Latest News

The Government Should Stop Using ‘Operation Choke Point’ to Bully Banks into Cutting Ties with Legitimate Businesses

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 4:31pm
On the eve of the inauguration, many industries and businesses await the changes a new administration will bring.  In particular, payday lenders are hoping that they will once again be able to enjoy unrestricted banking access, as for the past several years their banking relationships have slowly been severed as a result of a government […]
Categories: Latest News

Report: 300,000 Small Business Jobs Lost Due to Obamacare

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 12:00am

Report: 300,000 Small Business Jobs Lost Due to Obamacare
By Elizabeth Harrington

Obamacare has cost roughly 300,000 small business jobs due to higher health care costs, according to a new report.

The American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute, released findings Wednesday that rising premiums and regulations under the Affordable Care Act have had “dire” consequences for the labor market.

The report found the law has cost $19 billion in lost wages per year and forced 10,000 small businesses establishments to close their doors. The study covered employers with 20 to 99 employees.

“Research from the American Action Forum (AAF) finds regulations from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are driving up health care premiums and are costing small business employees at least $19 billion in lost wages annually,” the report said. “These figures varied by state, but in 2015 the ACA cost year-round workers $2,095, $2,134, and $2,260 in Ohio, New York, and North Dakota, respectively.”

“Premium increases, a prospect regulators predicted when issuing the first ACA regulations, also significantly diminished the number of business establishments and jobs nationwide,” the report said. “Across the country, small businesses (20-99 workers) lost 295,030 jobs, 10,130 business establishments, and $4.7 billion in total wage earnings. Florida lost 17,950 jobs; Ohio lost 19,000; Pennsylvania lost 15,680; and Texas lost 28,010 jobs due to higher sensitivity to rising health care premiums and the ACA.”

Ben Gitis and Sam Batkins, the authors of the report, used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics for their findings.

The report used different data sets for small businesses with less than 50 employees, which were exempt from the law’s employer mandate. However, this group also suffered job losses and lower wages after Obamacare went into effect. The paper compared data from up to six years before the law was passed to show a clearer picture of Obamacare’s impact on small business.

Before Obamacare became law, workers still saw an increase in their average weekly pay when health insurance premiums went up.

“After the ACA became law, however, a one percent increase in total premiums was associated with a 0.012 percent decrease in average weekly pay,” the report said.

The numbers add up to roughly $3.9 billion in lost wages for small businesses with between 20 and 49 workers, which account for 20 million workers in the United States. The average worker for those businesses has lost $1,202 in annual pay.

Aside from wage losses and job cuts, Obamacare has cost the economy $51 billion and added 172 million hours of paperwork through regulations, the American Action Forum said.

“To put that in perspective, it would take more than 86,200 employees working full-time (2,000 hours annually) to complete a year of new ACA paperwork, roughly the population of Miami Beach, Fla.,” the report said.

The incoming Donald Trump administration has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare, and congressional Republicans have already begun the process to repeal the health care law through the budget reconciliation process.

“There are many reasons policymakers have called for significant amendments to the ACA,” the American Action Forum said. “Higher premiums are typically cited as a top concern. However, these higher premiums have broader consequences for the labor market. As AAF’s research has shown, ACA regulations have contributed to at least $19 billion in lost wages, 10,000 fewer establishments, and nearly 300,000 lost jobs.

 To read the article online, click here.  

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State Department Proposes Changes to the Exchange Visitor Program for Summer Work Travel

Office of Advocacy - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 1:00pm

The U.S. Department of State proposes to amend existing regulations to provide new program requirements for the Summer Work Travel category of the Exchange Visitor Program.  With this proposed rulemaking, the Department proposes to: specify and add to the program requirements for sponsors, their third parties and hosts; enhance transparency in the recruitment of exchange visitors; limit exchange visitor repeat participation to a total of three visits; and require all exchange visitors to be placed in advance of their arrival.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

USCIS Proposes Rule Increasing Minimum Investment Thresholds for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Office of Advocacy - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 12:57pm

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program which allows individuals to be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States if they make the necessary investments in a commercial enterprise in the United States and create 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.  
 

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Debate on Resolution to Provide Legislative Tools Needed to Repeal Obamacare, Transition to Patient-Centered System

Education & the Workforce Committee - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 12:00am

Today, we take the next step in the process of providing the American people a better way on health care.

