On Feb. 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the COMPETES Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521), which included Brand USA funding. The bill was crafted by House Democrats, primarily to address manufacturing, supply chain and other economic competitiveness issues with China. In June 2021, the U.S. Senate passed a similar bill with bipartisan support called the U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S.3084). Since the COMPETES Act differs from the Senate-passed version, a joint House and Senate conference committee will now convene to attempt to reconcile the two bills by March 1.
While final passage remains uncertain, this does present another possible path forward for Brand USA funding. There is disagreement about some of the trade and environmental provisions in the bill, but the inclusion of emergency funding for Brand USA demonstrates continued support in Congress for the program.
Recently, the Biden Administration announced the release of 20,000 additional H-2B visas for the first half of FY 2022. With more than 1.5 million job openings in the Leisure & Hospitality sector alone, additional H-2B visas will be instrumental in facilitating an even recovery across all sectors of travel.
With the completion of the 87th Legislative Session, Visit San Antonio is awaiting the release of the Senate and House of Representatives “Interim Charges.” The Interim Charges provide the Legislature with an opportunity to review key legislative and/or regulatory issues that could be addressed in the 88th Legislature. When the Interim Charges are released, the VSA Government Relations Team will review them and provide a comprehensive review of the issues over this coming summer and how our members and stakeholders may participate in this key process.
The 2022 voting cycle has begun. The March 1 primary election for both the Republican and Democratic parties is currently under way, with early voting running from Feb. 14-25.
View the generic sample ballots by party for the election can be found at the hyperlinks listed below:
March 1 Election Day voting center locations can be found HERE. Election Day Vote Centers are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Voters can visit any of these centers to vote on election day.