Advocacy Update September 2022

News ,

Washington D.C. Update

The month-long summer recess has officially come to an end as Congress prepares for the final stretch before the November midterm elections.

Congressional Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in early August, marking a key legislative victory for the Biden Administration. Republicans will continue to point to record inflation and stagnant unemployment numbers, while condemning the continued spending by Congressional Democrats. Also making recent headlines was the President’s student loan forgiveness announcement.

On the legislative front, Congress is expected to pass a short-term continuing resolution, which will maintain current funding levels for several months. While the Senate could consider its version of the FY2023 NDAA this month, real negotiations won’t pick up until after the elections. As a reminder, the House’s version of the NDAA included several potentially problematic provisions.  NCBA and the American Bar Association are advocating for their exclusion.

Elections Update

Looking ahead, all signs point to Republicans regaining control in the House of Representatives, while Democrats show a slight advantage in the Senate.   

  • Shake-up in New York: Last month, redistricting created a hotly contested New York primary between two long-time incumbent Democrats, Rep. Jerry Nadler (Chair of the House Judiciary Committee) and Carolyn Maloney (Chair of the House Oversight Committee). Nadler ultimately defeated Maloney, likely securing his gavel on the high-profile Judiciary Committee. Also noteworthy, was the special election held in late-August in one of the state’s only battleground districts. Democratic candidate, Pat Ryan, won by a mere 2% in a seat Republicans had hoped to flip.  
  • GOP Candidate Controversy: In the Senate, the most noteworthy primary race last month was in Missouri, where Republicans picked AG Eric Schmitt, ultimately ousting his scandal-plagued opponent that Republicans feared could jeopardize their chances of maintaining the crucial Senate seat. Meanwhile, GOP candidates in Ohio (J.D. Vance), Pennsylvania (Dr. Mehmet Oz), Arizona (Blake Masters) and Georgia (Herschel Walker) are being targeted by their Democrat opponents for taking strong right-leaning stances on certain controversial topics. Each of these races remain neck-and-neck, although the momentum seems to favor Democrats in the Senate at this point. 

Advocacy Update

  • NCBA met with Representative Joyce B. Beatty’s (D-OH-03) Chief of Staff. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Beatty’s Chief of Staff to NCBA and familiarize him with the attorney practice issues NCBA and the ABA are working on.
  • NCBA and ABA met with Senator Chris J. Van Hollen’s (D-MD) Legislative Counsel. The meeting was set after NCBA met in person with Senator Van Hollen. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss in detail the Restoring Court Authority Over Litigation Act” and ask that Senator Van Hollen consider being a sponsor of the bill.
  • NCBA and ABA met with Congressman Alex Mooney’s (R-WV) new staff member to educate him on the Restoring Court Authority Over Litigation Act issue, reemphasize the importance of the legislation, and to advocate for its reintroduction. 
  • Following meetings in July, House Judiciary Committee staff is still reviewing the legislative text and will report back to NCBA any comments or concerns. Notably, the Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Nadler (D-NY) has been apprised of the legislation. As previously mentioned, Nadler recently advanced out of his highly contested primary. 

Amicus Brief – AZ Court Challenge 

NCBA and ACBA filed a joint association Amicus Brief in the pending case of Protect our Arizona v. Katie Hobbs, in her capacity as the Secretary of State of Arizona, et al. The trial court rendered an unfavorable ruling, disagreeing with the three primary points outlined in the complaint.  

A Notice of Appeal was filed, and another NCBA/ACBA Amicus Brief was filed in the AZ Supreme Court

Unfortunately, the AZ Supreme Court’s ruling , did not overturn the Superior Court’s decision.  Despite industry’s collective best efforts, the Predatory Debt Collection Act will appear on Arizona’s November ballot. The issue will now be in the hands of Arizona voters to decide if the ballot initiative becomes the Arizona state law.  

“Protect Our Arizona” will do their best to continue to campaign against this misleading ballot question but likely will not be able to mount a cost prohibitive media campaign to challenge the messaging of Healthcare Rising.  

As reported in the media, “The bottom line is the Healthcare Rising or California based union, SEIU, should have serious concerns about the viability of their initiative with voters if, and I emphasize if, a credible campaign is waged against the initiative and can compete with the California based union’s spending capacity” said, First Strategic partner, Marcus Dell’Artino.

Regulatory Update

Despite the CFPB’s flurry of almost daily activity and press releases that cover everything from Illegal Nursing Home Debt Collection Practices to privacy protection advisories, NCBA had the opportunity to sit down with the CFPB recently and continue to build the relationship. We are excited that the CFPB is scheduled to join our Fall conference general session with Joan Needleman and Manny Newburger.