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July 2015

Congress tries using the power of the purse to reign in Obama actions…

Frustrated by their inability to overturn President Obama’s aggressive regulatory agenda, congressional Republicans have turned to spending cuts as a way to stop government agencies from enforcing or otherwise following through on selected regulations and rules.

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Look for new efforts to amend Obamacare following high court ruling…

As long as the high court case held the prospect of undermining the basic tenets of Obamacare, lobbyists and organizations trying to make changes had to await a ruling from the justices. Now, the door is open to consider some of those changes, several of which could impact both small and large businesses as they continue to adapt their health insurance coverage for employees.

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New rule on overtime pay will impact more than 5 million workers…

Unable to convince Congress to increase the federal minimum wage for hourly employees, President Obama is taking action to dramatically expand the number of salaried workers eligible for overtime pay.

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Chemical regulation reform continues to move forward...

The bipartisan effort to update and strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)—the federal government’s primary law for regulating chemicals—is entering a critical phase in Congress.

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NLRB says employers must have a thick skin…

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to expand its protections for workers who engage in crude, disrespectful or even threatening conduct or comments. Under the broad umbrella of “protected concerted activity,” the Board is increasingly making it difficult to fire an employee who engages in activities that many owners or bosses might consider dismissible offenses.

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European nations study far-reaching new conflict minerals rules…

Less than a month after U.S. public companies were required to report on the source of so-called “conflict minerals”—tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold—the European Parliament endorsed a regulation that would potentially be more far-reaching than the U.S. rule.. 

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OSHA launches new training tool to identify workplace hazards …

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now offering an online, interactive game-based training tool for small business owners and workers interested in learning how to identify workplace hazards.

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Footnotes…I look forward to hearing from you. Please let me know about issues of interest to you or questions you may want me to answer. There will always be room to include your comments. Please email me at gsgoldenberg@gmail.com with your comments or issues of interest.


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Gene Goldenberg

Gene Goldenberg has joined us in Washington, D.C., as a consultant on federal, legislative and public policy issues. Gene is an accomplished Washington professional with three decades of experience in business, government affairs, public relations and journalism.

Most recently, he has operated his own consulting business specializing in government affairs and business consulting for corporate and association clients. Prior to that, Gene served in senior management positions with Wolters Kluwer (CCH Tax and Accounting) and H&R Block, Inc. following an award-winning career as a Washington journalist with newspaper and magazine publishers.

In his corporate positions, Gene played a key role directing relations with numerous federal and state government agencies and twice has served as president of the leading association in the tax software and tax preparation industries. His many years managing business-to-business sales and marketing have given him a broad understanding of the problems and challenges facing small to medium sized companies.

His earlier journalism career included writing about Congress, the White House and numerous federal agencies for the Scripps-Howard Newspaper group as well as the Kiplinger Washington Letter and other business publications. Gene holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University.