This week, President Trump delivered his first joint address to Congress, and there was a lot for small business to like in the speech. He laid out the policies he will be pushing in his first year on the job, and many of those priorities line up with the priorities you have told us are your greatest concerns: repealing and replacing Obamacare, relieving the burden of taxes, and reducing red tape.
On healthcare, NFIB has been forcefully expressing small business owners’ concerns since the beginning of the debate over the Affordable Care Act. We are now at the table as Congress and the President work to repeal and replace the law.
In his speech, the President emphasized just how destructive Obamacare has been, with premiums spiking across the country and insurance providers dropping out of government exchanges. He laid out principles that he believes should be at the center of replacing Obamacare. He called for a stable transition away from the current law, which has driven up costs and narrowed the choices for small business owners. In its place, he said, should be a system that finally offers the affordability that small business owners need.
This past weekend I spoke with Dr. Tom Price, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, who will play an important role in replacing Obamacare. NFIB endorsed Dr. Price many times when he was a member of Congress, and he contacted NFIB to ensure that he has the small business perspective on what needs to be done. In our conversation, I stressed just how important it is for small businesses that the new system focus on affordability, predictability, and flexibility. Dr. Price asked us for more of our stories of how the law is affecting small business owners. Go here to share yours today.
In more good news for small business, the President signed an executive order this week asking the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider and possibly rescind the overreaching Waters of the U.S. rule. This Obama administration rule could subject small businesses to costly fines and fees.
On behalf of our members, NFIB sued the federal government to stop the rule and won an injunction that is currently keeping it from going into effect. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who was our partner in the lawsuit when he was Oklahoma Attorney General, will now begin to unwind this destructive rule and keep it from ever harming small business. We still encourage members to take action and reach out to Congress in opposition to the rule.
The President has outlined a very bold economic agenda featuring tax reform, regulatory reform, and healthcare reform. The details are still to come, but he is certainly moving in the right direction. NFIB is deeply involved with the discussions about tax reform and will ensure that small business’ voice is heard clearly in the coming debate.