November 8, 2021 | Cole Karr
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday evening passed, 228-206, the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit halted Saturday the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workplace vaccine mandate.
House Democrats resolved their differences on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and agreed to the Senate's full amendment to the bill, with 13 Republicans voting in favor and six Democrats voting against. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation in the days ahead. Once signed, the package will provide a five-year reauthorization of various surface transportation programs, as well put in motion historic investments in water, wastewater, transit, ports, airports, electric grid, and natural infrastructure.
Click here for NSDC's Special Report on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (August 18, 2021). An update to this report detailing immediate appropriations will be available to NSDC members this week.
Meanwhile, the Fifth Circuit issued a stay on federal OSHA's Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) regarding workplace vaccinations for employers with more than 100 employees. As NSDC previously reported, the ETS impacts special districts in 22 states with OSHA-approved state plans.
The Court is expediting the case, with the Federal government given until the end of the day Monday to respond. A decision is expected as soon as Friday, November 12.
The case – of which Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah are plaintiffs – is one of four cases that 27 state attorneys general have filed against the mandate. Additional action is pending in the Sixth, Eighth, and 11th circuits. All seek to void the ETS, generally alleging First Amendment violations or improper ETS development procedures.
Stay tuned to NSDC for further updates as these stories develop.