Following a US presidential campaign that detailed many potential policy changes, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have assembled a team aimed at addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a challenging economy, calls for racial justice, existing immigration and foreign policy, and a renewed focus on climate change, among other priorities. To help clients navigate those changes, Morgan Lewis will be analyzing executive orders as they are issued or reversed, key agency appointments, and enacted and proposed regulations.
As we described in our March 15, 2021 LawFlash, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) includes a 100% COBRA premium subsidy for any employee or dependent who is a COBRA qualified beneficiary (or will become one) resulting from an involuntary termination of employment or a reduction of hours (referred to as an Eligible Individual).
The education industry, like many others, saw a fundamental shift in 2020 as remote learning challenged some of the long-held traditions of institutions, educators, and related companies. From federal support of reopening in-person classes to changes in college athletics to overall financial challenges, here are some of the trends we could see defining the industry for the rest of 2021.
The Biden-Harris administration announced its American Jobs Plan, a legislative framework laying out an ambitious $2 trillion investment in physical and human infrastructure, on March 31. The bulk of the proposed spending is directed to rebuild US infrastructure in the form of physical improvements on roads, bridges, airports, and ports, with additional investment and tax credits to support clean energy generation and storage, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency.
Consistent with the Biden-Harris administration’s “whole of government” approach to climate change as announced in its Day 1 and Day 7 executive orders, on March 29 the administration announced a variety of concrete initiatives that executive agencies will be taking to accelerate the development, permitting, and construction of US offshore wind projects and boost the already-growing industry as a whole. In addition to highlighting the importance of offshore wind in lowering carbon emissions and addressing climate change, the announcement emphasized the substantial collateral benefits that the administration expects offshore wind growth will bring, including jobs, investment, and related infrastructure improvements.
The Biden-Harris administration has allowed Presidential Proclamation 10052 (PP 10052) to expire as of March 31. PP 10052, implemented by the previous administration in June 2020, had suspended the issuance of certain nonimmigrant or temporary visas in several categories.
With the recent passage of the COVID-19 stimulus package, President Joseph R. Biden, his administration, and Congress have turned their attention to long-term economic recovery, deficit reduction, and tax reform. Proposals cover a broad range of tax policy issues, from raising the corporate income tax rate to reforming the current international tax regime. This LawFlash summarizes key elements of some of the tax reform proposals that have recently emerged.
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval on March 26 that would invalidate the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC’s) true lender final rule.
The OCC, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the FDIC (collectively, the Banking Regulators) announced an interim final rule on March 9 that revises their capital rules to facilitate implementation of the US Treasury Department’s Emergency Capital Investment Program.
Partner Eleanor Pelta spoke with International Employment Lawyer about the Biden-Harris administration’s decision to allow the Trump-era “wealth test” order to lapse.
Partner Jeff Boujoukos was quoted in a Board IQ article about the prospect of mutual funds being allowed to directly invest in cryptocurrency under the new potential leadership of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Partner Ella Foley Gannon was quoted in a Utility Dive article about the Biden-Harris administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan proposal in relation to California. In the piece, she discussed the state’s zero-carbon electricity goals: “Even before some of this gets played out through actual legislation at the federal level, this focus, I think, will dovetail nicely with California’s articulated goals—and hopefully, will incentivize more investment.”
Partner Eleanor Pelta spoke with Law360 about the Biden-Harris administration’s decision to permit individuals to reapply if they were denied H-1B, H-2B, J, and L temporary visas under the Trump administration.
Partner Susan Harthill was quoted in an HR Magazine article about the potential implications of the American Jobs Plan on workplace regulations. "Programs such as the Dislocated Workers Program and other training programs are already in place, but this plan would expand on those," said Susan.
A LawFlash authored by partners Susan Harthill and Russell Bruch and associate Elizabeth Johnston was cited in an EHS Today article about the Biden-Harris administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) and potential actions regarding independent contractor and joint employment issues. The LawFlash details the DOL’s proposal to eliminate the Trump era’s two signature rules regarding the issue.
In a recent Law360 article, partner Eleanor Pelta discussed the expiration of the Trump administration’s Proclamation 10052 and the benefits the expiration presents multinational companies. "
Partner James Tynion spoke with Law360 for an article about the Biden-Harris administration’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan. In the piece, he explained the implications of the tax credit expansions on transmission investment tax credits (ITC).