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November 2015

Budget deal could signal big changes in Congress - or maybe not...

The jury is still out on whether the major, two-year budget agreement is the first step toward ending the intense partisanship that has stalled Congress for nearly five years or simply a short pause so the warring parties can catch their breath before renewing the battle once again.

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Final power plant rule opens the floodgates to legal challenges…

If you want to challenge the Obama administration’s long-awaited carbon rule for power plants, you’ll have to get in line.


Twenty-six states and a long slate of business organizations, interest groups and individual companies raced to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia after Obama’s Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 23.

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FTC cracks down on companies that pay for online customer reviews…

Any business that advertises and sells its products online knows how important favorable customer reviews can be to increase sales.  Likewise, negative reviews can have a damaging impact.  Promoting online praise from customers can be a vital part of online marketing.

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Federal court upholds Facebook "likes" as protected employee speech…

The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently upheld a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that employers may not punish workers for “liking” Facebook posts that attack the company.

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OSHA rule will declare that safety incentive programs are unsafe…

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will soon issue a final rule to make safety incentive programs—which reward employees for low accident levels—illegal.

 

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Congress moves toward Export-Import Bank approval…

A strong House vote to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank signals likely congressional passage and is a major victory for business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a group of major corporations who urged Congress to renew the bank’s charter.

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A worker's death does not necessarily mean there was a safety violation…

Proper machine guards to protect workers from injury or death are among the most often issued citations by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and routinely appear in the agency’s “top ten” list of safety violations.

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SEC seeks rehearing in conflict minerals case…

Citing issues of “exceptional importance,” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Amnesty International have asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review a key conflict minerals decision by one of the court’s three-judge panels.

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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.