Federal Update: From Congress to the Courts

Date: January 20, 2022

New congressional timelines and an overview following oral arguments in “NFIB v. OSHA” at the Supreme Court

NFIB’s most recent federal update webinar was held Wednesday, Jan. 12 and featured guest Steve Lehotsky, founder of Lehotsky LLP, and attorney in the NFIB v. OSHA Supreme Court oral arguments. The NFIB Small Business Legal Center’s Executive Director Karen Harned joined Lehotsky for this discussion, which was followed by NFIB Vice President of Federal Government Relations Kevin Kuhlman and Senior Manager for Government Relations Courtney Titus Brooks discussing the Build Back Better Act with a congressional timeline update.

Harmful Small Business Proposals in the Build Back Better Act

The harmful small business impacts of the Build Back Better Act are detailed in a letter NFIB sent to members of the U.S. House in November and we’re fighting to have these provisions removed from the U.S. Senate’s version of the billThe Build Back Better Act’s three most harmful proposals that would impact small businesses are:

  • Small Business Surtax
  • Paid Family & Medical Leave Program
  • Penalties and penalty exposure

The latest timeline with upcoming dates to watch for includes:

  • Jan. 15: Expanded Child Tax Credit lapses
  • Jan. 17: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had promised to hold a vote on voting bills
  • Feb. 18: Federal government funding expires
  • March 1: President Biden scheduled to present State of the Union address

Kuhlman explains that small business owners speaking out on their concerns successfully stopped several harmful policies from moving forward in the Build Back Better Act: “Thanks to NFIB members’ advocacy, Congress removed several harmful policies including limiting the small business deduction, increasing the top individual rate, and increasing the top capital gains tax rate.”

Yesterday, Jan. 19, President Biden conducted a press conference where he endorsed breaking up the Build Back Better Act and passing it as several new smaller bills in the coming months. NFIB will continue to monitor and fight to stop these anti-small business proposals being considered in Congress. To make your voice heard in the fight to stop the Build Back Better Act’s small business tax increases and mandates, please reach out to your members of Congress with your personal story and express your concerns about the bill’s Small Business Surtax, increased penalties, or inflexible mandated Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. 



NFIB, alongside 25 other business associations, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a new stay of OSHA’s vaccine-or-test mandate, resulting in a Jan. 7, 2022 hearing in NFIB v. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

“The twin crises of already having workforce problems, already having supply chain problems and then you impose this type of unprecedented regulatory action on employers is just sort of too much for anybody to be able to bear,” Lehotsky explains. “So, we were grateful that the fifth circuit entered an immediate stay.”

“It’s the first time in more than 50 years that the Supreme Court has heard oral argument on an emergency application for relief,” Lehotsky said. “I think they took those two cases, NFIB and the one from the states, because those were the two petitions that really spoke for the entire economy.”

On Jan. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of OSHA’s vaccine mandate which requires businesses with 100 or more employees to have employees vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

Watch this webinar to learn more about the OSHA vaccine mandate and Build Back Better Act consideration.



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