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Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes: Incident Prevention and Response Efforts at the Straits of Mackinac

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) will convene a field hearing titled, “Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes: Incident Prevention and Response Efforts at the Straits of Mackinac,” on Monday, August 20th, at 10:00 a.m. in Traverse City, Michigan. The hearing will focus on  federal oil spill prevention efforts, preparedness and response capability in the event of an oil pipeline break in the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5, the 65-year-old pipeline crossing the Straits of Mackinac, has been the subject of multiple safety concerns, including damage from anchor strikes.

Peters is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and serves as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal agency tasked with overseeing pipeline safety throughout our nation’s extensive pipeline system, including the Great Lakes. It also has jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard, which plays a leading role in overseeing the federal and state response to oil spills, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides scientific support for oil spill prevention, response and restoration.

 
Witnesses:

Panel I:

  • The Honorable Howard “Skip” Elliott, Administrator, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
  • Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, Ninth District Commander, United States Coast Guard
  • Mr. Scott Lundgren, Emergency Response Division Chief, Office of Response and Restoration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel II:

  • Mr. David Bryson, Senior VP Operations, Liquid Pipelines, Enbridge Inc.
  • Mr. Michael Shriberg, Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center
  • Mr. David Murk, Manager of Pipelines, Midstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute
  • Mr. Chris Hennessy, Business Development Representative, Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET)
  • Mr. Larry Bell, Founder and Owner, Bells Brewery

* Witness list and panels are subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Monday, August 20, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Full committee

The Dennos Museum Center
Milliken Auditorium
1701 E. Front Street (For GPS Directions, enter: 1410 College Drive)
Traverse City, MI 49686  

Witness testimony and opening statements will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. Media interested in attending the event should contact Allison Green or Zade Alsawah atmedia@peters.senate.gov.  

Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),” at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 16, 2018. As part of the committee’s oversight responsibilities, this hearing will examine policy issues before the Commission and review the FCC’s ongoing duties and activities. 

“From efforts to better utilize spectrum powering our wireless economy to expanding rural broadband access, combatting robocalls, and reviewing the media landscape, the FCC and its operations are critically important,”said Thune. “This hearing will offer Senators the opportunity to ask commissioners questions about topics of critical importance to their states and constituents.”

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission 

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Thursday, August 16, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Full Committee 

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

Fourth Circuit Expands Federal Court Split on Standing in Data Breach Lawsuits

WLF Legal Pulse - 12 hours 56 min ago
Featured Expert Contributor—Civil Justice/Class Actions Talia M. Zucker, a Partner with Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. in its Miami, FL office, with Rachel Forman, an Associate with the firm. Ed. Note: Ms. Zucker is pinch hitting in this Featured Expert Contributor column for our regular blogger, her partner Frank Cruz-Alvarez. The U.S. Court of Appeals …

Continue reading Fourth Circuit Expands Federal Court Split on Standing in Data Breach Lawsuits

Categories: Latest News

Chairman Chabot Requests Study on Small Business Intellectual Property Resources

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – This week, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter to the Honorable Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States at the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting that GAO study ways in which small businesses and entrepreneurs understand the resources available to help them obtain intellectual property protections.

“Intellectual property plays an important role in protecting the new and innovative ideas that drive our nation’s economy. This is no less true for our nation’s small businesses and entrepreneurs that are responsible for creating almost two-thirds of the new jobs over the last two decades. While there are federal resources available to help entrepreneurs and small businesses obtain intellectual property protections, such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Pro Se Assistance program, it is unclear to what extent small businesses are aware of and take advantage of these resources,” said Chairman Chabot.

In May 2018, the Committee held a hearing to examine how small business owners can capitalize and safeguard their work through intellectual property protections. Additionally, in July 2018, the Committee held a hearing to analyze how small business owners in the digital technology industry use intellectual property to help their business, and the issues they face when navigating the intellectual property process.

To read the entire letter, click here.

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Peters to Hold Commerce Committee Field Hearing on Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) will convene a field hearing titled, “Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes: Incident Prevention and Response Efforts at the Straits of Mackinac,” on Monday, August 20th, at 10:00 a.m. in Traverse City, Michigan. The hearing will focus on federal oil spill prevention efforts, preparedness and response capability in the event of an oil pipeline break in the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5, the 65-year-old pipeline crossing the Straits of Mackinac, has been the subject of multiple safety concerns, including damage from anchor strikes.

