If you attended this year’s IFA Annual Convention in Phoenix, you heard Senator Joe Manchin strongly support and defend the franchise business model in a speech. Late on Wednesday, Senator Manchin used his vote to back up the talk.

Specifically, Senator Manchin was the sole Democrat to cross the aisle and vote for a Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) measure of disapproval of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) new joint employer rule. As we’ve noted, the new rule could hold franchisors liable for franchisee labor law violations if those franchisors possess or exercise the right or authority to control — directly or indirectly — one or more of the essential terms and conditions of employment of a franchisee’s employee. The CRA is a law that gives Congress the right to overturn specific executive branch regulations by a simple majority vote. The House had already passed a measure of disapproval about the new rule in January.

President Biden is expected to veto the measure of disapproval. Consequently, a full overturning of the new joint employer rule will require a subsequent vote by two-thirds of each house of Congress. Pretty much everyone believes that will not happen.

In the meanwhile, the new joint employer rule is “on hold” due to an order of a federal judge in Texas. Neither the objection lodged by Congress nor any veto by President Biden will change that fact. But the CRA vote is a key skirmish in the fight over federal joint employment standards.