Timely Congressional update part of Virtual Fly-In week
Issues now being debated in Congress are historic in their scope and reach.
Sylvia Lee, a top policy aide to Arizona U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, participated in NFIB’s 2021 Virtual Fly-In to apprise members of what current infrastructure proposals mean to them and addressed some of their concerns.
She reminded attendees that proposals from the Biden Administration are just that, proposals. It’s the job of Congress to come up with a final product the president can either accept or veto, and members are very aware that the pandemic was more than a public health crisis, it was also a financial and economic crisis for everyone.
Senator Sinema is a member of a bipartisan group of 20 U.S. Senators unified in their shared desire not to harm the recovery underway, said Lee. For that reason, the group is not too keen to alter the Small Business Deduction (Section 199A), which Lee said Senator Sinema hears the most about.
Lee also said the so-called Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would nullify Arizona’s Right to Work provision in the state constitution, currently doesn’t have all the votes it needs in the Senate. And that lack of votes means neither do the Act’s components making it tougher on independent contractors and contract workers for joint employers.
She also addressed members’ concerns over calls to eliminate the stepped-up basis, which currently allows family businesses to leave assets to the next generation without having to pay a capital gains tax. And, Lee said, there remains a lot of work to be done on the infrastructure plan, which the president would be unlikely to sign if it didn’t have bipartisan support.
NFIB Arizona State Director Chad Heinrich, who worked with Senator Sinema going back to her days as a state senator, and Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB’s vice president for federal government relations, who works with Lee on the Hill, thanked Lee for carving out some time away from the whirlwind of activity swirling around Congress to hear from and talk to NFIB’s Arizona members.
NFIB would not allow a pandemic to deter America’s No. 1 job-creators from having their say with top Congressional leaders, so it conducted its annual Fly-In event virtually. The timing was never more vital.
More than 1,000 NFIB members from around the nation were apprised of the latest actions on legislation that regrettably portends higher taxes and more regulations through proposals such as:
- American Jobs Plan
- American Families Plan
- PRO Act
- Raise the Wage Act
Attending small-business owners were also encouraged to get in direct touch with their representatives and senators who are right now considering new tax proposals and further burdensome regulations, including:
- Increasing the corporate (C-corp) tax rate from 21% to 28%
- Increasing the top income tax rate on passthrough businesses from 37% to 39.6%, broadening the reach of the tax, and limiting the Small Business Deduction (§199A)
- Increasing Taxes at Death:
- Repealing stepped-up basis
- Taxing capital gains at death rather than point of sale
- Increasing the top capital gains tax rate from 23.8% to 43.4%
- Enacting the Healthy Families Act, which mandates employer paid sick leave
- Creating a government-run paid family and medical leave program
- Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Automatically extending and expanding unemployment insurance payments
“Members of Congress do respond,” said U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, the Virtual Fly-In’s first-day guest, “do not give up. Your voice matters.” Louisiana U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy agreed, suggesting inviting elected officials to “come to you” and if they take you up on it, make sure to invite your employees. “If they see employees, then they’ll listen. Get the talkative ones up front.”
One of the many benefits of NFIB membership is the opportunities your association presents to hear directly from and talk directly to the top policymakers and agency officials making the decisions affecting your ability to own, operate, and grow your business. In addition to this annual event, check your email or your NFIB state webpage for other events such as Small Business Day at the Capitol and member meetings throughout the state.