Peters is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and serves as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal agency tasked with overseeing pipeline safety throughout our nation’s extensive pipeline system, including the Great Lakes. It also has jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard, which plays a leading role in overseeing the federal and state response to oil spills, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides scientific support for oil spill prevention, response and restoration.
 
Witnesses:

Panel I:
  • The Honorable Howard “Skip” Elliott, Administrator, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
  • Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, Ninth District Commander, United States Coast Guard
  • Mr. Scott Lundgren, Emergency Response Division Chief, Office of Response and Restoration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel II:
  • Mr. David Bryson, Senior VP Operations, Liquid Pipelines, Enbridge Inc.
  • Mr. Michael Shriberg, Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center
  • Mr. David Murk, Manager of Pipelines, Midstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute
  • Mr. Chris Hennessy, Business Development Representative, Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET)
  • Mr. Larry Bell, Founder and Owner, Bells Brewery

* Witness list and panels are subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Monday, August 20, 2018
10:00 a.m. 
Full committee

The Dennos Museum Center
Milliken Auditorium
1701 E. Front Street (For GPS Directions, enter: 1410 College Drive)
Traverse City, MI 49686

Witness testimony and opening statements will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. Media interested in attending the event should contact Allison Green or Zade Alsawah atmedia@peters.senate.gov.  

ICYMI: Small Business Administrator McMahon Pens Op-Ed on Monumental Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:00am
WASHINGTON - Last week, U.S. Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon wrote an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer to highlight the monumental impact the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is having on local small businesses after hosting a small business roundtable on July 27 with the House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"When I visited Cincinnati in September of last year, small business owners who joined a roundtable I hosted were clear on one thing – taxes were a burden taking too much time and money they’d rather be investing in their businesses...

"This truly is a golden age for small business. The unemployment rate is a healthy 4 percent, with more Americans entering the job market (600,000 in June alone!) to access the good jobs employers are now creating. The number of job openings is at a record high, and for the first time on record, there are more job openings than unemployed people looking for work. The unemployment rate for women was recently at the lowest level since 1953. The same can be said for African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates. A Gallup poll found two-thirds of Americans believe now is a good time to find a quality job," said U.S. Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon.

To read Administrator McMahon's full op-ed, click HERE

Court Calls Second Strike on Municipalities’ Climate-Change Legal Crusade with Ruling Against New York City

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 11:51am
By Holton Westbrook, a 2018 Judge K.K. Legett Fellow at Washington Legal Foundation who will be entering his third year at Texas Tech University School of Law in the fall. New York City recently suffered the latest loss in municipalities’ legal fight against climate change when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of …

Continue reading Court Calls Second Strike on Municipalities’ Climate-Change Legal Crusade with Ruling Against New York City

Categories: Latest News

New “WLF Month in Review” Chronicles Our Litigation and Regulatory Filings and Results

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 9:33am
Washington Legal Foundation has released the inaugural edition of a newsletter, “WLF Month in Review,” that will keep our supporters, friends, and other interested parties informed about the litigation briefs we have filed and the regulatory proceedings in which we are participating. The August 2018 edition includes developments from June and July, and can be …

Continue reading New “WLF Month in Review” Chronicles Our Litigation and Regulatory Filings and Results

Categories: Latest News

Chairman Steve Chabot Statement on Proposed Pass-Through Regulations

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – This week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after the highly anticipated U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service guidance on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s new 20 percent small business deduction was released:

“This is great news for small businesses and the millions of Americans they employ. Main Street businesses now have the clarity needed to work towards the 20 percent deduction, which will allow businesses to continue to invest in their companies, hire workers, and grow the economy. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been instrumental for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups, and I look forward to seeing the new law create even more gains. This guidance is a pivotal next step.”

Background: Last month, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing to gain further insight on the effects the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has had on small businesses. From reinvestments in their companies to providing raises, the small business witnesses that testified made it clear that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was providing positive results. 

As a resource, the Committee tracks all regulatory proposals through its Regulatory Watch page that have been published in the Federal Register and those that are open for public comment. Small businesses and interested parties are invited to visit Reg Watch to comment on the new 20 percent small business deduction guidance.

ICYMI: Small Business Owners More Optimistic Than Ever

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – This week, Wells Fargo/Gallup released a survey touting the record-high optimism U.S. small business owners’ are experiencing, the highest in 15 years.

