Among the recently sworn in 114th Congress, more than 30 NFIB members serve alongside colleagues that appear much more small business friendly than in previous years. In fact, both the House and Senate have already begun to pass legislation that is set to boost the economy and fortify small business.
The House passed a legislative fix to the 30-hour definition of full-time employment under Obamacare last month, and bipartisan legislation was introduced in the Senate. In addition, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee held hearings to highlight the significant costs of the ACA to both employers and employees.
On the regulatory side, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act requires government regulators to include the indirect impact in their assessment of a regulation’s overall impact on small businesses, thus providing a much more realistic cost estimate for regulations. It also gives small businesses a greater voice in the rulemaking process by expanding the small business advocacy review panel process.
One of the more high profile pieces of legislation, the Keystone Pipeline, passed both the House and Senate in January. NFIB has long argued that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is important for reducing America’s reliance on Middle Eastern oil and helping to lower the cost of fuels small businesses use every day. It is also important to note that the project will create thousands of jobs and support small businesses within the community. It remains to be seen how the President will respond once the bill is sent for his signature, but this is the greatest support garnered to date.
So while we have grown accustomed to cynicism regarding Congressional action, we’ve seen an impressive start for Congress. I remain cautiously optimistic that small business will see much greater gains this year–and NFIB will remain the strongest backer of Main Street during the entire Congressional session.
Dan Danner, NFIB President and CEO