We’ve all heard from constituents and families struggling to get by as they suffer the consequences of the fatally-flawed health care law.

In my home state of North Carolina, the average Obamacare premium has increased by a staggering 40 percent.

Terry from Advance, North Carolina, is a 70-year old retiree. But now he’s working part-time just to help pay his wife’s health care premiums, which jumped from $300 a month to more than $887 a month.

On top of higher premiums, deductibles have skyrocketed too. Patricia from Kernersville now has a whopping $6,550 deductible, and her premiums increased by 80 percent this year. Like so many Americans, Patricia is paying more for less coverage.

And despite being promised, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” millions of Americans have been kicked off their plans.

Scott from Hickory has had his health insurance canceled three times now—disrupting his continuity of care.

We’ve also heard from countless small business owners who can no longer afford coverage for their employees because of limited resources and soaring costs.

Facing similar challenges, school leaders and college administrators have spoken out about how Obamacare is exacerbating tight budgets — hurting teachers, faculty members, and ultimately, the students they serve. 

The current situation is not sustainable. So, Republicans are here on a rescue mission by providing the American people relief. It’s time to repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care. It’s time to advance patient-centered reforms that lower costs, provide more choices, and put working families — not government bureaucrats — in control of their health care.

I urge my colleagues to support this budget resolution, because it will move us one step closer to the patient-centered health care the American people desperately want and need need.

Advocacy Report Explains High Entrepreneurship among Immigrants

Office of Advocacy - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 1:07pm

For Release: January 12, 2017

SBA Number: 17-01 ADV

 

Media Contacts:

Elizabeth Horowitz                                                            Victoria Carlborg

Elizabeth.Horowitz@sba.gov                                       Victoria.Carlborg@sba.gov        

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Office of the United States Trade Representative: The European Union/Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products

Office of Advocacy - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 2:32pm

On Wednesday, December 28, 2016, the Office  of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice for  “Public Comments and Hearing Regarding a Request to Reinstate Action Taken in Connection with the European’s Union’s Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products.” The EU bans the import of beef and beef products produced from animals in which six hormones have been administered for growth-production. The effect of the EU ban is to prohibit the import of all but specially-produced U.S.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

A 2017 Food-Court Resolution: End Regulation-through-Litigation Crusade Against Trans Fat

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 01/04/2017 - 2:03pm
In 2016, class-action lawsuits alleging that a processed food product or its labeling violated state consumer-protection laws continued to clog the federal courts, especially in California. The number of new food-related consumer class actions filed last year nearly equaled the number filed in 2015, according to a report in Food Navigator USA. It’s unclear whether […]
Categories: Latest News

WCOE Members Appointed to 2017 Caltrans Statewide Small Business Council

WCOE News - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 11:36am

The Department of Transportation Office of Business and Economic Opportunity has announced the representatives to the 2017 Caltrans Statewide Small Business Council. Women Construction Owners & Executives, USA National will be represented by WCOE member Rebecca Llewellyn and WCOE California Chapter will be represented by WCOE Member Lee Cunningham.

The Caltrans Small Business Council strives to assist Caltrans with providing consistency in the execution of the Small Business program including DBEs and DVBEs, removing systemic barriers where feasible through policy level initiatives and directives and maximizing opportunities for increasing the participation of small businesses in Caltrans projects.

Categories: Latest News

Will Federal Circuit Finally Bring an End to “Form 18” Minimal Pleading for Direct Patent Infringement in 2017?

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 9:00am
Guest Commentary By J High, Sidley Austin LLP* In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the US Supreme Court tightened the pleading standard for civil cases.  Because of a quirk of the exemplary forms formerly included with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (specifically, Form 18), the US Court of Appeals for […]
Categories: Latest News

WLF’s ‘Gordon v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’ Supreme Court Petition Evaluated in Law Firm’s Year-End Assessment of CFPB

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 10:52am
In a year-end assessment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), attorneys from the law firm K&L Gates LLP evaluated the potential impact of Gordon v. CFPB, a constitutional challenge in which Washington Legal Foundation has filed a certiorari petition with the US Supreme Court on behalf of its client, Chance Gordon. In the Legal […]
Categories: Latest News

EPA Fracking Report Deliberately Ignores Key Studies to Embrace Inconclusive Results