According to the report:

  • Cash flow and positive financial situation are strong drivers of optimism.
  • 78 percent of small business owners rate their current financial situation as very or somewhat good, compared with 73 percent in the second quarter of 2018.
  • 69 percent of small business owners rate their cash flow in the past 12 months as very or somewhat good, compared to 63 percent last quarter.
  • Owners cite hiring qualified workers as a top challenge.

“It’s clear that small businesses are thriving and small business owners are experiencing more economic confidence as a result of our booming economy. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is putting small businesses in the driver’s seat, and I’m proud of the bright future ahead for many,” said House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). 

For the Wells Fargo/Gallup survey, click here.

Advocacy to Host Regulatory Reform Roundtable for Small Business in Fort Collins, CO  

Office of Advocacy - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:03am

 

Advocacy to Host Regulatory Reform Roundtable for Small Business in Fort Collins, CO  

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, August 8, the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration will host a Regulatory Reform Roundtable in Fort Collins, Colo. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MDT at the La Quinta Inn Fort Collins, 3709 East Mulberry St.

 

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Advocacy Seeks Input from Wyoming Small Businesses in Regulatory Reform Discussion

Office of Advocacy - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 9:35am

 

Advocacy Seeks Input from Wyoming Small Businesses in Regulatory Reform Discussion

 

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Judge’s Deference to FDA’s Interpretation of “Added Sugar” Regulation Secures Win for Food-Labeling Suit Defendant

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 9:05am
When judges defer to an administrative agency’s interpretation of its own rule, targets of government regulation normally lose out. Private enterprises and organizations like Washington Legal Foundation have been urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider Auer v. Robbins, the precedent that unleashed this doctrine that allows the proverbial fox to guard the hen house. We …

Continue reading Judge’s Deference to FDA’s Interpretation of “Added Sugar” Regulation Secures Win for Food-Labeling Suit Defendant

Categories: Latest News

Supreme Court to Once Again Examine Limits of Rule 10b-5 Liability in October Term 2018 Case “Lorenzo v. SEC”

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 9:04am
Featured Expert Contributor, Corporate Governance/Securities Law Stephen M. Bainbridge, William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law. Rule 10b-5 long has been the centerpiece of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s antifraud enforcement efforts. At times, in fact, the SEC’s interpretation of the Rule has been so broad that the rule threatened to …

Continue reading Supreme Court to Once Again Examine Limits of Rule 10b-5 Liability in October Term 2018 Case “Lorenzo v. SEC”

Categories: Latest News

WCOE Legislative Burst for June 2018

WCOE News - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 5:49pm

2017 Small Business Procurement Scorecard

Report States WOSB Prime Contracts Went Down
​​​​​​​Shows WSOB Subcontractor 5% Goal Met 

In May 2018, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released its Procurement Scorecard in which the SBA summarizes federal small business contracting efforts for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17). The agency awarded 21 agencies a grade of “A” for their small business contracting and subcontracting efforts. Two agencies received a

“B” and only one agency received a “C”. Overall, the federal government surpassed its statutory goal of awarding 23% of contracts to small businesses.

The federal government failed to meet its threshold for Women- Owned prime contracts in 2016 (4.79 percent) and again in 2017 (4.71 percent). With respect to WOSB subcontracting goals, the report shows the government exceeded its 5 percent goal in 2017 (reaching 6.2 percent).

In a statement Sen. Cardin (D-MD) noted the percentage of small business prime contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses, declined from 2016. “The federal government is the world's largest buyer of goods and services, but we clearly have work to do when it comes to ensuring more small businesses in Maryland and across the country are competing for - and winning - federal contracts,” said Senator Cardin.

The report gives WCOE the opportunity to ask the SBA to dig a little deeper into the methodology used, to ask for some industry- related data and to ask if the 5% goal is high enough. WCOE is not alone in its view.

In a May 22 article, Steven Koprince, Managing Partner Koprince Law, says the SBA report, “makes it seem as though the government is doing fantastically across the board when it comes to small business contracting.” He asks the question, “Does any small contractor really think that 21 out of 24 agencies truly are doing “A” level work when it comes to promoting small business?” 

 

Illinois Ratifies ERA 

Illinois Becomes 37th State to Ratify ERA 

On May 30, 2018, the Illinois legislature passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), following Nevada’s approval in 2017. Although the two states are 36- and 35-years, respectively, past the deadline, proponents believe this gives the ERA the momentum it needs to finally become law.

