Weekend update

From Washington, DC,

  • The Senate and the House of Representatives will be in session for Committee business and floor voting this week.
  • The New York Time adds,
    • “Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday that he intended to resurrect a stalled Pentagon spending measure and try to push it to the House floor this week despite pledges by members of the far-right Freedom Caucus to oppose the move unless their sweeping demands on spending were met. * * *
    • “Other House Republican leaders joined Mr. McCarthy in saying that some progress had been made in weekend talks toward resolving their internal differences over their spending strategy, and that they hoped to break the logjam this week.
    • “We are working through this, and I’m optimistic that we will continue to move the appropriations process forward,” Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York and a member of the leadership team, said in a separate interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
  • Govexec tells us,
    • “The Office of Personnel Management on Friday announced that it is proposing new regulations aimed at hamstringing future administrations from reviving a controversial plan to strip tens of thousands of federal workers of their civil service protections, potentially accelerating a long-simmering battle between good government groups and conservative Republican activists. ***
    • “OPM’s newly proposed regulations, which will be published Monday in the Federal Register, seek to at least slow down a future administration from reviving Schedule F. It stipulates that when a federal employee’s job is converted from the competitive service to the excepted service, the employee retains “the status and civil service protections they had already accrued,” unless they voluntarily transfer into an excepted service position.”
    • Here’s a link to the OPM press release.

From the public health front,

  • The Washington Post reports,
    • “Women who live to age 90, 95 or even 100 experience what’s known as “exceptional longevity.” An analysis published last month found one factor linking those long lives: maintaining a stable body weight over decades.
    • “The study, published in the Journals of Gerontology: Series A, looked at data about 54,437 women from the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term study that began in the 1990s. The women studied were born on or before Feb. 19, 1932, and the researchers looked at their weight when they began the program, in Year 3, and in Year 10 of the program, then followed up on their survival status as of Feb. 19, 2022.
    • “They found that the women whose body weight stayed stable over the years had 1.2 and 2 times the odds of surviving to 90 and beyond than those who lost weight.
    • “Women who lost 5 percent or more of their body weight over the first three years studied had 33 percent lower odds of surviving to 90, 35 percent lower odds of surviving to 95 and 38 percent lower odds of surviving to 100 than their counterparts whose weight remained stable.”
  • The new Covid shots and the flu vaccines will be available this week. The New York Times observes, and the FEHBlog agrees,
    • “Some experts believe that spreading out your shots might make sense if you can time them to just before each virus peaks. So while you may get the Covid vaccine this month, as cases rise in parts of the United States, you could consider waiting until later in the fall to get the flu shot. Flu cases typically peak between December and February; you can monitor flu activity in your state through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza surveillance reports for more detailed information. A doctor can also help you decide the best strategy, especially if you have a high risk of severe disease or are immunocompromised.”

From the business front,

  • The Wall Street Journal reports,
    • “Does M&A work? The latest research says it’s a tossup.
    • “Business-school students are often taught that successful mergers and acquisitions are a long shot. One influential Harvard Business Review article, dating from 2011, says a range of studies show roughly 70% to 90% of deals fail to create value for the buyer.
    • And many investors worry that takeovers are more reliably lucrative for investment banks—which LSEG says earned some $13.1 billion in M&A fees in the first half of this year—than for the acquiring companies and their shareholders.
    • But more recent research from academics and consultants puts the success rate closer to even. Companies that do frequent smaller deals, as well as making bigger bets, tend to outperform, advisers say. That is because they hone their ability to identify targets, integrate those businesses and reap the intended financial benefits. 
    • Companies should always weigh up deal making against alternative uses of funds, said Barry Weir, Citigroup’s co-head of European mergers and acquisitions. 
    • “If the risk-adjusted return from M&A is higher than the benefits from returning cash to shareholders or some other lower-risk alternative, then it makes sense,” Weir said. “If it doesn’t meet this hurdle then you shouldn’t be doing M&A.”
  • HR Dive considers the occasions on which employees subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to be paid for commuting to the office.