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 12/23/2016 - 10:22am
*Grace Galvin, a Communications Associate at WLF who received her JD from Charleston School of Law and is pursuing a Master’s in Journalism and Public Affairs at American University, contributed significantly to this post. “A blessing” is the description Franklin Bess used to convey his feelings toward the oil and natural gas industry, as long […]
Categories: Latest News

‘Amicus’ Briefs Support WLF’s ‘Gordon v. CFPB’ Cert Petition on Appointments Clause and Standing Issues

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 2:52pm
On November 17, 2016, Washington Legal Foundation petitioned the US Supreme Court to review a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision, Gordon v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. CFPB had pursued a substantial fine against WLF’s client, Chance Gordon, in June 2013, a time during which the Bureau lacked a properly appointed Director. Mr. […]
Categories: Latest News

Should Pharmaceutical Manufacturers be Forced to Produce a Product Against Their Will?

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 12/20/2016 - 6:29pm
As the beginning of a new administration nears, politicians and pundits have been floating many ideas for regulating the cost and availability of pharmaceuticals and other medical treatments. One of the worst ideas being discussed is the judicial creation of a common-law duty to manufacture. Thankfully, there are significant Constitutional and judicial hurdles preventing this […]
Categories: Latest News

USDA, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Seeks Comments on Its Interim Final Rule on the Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act

Office of Advocacy - Tue, 12/20/2016 - 3:21pm

On December 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) published an interim final rule amending regulations issued under the original Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act) of 1921. The rule aims to clarify conduct or actions that may violate sections 202(a) and (b) of the P&S Act. The regulations would change the scope of sections 202(a) and (b) to include conduct or actions, that depending on the circumstances, can be found to violate the P&S Act without a finding of harm or likely harm to competition.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Foxx: Time for New Leadership and a New Direction at the Labor Department

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 12/20/2016 - 12:00am
 

Time for New Leadership and a New Direction at the Labor Department
By Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), incoming-chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce

In the new year, a new secretary will take the helm of the Department of Labor. Working families and small business owners face tough challenges, and they desperately need a labor secretary who will put their interests — not special interests — first. Andy Puzder is just the man for the job.

Puzder has real-world experience creating jobs, and he knows that American workers and business owners both need to thrive. He will provide a sharp break from the failed policies of the last eight years.

Time and again, the Department of Labor under President Obama has pushed extreme and partisan rules that will do a lot of harm and little good. Under the guise of helping working families, the heavy-handed regulations of Secretary Perez will actually hurt working families.

Take the department's fundamentally flawed overtime rule. The central planners at the department claim the rule will provide workers a pay raise, when in reality it will raise costs on small businesses, destroy jobs, decrease real income for families, and make it harder for low-wage workers to climb the ladder of opportunity.

The Obama administration likes to talk about "fairness," but it is not fair to impose a rule that creates this much havoc across the country. There is also nothing fair about a regulatory scheme that restricts access to affordable retirement advice for low- and middle-income families, or rules that stack the deck in favor of union bosses at the expense of working Americans.

It's because of misguided policies like these that we have experienced the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression. That's why wages have been largely stagnant and why there are fewer manufacturing jobs today than when President Obama took office.

For years, bureaucrats who have never owned a business have micromanaged the business decisions of employers, and the consequences speak for themselves. Fortunately, Puzder will bring the change workers and employers desperately need.

Under his strong leadership, CKE Restaurants has thrived and grown to more than 3,700 restaurants worldwide. CKE restaurants and franchises in the United States employ more than 75,000 men and women. Puzder will bring a fresh perspective and practical experience to help solve America's economic challenges.

He will make sure that creating jobs for hardworking Americans comes first. He will work to eliminate unnecessary government regulations that suppress growth and wages, and he will help restore balance to federal labor policies. He will also take a responsible approach to federal overtime policies to ensure they do not harm hard-working Americans trying to advance in the workforce.

With Puzder leading the Department of Labor, Americans who feel left behind will have a strong ally who will fight for them. Through hard work and determination, Puzder has achieved the American Dream, and he wants all Americans to be able to turn their dreams into reality too.

There is no shortage of challenges to tackle in the coming months, but we have an historic opportunity to advance bold, conservative reforms that will help begin a new era of prosperity for our country. 

As the next chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I look forward to working with Andy Puzder and our new president, Donald Trump. Together, we will turn back the failed policies of the last eight years, send a message to the world that America is open for business, and help more families achieve a lifetime of opportunity and success.

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