A Lifetime of Fighting
for Children and Families
Bill Clinton took the stage on night 2 of the DNC, devoting much of his speech to painting a picture of his life with Hillary. He also called her a change-maker who is never satisfied with status quo, saying “She worked for farmers, for winemakers, for small businesses and manufacturers, for upstate cities in rural areas who needed more ideas and more new investment to create good jobs, something we have to do again in small-town and rural America, in neighborhoods that have been left behind in our cities and Indian country and, yes, in coal country.”
Small business owners were watching for any references to much needed tax, regulatory, and healthcare reform; economic growth plans; and concerning labor-law proposals, such as increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour and mandated paid leave. Though none of Tuesday’s speakers dove in to these issues, a few made reference to them:
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski: She’ll fight for the macro issues and the macaroni and cheese issues. So you’ll have national security and economic security. So you will have equal pay for equal work, living wages, and health care that’s there when you need it.”
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer: “Middle-class incomes have not grown enough; there aren’t enough good-paying jobs; too many families struggle to make ends meet……Some are using this unease to pit Americans against each other. Not us. We Democrats fight for an America that works for everyone, that’s focused on leveling the playing field for all of us.”
Former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean: “When her first attempt at health reform didn’t work out, Hillary could have given up. Instead, she fought the way she always does. She did her homework… persevered… never forgot who she was fighting for. Thanks to her effort, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program was born.”
“We have expanded insurance to 20 million more people. Today, 90% of Americans are covered. We’ve made so much progress and now we need to elect the person who will finish the job. Hillary has a plan to drive down health care costs. Hillary has a plan to stand up to the drug companies and lower prescription drug prices and Hillary has a plan to take us that last mile and finally achieve health care for all.”
See the full list of speakers here >>
The Democratic Party has adopted a new platform addressing these and other issues. Below is an outline of some of the policies small business owners may be interested in:
Minimum Wage: The platform calls for increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and then indexing it to inflation.
- “We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy so every worker can earn at least $15 an hour.” – page 3
Encouraging Labor Unions: Democrats support legislation that would ease the formation of unions, so-called “card check.”
- “We will fight to pass laws that direct the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union if a simple majority of eligible workers sign valid authorization cards, as well as laws that bring companies to the negotiating table.” – page 4
Overtime Rule: The party platform explicitly supports recent changes to the Department of Labor’s overtime rule.
- “We will defend President Obama’s overtime rule, which protects of millions of workers by paying them fairly for their hard work.” – page 4
Paid Leave: Democrats want to pass federal legislation to require family and medical leave and paid sick leave.
- “Democrats will make sure that the United States finally enacts national paid family and medical leave by passing a family and medical leave act that would provide all workers at least 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or address a personal or family member’s serious health issue. We will fight to allow workers the right to earn at least seven days of paid sick leave.” – page 5
Small Business: The platform calls for easing access to credit for small businesses by cutting regulations, providing tax relief and simplification, and subsidies for minority businesses and youth jobs.
- “We will cut the red tape that holds back small businesses and entrepreneurs.” – page 10
- “We will provide tax relief and tax simplification.” – page 10
- “Democrats will provide targeted funding and support for entrepreneurship and small business growth in underserved communities.” – page 10
- “Democrats will provide direct federal funding for a range of local programs that will put young people to work and create new career opportunities.” – page 10
Taxes: The Democratic Party supports increased taxes on the wealthy and corporations and tax relief for middle class Americans.
- “At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, we believe the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations must pay their fair share in taxes.” – page 12
- “We will offer tax relief to hard working, middle-class families for the cost squeeze that they have faced for years from rising health care, childcare, education, and other expenses.” – page 13
Energy and Environment: The party’s platform calls for a new carbon tax to support renewable energy. Democrats also explicitly support the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.
- “We are committed to getting 50 percent of our electricity from clean energy sources within a decade, with half a billion solar panels installed within four years and enough renewable energy to power every home in the country.” – page 27
- “Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and help meet our climate goals.” – page 27
- “Democrats are committed to defending, implementing, and extending smart pollution and efficiency standards, including the Clean Power Plan…” – page 27
- “We support President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.” – page 28
Healthcare: The Democratic platform defends the Affordable Care Act and calls for further expansion of government health plans. It also calls for a rollback of the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans.
- “Democrats believe that health care is a right, not a privilege, and our health care system should put people before profits.” – page 34
- “We will repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance and find revenue to offset it because we need to contain the long-term growth of health care costs, but should not risk passing on too much of the burden to workers.” – page 35
NFIB is tweeting the DNC in English and Spanish. Follow @NFIB to stay updated on key small business topics at the DNC.