The proposed amendment reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Ratification of the ERA is one of WCOE’s top legislative priorities.

After first being introduced in 1923, the ERA passed with the required two-thirds majority in both the U.S. Senate and House in 1972. The process then required ratification by three-quarters of the state legislatures. The Congress placed a 1979 deadline on the ratification process but as the 1979 deadline approached, with 35 states having ratified, the deadline was extended to 1982. No additional states ratified it and the ERA fell three short of the required 38 states.

The recent actions by Nevada and Illinois bring the total to 37. Some legal analysts believe that once another state ratifies the ERA, the process could withstand legal challenge and accomplish ratification of the ERA.

It should be noted that five states — Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota—have attempted to withdraw their ratification of the ERA. Many believe, though, that legal precedent and statutory language establish that withdrawal of ratification is not accepted as valid.

There are two Congressional strategies to win the fight to make the ERA the law of the land, the three-state

strategy and a traditional strategy. One, extend the deadline for ratification – (S.J. Res. 5) by Sen. Cardin (D- MD) and (H.J. Res. 53) by Rep. Speier (D-CA) and, two, the other more traditional “start-over strategy” (S.J. Res. 16/H.J. Res. 52), advanced by Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). That process would offer the text of the ERA as a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would then need to go through the full state ratification process.

States that have yet to ratify the ERA are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

WCOE Board Adopts Two New Policy Positions

Change Order Payment on Federal Construction

WCOE supports changes to the Anti-Deficiency Act to help ensure small businesses get paid in a timely manner for change orders requested by federal government agencies on federal government construction projects.

Prompt Pay on Federal Construction Projects

WCOE supports improved compliance with the 1988 amendments to the Prompt Payment Act, “pay when paid” rules and supports more agency transparency about violations of these rules, emphasizing there is no expectation that prime contractors’ obligations to pay subcontractors falls to the federal government.

A list of all WCOE legislative policies can be found on the WCOE website. Policy positions which have been approved according to the procedures established by the WCOE Board are intended to serve as guidance to be used as support for or opposition to individual legislative proposals in order to further the interests of WCOE members and to give WCOE a higher profile on Capitol Hill. 

WCOE 2018 Letters to the Hill

June 2018
Letter to House - in support of H.R. 2594, The Small Business Payment for Performance Act of 2017 to ensure that small business federal contractors get paid in a timely manner for change orders.

Letter to Senate - in support of passage of the FAA Authorization with prompt pay provisions included by the House 

You Might Want to Know

You might want to know...Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) won approval of a prompt payment amendment that was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act, H.R. 4. which would help ensure prompt payment to contractors, takes an important step forward in removing an obstacle affecting all businesses, especially those that have historically faced discrimination.

You might want to know...The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act NDAA with small business reforms. The next step is for the Senate to pass its version, after which any differences between the Senate and House bill must be worked out in conference before it can go to the President for signature. Versions of the following bills were included in the House passed NDAA bill.

  • H.R. 2056, the Microloan Modernization Act
  • H.R. 4754, the Change Order Transparency for Federal Contractors
  • H.R. 2333, the Small Business Investment Opportunity Act
  • H.R. 2364, the Investing in Main Street America Act
  • H.R. 5337, as amended to apply only to the Department of Defense, the Accelerated Payments for Small Businesses Act
  • Significant portions of H.R. 2763, the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act, were also included 

The Midterm Elections as of June 8, 2018

Senate Update 

California: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) advances into the general election with a fellow Democrat, state Senator and former Senate President Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles). In a field of 35 candidates, Sen. Feinstein received 44% of the vote, while Mr. de Leon attracted 11% to secure second place and a general election qualifying position. Sen. Feinstein is now a heavy favorite to win re-election in November.

Mississippi: In Tuesday’s primary, Democrats David Baria, the state House Minority Leader, and venture capitalist Howard Sherman advanced to a June 26th run-off election. The winner will face Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in November.

Montana: State Auditor Matt Rosendale overcame three other Republicans to win the party primary earlier in the week. Mr. Rosendale now faces an uphill challenge against Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the general election.

New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) captured only 62% in his Democratic primary against an opponent who did nothing more than put her name on the ballot. Former Celgene pharmaceutical company CEO Bob Hugin was an easy winner in the Republican primary. This expensive general election pairing may yield more competition than originally forecast.

