This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week.
In this issue, we cover:
December Jobs Report
Federal Vaccine Mandate Legal Challenges Update
Notable Labor Department Developments
The second session of the 117th U.S. Congress reconvened earlier this week. Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) told reporters on Tuesday that there have been no negotiations related to the Build Back Better Act (BBBA), President Joe Biden’s social spending and climate bill, since talks ended abruptly before the holidays. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has reiterated his intention to hold a vote in the Senate on the BBBA. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that the President “absolutely wants to get Build Back Better done,” saying that President Biden and senior White House officials would keep talking with Senators “in the weeks ahead.”
Democratic lawmakers are focused in the near-term on election reform, following the anniversary of the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. Senate Majority Leader Schumer said that he plans to schedule debate on changing the Senate’s filibuster rules by Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 17), if Republicans continue to block voting rights legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives had a District Work Period this week.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor released its December Jobs Report, which reflected the economy added 199,000 jobs, far short of the anticipated 422,000 jobs. The unemployment rate in December was down to 3.9 percent from 4.2 percent in November. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey reflected 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November. With the Omicron COVID-19 variant surging, labor market experts anticipate more volatility this month, as the variant effects school re-openings, corporate return-to-office plans, large events and other benchmarks of economic normalcy.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the Sixth Circuit Court’s decision to lift the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) vaccine or test Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The Court also heard oral arguments on a stay of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Vaccine Mandate for health care workers that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid government programs. Early media coverage of the arguments against the OSHA ETS before the Supreme Court reflected they ranged from Federal overreach to not every workplace being high risk for COVID-19 exposures and therefore should not be subject to a regularly testing or vaccine mandate.
A Federal Judge issued a preliminary injunction on Monday that effectively granted more than 30 Navy special operators the first religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor found that, “the COVID-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate” the freedom to refuse the vaccine on religious grounds. Despite having received 2,877 requests from active-duty sailors to be exempt from the vaccine mandate on religious grounds, as of Tuesday, the Navy had yet to approve any religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine. Judge O’Connor rebuked the service, noting:
“The Navy has not granted a religious exemption to any vaccine in recent memory. It merely rubber stamps each denial. The Navy service members in this case seek to vindicate the very freedoms they have sacrificed so much to protect.”
President Biden remains focused on COVID-19, particularly as the Omicron variant now dominates most infections in America. On January 3, the United States topped one million in new coronavirus cases, averaging about 550,000 newly reported infections per day over last week. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that same day that the Omicron COVID-19 variant now represents nearly every cases sequenced in the United States. The once-dominant Delta variant is now only 4.6 percent of sequenced cases.
On January 4, President Biden provided an update on Federal efforts to address the surge of Omicron cases, acknowledging the lingering challenges associated with COVID-19 testing capabilities. He urged schools to stay open, as they returned to session after the holiday break. Pfizer Inc. shared that same day that the U.S. Government had agreed to buy an additional 10 million doses of its antiviral pill, Paxlovid, doubling the original order of 10 million doses to 20 million doses.
Due to Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) concerns over COVID-19 safety protocols, Chicago schools have yet to return to session in Illinois. The CTU voted Tuesday to conduct remote instruction until extra COVID-19 safety measures are in place, striking against in-person teaching. However, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot locked instructors out of remote-learning, which led to the school district canceling classes for a third day in a row on Friday. The CTU argues that members have a right to refuse “hazardous work assignments;” it is seeking a requirement that all students present a negative COVID test before returning to in-person learning. Regarding the strike in Chicago, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki affirmed on Wednesday that the President wants schools open, reminding of the negative effect on children’s mental health and learning gaps that can result.
On January 3, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to:
Expand the use of a single booster dose to include use in children 12 through 15 years of age;
Shorten the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and a booster dose to at least five months; and
Allow for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 through 11 years of age.
On January 5, the CDC endorsed COVID-19 booster shots for children 12 to 15 years old. That same day, the CDC updated its COVID-19 vaccine guidance, saying it recommends,
“[P]eople remain up to date with their vaccines, which includes additional doses for individuals who are immunocompromised or booster doses at regular time points.”
While completing a primary series of a particular vaccine means most individuals are deemed “fully vaccinated,” the CDC change means individuals are “up to date” only if they have received their booster(s) doses.
On December 31, U.S.-based Novavax submitted its final clinical data packages with the FDA to satisfy the requirements for seeking EUA for its COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA’s EUA process typically takes a month.
