In 1998, Congress passed legislation to address vacancies created when a high-ranking official of an executive branch agency leaves their position. The Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) establishes a time limit of 210 days from the date of a vacancy for which a person may serve in an acting capacity in a position that is otherwise nominated by the President, with advice and consent of the Senate. The FVRA allows acting officials to serve beyond that time if there is a first or second nomination pending in the Senate for the vacancy. However, certain agencies have supplemental succession plans within their enabling statues that may supersede or complicate the FVRA.
November 15, 2021, marked the beginning of the seventh annual National Apprenticeship week. That same day, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposal to rescind its regulation and recently established framework regarding Standards Recognition Entities (SREs) of Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). To succeed, industries offering apprenticeships need consistent rules and regulations that do not change at the whim of the executive branch. Passing the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 (Act) is one way that Congress can support established registered apprenticeship programs.