Ohio: With Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) both winning their Democratic and Republican primaries on May 8th, Fallon Research conducted a new general election survey (5/21-25; 800 OH likely voters) that finds the incumbent holding a comfortable lead. According to Fallon, Sen. Brown records a 48-34% lead over Rep. Renacci.

Wisconsin: According to a new Tarrance Group poll, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) has taken the lead in the US Senate Republican primary. Sen. Vukmir enjoys backing from the conservative flank of the Wisconsin party, and the survey released late this week (800 WI likely Republican primary voters), projects that she has pulled ahead of businessman and former Democrat Kevin Nicholson, 36-29%. Earlier, an American Viewpoint survey (5/29-31; 500 WI likely Republican primary voters) found Mr. Nicholson clinging to a 32- 30% edge. 

House Update 

AL-5: Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) was forced into a July 17th run-off election with former Democratic Congressman Bobby Bright, who is now a Republican. In a crowded field, Ms. Roby secured only 39% of the vote on June 5th, meaning she has vulnerability in a run-off.

California: All seven of the competitive US House races in the top two primary format produced a Republican and a Democrat advancing into the general election. The race that is still uncalled resides in Orange County’s 48th District, where Democrats Hans Keirstead and Harley Rouda are only 129 votes apart with mail ballots still arriving. The election authorities will accept votes through midnight on Friday, June 8th. The two Democrats are vying for second place and the right to oppose Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) in the general election.

HI-1: Democrat Ed Case represented Hawaii’s 2nd District for two terms, winning his first election in 2002 and leaving Congress at the beginning of 2007. He has since twice run for US Senate, once for Governor, and once in the most recent special election in the 1st District. As the candidate filing deadline expired on Tuesday, Mr. Case again has become a candidate. At the last minute, he filed for the open 1st Congressional District. He joins Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, state Reps. Beth Fukumoto, and Kaniela Ing, and Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin in the open August 11th Democratic primary.

Iowa: As expected, state Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) easily won Tuesday’s Democratic primary and now opposes two-term Rep. Rod Blum (R-Dubuque) in what will be a toss-up general election. In the 3rd District, high tech firm owner Cindy Axne easily won the Democratic primary and advances into an underdog challenge against two-term Rep. David Young (R-Van Meter/Des Moines).

MI-13: Two weeks ago, John Conyers III, son of resigned Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), was disqualified from the regular election ballot to succeed his father in the House because he failed to submit 1,000 valid registered voter petition signatures. Late this week, it was reported that Mr. Conyers’ legal challenge to the administrative ruling was denied meaning that he will not be a candidate in the November election. Nine Democrats are on the ballot for the full term including Mr. Conyers cousin, state Sen. Ian Conyers (D- Detroit). The Democrats will hold the seat, and the crowded primary results will determine who succeeds the former Dean of the US House. John Conyers was first elected in 1964 and served until the end of last year when he resigned from office.

MN-5: In a flurry of political activity surrounding the Democratic endorsing convention and Tuesday’s candidate filing deadline, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) jumped into what is now an open Attorney General’s race after incumbent Lori Swanson (D) was denied the party endorsement. In response, Ms. Swanson abandoned her re-election bid and instead joined the Governor’s primary where she will oppose endorsed candidate Erin Murphy, a St. Paul state Representative, and US Rep. Tim Walz (D-Mankato).

Rep. Ellison vacating his safe Democratic Minneapolis congressional district gave potential candidates only hours to decide if they would run for the House. In response, eight Democrats filed to run including Rep. Ellison’s ex-wife, a former state House Speaker, three sitting state legislators, and one ex-state Senator. Three Republicans are also in the race, but the August 14th Democratic primary will determine who wins the general election. Mr. Ellison’s departure now means 63 House seats are open (42 Republican-held; 20 Democratic; with one new seat created through Pennsylvania redistricting).

MS-3: Local District Attorney Michael Guest and hospital system company executive Whit Hughes advance to a June 26th Republican run-off election in the open the 3rd District. Mr. Guest is favored to win the party nomination and replace retiring Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Pearl/Jackson) in November.

Montana: Ex-state Representative Kathleen Williams won a crowded and close Democratic primary and now advances to face freshman Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) in the state’s at-large general election. The Congressman is a clear favorite for re-election.

New Jersey: Three key congressional primaries were decided on Tuesday. State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) is now heavily favored to convert the open 2nd District for the Democrats in November. In the competitive 7th District, former State Department official Tom Malinowski won the Democratic primary and advances to challenge five- term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in the fall. In the open toss-up 11th District, state Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morristown) and attorney Mikie Sherrill will square off in an expensive general election.