Next week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee is set to hold a hearing titled, “Addressing New Variants: A Federal Perspective on the COVID-19 Response.” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious and White House Chief Medical Advisor, are among those scheduled to testify before the panel on January 11.
On January 3, Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Ranking Member of the Senate HELP Committee, and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, sent a letter urging Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to detail the Biden Administration’s strategy for solving the nation’s shortage of COVID-19 tests amid the Omicron surge. The Senators noted the nation is facing a shortage of COVID-19 tests despite Congress having provided more than $80 billion over the last two years for the Administration to improve and expand testing related capabilities.
This week, OSHA and the Consulate General of Mexico in Kansas City renewed an alliance – first signed in 2013 – to continue their collaborative relationship to promote workplace safety and health with the consulate and Mexican nationals working in Kansas and Missouri. On January 4, the Labor Department granted $14 million in cooperative agreements to support a broad set of actions by two projects intended to combat child labor, forced labor and human trafficking.
On January 6, the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the NLRB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) strengthening their partnership and outlining procedures on information-sharing, joint investigations and enforcement activity, as well as training, education and community outreach. Regarding the new MOU, House Education & Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) issued the following statement:
“Allowing the WHD and the NLRB to join forces will create a perfect storm for businesses still struggling to recover from this pandemic. … This agreement is part of the Biden administration’s unionization push. Once again, this administration is proving that it will always put Big Labor and union bosses above workers and American business owners.”
About this Author
Stacy Swanson helps sovereign governments successfully navigate Washington and understand United States Government policy. She regularly provides clients with strategies which effectively leverage existing relationships to advocate policy objectives before the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government.
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TOP 4 Essay Writing Services in the USA: 2023 Edition
As an increasing number of students seek assistance with their academic assignments, the demand for reliable essay writing services continues to grow. With so many options available, it can be challenging to identify the best service providers. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the top 4 essay writing services in the USA for 2023. These services have been carefully evaluated based on their reputation, quality of work, customer satisfaction, and affordability. Read on to discover the top essay writing services that can provide you with the support you need to excel in your academic journey.
What Makes a Great Essay Writing Service
Before delving into the top essay writing services reddit, it’s essential to understand the criteria we used to evaluate them. A great essay-writing service should possess the following qualities:
- Quality of Work: The service should deliver well-researched, original, and high-quality essays that meet academic standards.
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- Customer Support: The service should provide excellent customer support, ensuring effective communication throughout the writing process.
- Affordability: The service should offer reasonable pricing plans that are affordable for students while maintaining the quality of work.
Now, let’s explore the top 4 essay writing services in the USA for 2023.
TOP 4 Essay Writing Services in the USA: 2023 Edition
EssayPro is a highly reputable essay writing service known for its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. They have a diverse team of experienced writers who can handle a wide range of subjects. EssayPro offers a user-friendly platform, allowing students to place orders easily and track the progress of their essays. Their pricing is competitive, and they offer additional features such as plagiarism reports and unlimited revisions.
Grademiners is a popular choice among students due to its excellent track record and reliability. They have a team of highly skilled writers who are proficient in various academic disciplines. Grademiners ensures on-time delivery and provides 24/7 customer support to address any concerns. They also offer free revisions and a money-back guarantee, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Ultius is known for its exceptional writing services and commitment to customer privacy and security. They have a rigorous writer selection process, ensuring that only qualified professionals handle the essays. Ultius offers a wide range of writing services, including essay writing, editing, and proofreading. They also provide a mobile app for convenient communication and order tracking.
EduBirdie is a trusted essay writing service that offers a unique feature called “choose your own writer.” Students can browse through profiles and select a writer who matches their requirements. This personalized approach allows for effective collaboration and ensures that the final essay meets the student’s expectations. EduBirdie also provides 24/7 customer support and guarantees 100% original and plagiarism-free content.
How We Evaluated the Services
To evaluate the essay writing services, we considered several factors, including:
- Reputation and reliability
- Quality of work and adherence to academic standards
- Customer reviews and satisfaction
- Pricing and affordability
- Additional features and guarantees
- Customer support and communication
By carefully analyzing these aspects, we identified the top 4 essay writing services that offer outstanding support to students.
Choosing a reliable essay writing service is crucial for students seeking academic assistance. The top 4 essay writing services mentioned in this article – EssayPro, Grademiners, Ultius, and EduBirdie – have proven their worth in terms of quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Whether you need help with an essay, research paper, or any other academic assignment, these services can provide you with the support you need to succeed in your studies.