U.S. Senate approved the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, a waterways infrastructure bill that requires reauthorization every two years, with a bipartisan 99-1 vote. The House passed the bill earlier this year, and the president is expected to sign it into law. The legislation authorizes at least $9 billion for critical water infrastructure projects across America, including flood protection and drinking water improvement projects.

Earlier this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., stated his intention to enact infrastructure overhaul through passage of five or six individual bills. Passage of the water infrastructure bill, along with the passage and signing into law of the “FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018,” contributes to Congress’s efforts to provide much-needed infrastructure reforms and funding.

Immigration Update:

On Oct. 3, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s plan to end Temporary Protected Status for more than 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. This preliminary injunction will allow the merits of the case in Ramos v. Nielsen to be considered—whether these immigrants face irreparable harm if the designation is eliminated. Some of these immigrants have spent decades in the United States under the TPS designation.

Last year, ABC and other construction industry leaders expressed concerns about the administration’s decisions on TPS designations in a letter to congressional leaders. An estimated 50,000 TPS designees currently work in construction.

Election Update:

We are only 22 days away from the midterm elections, and outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will visit a dozen states to campaign for 25 vulnerable Republicans in the final three-week sprint. Democrats need to flip 23 GOP controlled districts to gain control of the House.

Staff from ABC National Government Affairs will be spending this week in Arizona and the final week leading up to the election in Indiana to visit with ABC members and provide important get-out-the-vote information.