New Mexico: Former state Democratic Party chair and Tribal Administrator Deb Haaland captured the Democratic congressional primary and is now heavily favored to defeat Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in the open 1st District general election. In the open 2nd District, Republican state Rep. Yvette Harrell (R-Alamogordo) advances into the general election against attorney Xochitl Torres-Small who easily won the Democratic primary. Ms. Harrell begins the general election as a slight favorite.

NY-11: A new Siena College survey (5/29-6/3; 513 NY-11 likely Republican primary voters) turns in a surprising result. Their data projects that former US Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) is leading incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island) by a substantial 47-37% margin. Mr. Grimm was elected to three terms in the House, resigning at the beginning of his third because of a federal tax fraud conviction. Mr. Grimm would then serve eight months in federal prison. After his release, he began campaigning to regain the seat he was forced to relinquish. Rep. Donovan, a former Staten Island District Attorney, won the special election to replace Mr. Grimm in 2015, and then clinched a 57-34% general election victory for the full term. The New York federal primary is June 26th.

NY-18: New York is the only state in the country that has two separate primaries, one for federal offices (June 26), and another for state (September 13) elected positions. With the Attorney General’s race now open when Eric Schneiderman (D) resigned, a battle is ensuing in the state Democratic primary. Yesterday, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/West Point) said he is going to enter both primaries. In June, he will seek re- nomination for his US House seat. Come September, he will run for the statewide Democratic Attorney General’s nomination. Should he win both, Mr. Maloney says he will withdraw from the congressional race. This would force the local party to name a replacement with only about seven weeks to go in the general election.

South Dakota: Former state Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson won the at-large US House Republican primary, and now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the open seat in the fall. Mr. Johnson is now heavily favored to defeat Democratic nominee Tim Bjorkman, a retired Circuit Court judge.

VA-5: The 5th District Republican Party committee met last weekend to nominate a replacement for incumbent Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Scottsville/Charlottesville) who is not seeking a second term. With a scant one-vote margin, the committee chose local businessman Denver Riggleman as the party nominee. He will face Democrat Leslie Cockburn in the general election. This will be a competitive campaign, but Mr. Riggleman will benefit from the district’s Republican voting history. 

The Inside Story

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces the Senate will skip much of its August recess

 

 

Categories: Latest News

Chairman Chabot Encourages Ways & Means To Consider Tax Legislation that Assists Innovators

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) encouraging the Committee to consider H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act, as they craft Tax Reform 2.0. H.R. 3717 was introduced by Chairman Chabot and would update the United States tax code for entrepreneurs and innovators.

“With the gig and sharing economy growing in importance, tax filing thresholds for independent contractors and worker classification decisions will become even more instrumental. H.R. 3717 addresses these issues, and others, to ensure that our nation’s innovators are not constrained by an outdated code,” said Chabot.

In October 2017, the Committee held a hearing to examine how the proposed changes in H.R. 3717 could impact small businesses.

To read the entire letter, click here.

Missouri’s Unjustifiable Alcohol Ad Limits Can’t Survive First Amendment Challenge

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 3:18pm
By Courtney Dean, a 2018 Judge K.K. Legett Fellow at Washington Legal Foundation who will be entering her third year at Texas Tech University School of Law in the fall. Restrictions on the speech of “disfavored” products merit all the more judicial scrutiny because they are easy targets for creating precedents. Earlier this summer, a …

Continue reading Missouri’s Unjustifiable Alcohol Ad Limits Can’t Survive First Amendment Challenge

Categories: Latest News

Thune Statement on Administration’s Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards Announcement

“Manufacturers must continue efforts to make vehicles more fuel efficient and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but federal regulations shouldn’t compromise safety or force consumers to drive vehicles they don’t want to or can’t afford to buy. The SAFE Vehicles proposal offers the public an important opportunity to consider new information about the safety realities of smaller and lighter vehicles in collisions as part of a more informed conversation about achievable fuel economy standards.”

Corps and EPA Seek Comments on Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rule to Recodify Definition of WOTUS

Office of Advocacy - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 5:44pm

On July 12, 2018, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to re-establish an earlier definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The proposed rule would rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule and recodify the text that existed prior to 2015.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Committee Approves Seven Bills, Surface Transportation Board Nomination

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today, approved seven bills, and one nominee to the Surface Transportation Board, subject to Senate confirmation.

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