Make America One Again

“America faces serious challenges at home and threats from abroad. In order to turn our challenges into opportunities and keep America secure, we need leadership that will focus on what unites us, not what divides us. Donald Trump will move our country beyond the divisive identity politics that have been holding us back by restoring leadership, building trust, and focusing on our shared love of country and our common goal of making America great again.” — per the RNC

Thursday night wrapped up the Republican National Convention and culminated with Donald Trump accepting the nomination.

Ivanka Trump introduced her father and also said that he would make significant changes to labor laws in regard to gender. She said, “As President, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce,” and, “Politicians talk about wage equality, but my father has made it a practice at his company throughout his entire career He will fight for equal pay for equal work, and I will fight for this too, right alongside of him.”

Trump’s acceptance speech touched on a number of issues that concern small business owners. He spoke of the need for tax reform: “While Hillary Clinton plans a massive tax increase, I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has declared for the presidential race this year – Democrat or Republican. Middle-income Americans will experience profound relief, and taxes will be simplified for everyone.”

On regulations Trump had this to say: “Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job-killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we will end it.” He also promised to lift restrictions on energy production.

On Supreme Court justices he said: “We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution. The replacement for Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views and principles.”

As in the past, Trump also promised sweeping changes in immigration and trade policy.

The full transcript and video of the speech is available here.

Key Thursday speakers that have strong small business records included:
U. S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Governor Mary Fallin, Governor of Oklahoma

See the full list of Thursday’s speakers here.

NFIB tweeted the RNC in both English and Spanish. Follow @NFIB to stay updated on key small business topics during the election.


Make America First Again

Per the RNC: America has always been an exceptional nation. Our Founding Fathers created a system of government that has protected our liberty, allowed American ingenuity to flourish, and lifted people out of poverty by creating the conditions for opportunity and prosperity. Unfortunately, years of bad policies and poor leadership have weakened our position in the world. Under a Trump administration, America will once again be a beacon of progress and opportunity.

Wednesday night’s schedule for the convention featured some of the leading Republicans attempting to bring the party together.

Business owner Michelle Van Etten attacked the current administration for making it hard for small business: “They’ve overtaxed us, over-regulated us, and they are killing the American Dream.” Casino owner Phil Ruffin spoke to Trump’s business sense saying, “As a result of his vision and hard work, he has put tens of thousands of our fellow Americans to work, created amazing spaces and places, and made money for himself, and his partners.”

Former Presidential candidates Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Newt Gingrich all were given speaking slots and all touched briefly on issues of economic freedom.

Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s third-oldest child, gave a speech about his father’s decision to run for office and why he would make a good chief executive. “It’s time for a president who can make America great again, ahead of budget, and ahead of schedule, too,” he said. “My father has revitalized run down neighborhoods, shaped skylines across the country, and turned dreams into reality his entire career. It’s what he does; it’s who he is.”

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was introduced by Speaker Paul Ryan and then sought to introduce himself to the nation. Pence pointed to his strong economic record in Indiana as proof he can help Trump revitalize the economy. He said, “Today we have fewer state employees than when I took office and businesses, large and small, have created nearly 150,000 net new jobs, and we have more Hoosiers going to work than ever before.”

Key Wednesday speakers that have strong small business records included:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich

Indiana Governor & Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence

See the full list of Wednesday’s speakers here.

NFIB is tweeting the RNC in both English and Spanish. Follow @NFIB to stay updated on key small business topics at the RNC.


GOP Platform 2016
Highlights for Small Business Owners

At their convention in Cleveland, the Republican Party adopted a new platform for 2016. Below are some of the policies small business owners may be interested in.

  • Taxes: the platform calls for tax reform and decreased tax rates.
    • “The current tax code is rightly the object of both anger and mockery. Its length is exceeded only by its complexity. We must start anew.” – page 1
  • Workplace freedom: Republicans oppose the current administration’s labor policies and support Right-to-Work laws.
    • “We support the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws and call for a national law to protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce.” – page 8
  • Minimum Wage: the platform says that the minimum wage should not be set at the federal level.
    • “Minimum wage is an issue that should be handled at the state and local level.” – page 8
  • Administrative Law: the GOP wants Congress to approve major new regulations.
    • “We call on Congress to begin reclaiming its constitutional powers from the bureaucratic state by requiring that major new federal regulations be approved by Congress before they can take effect, such as through the Regulation Freedom Amendment.” – page 10
    • “We endorse Republican legislation, already passed by the House, to require approval by both houses of Congress for any rule or regulation that would impose significant costs on the American people.” – page 28
  • Environmental Policies: the platform opposes the EPA’s Waters of the United State rule.
    • “We must never allow federal agencies to seize control of state waters, watersheds, or groundwater. State waters, watersheds, and groundwater must be the purview of the sovereign states.” – page 18
  • Energy Policies: Republicans say they will stop the Obama administration Clean Power Plan.
    • “Its Clean Power Plan — the centerpiece of the President’s war on coal — has been stayed by the Supreme Court. We will do away with it altogether.” – page 19
  • Healthcare: Republicans continue to advocate for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. The platform calls for a reduction in insurance mandates and giving power over health insurance back to states.
    • “The Supreme Court upheld Obamacare based on Congress’ power to tax. It is time to repeal Obamacare and give America a much-needed tax cut.” – page 36
    • “To simplify the system for both patients and providers, we will reduce mandates and enable insurers and providers of care to increase healthcare options and contain costs.” – page 36
    • “We will return to the states their historic role of regulating local insurance markets, limit federal requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid, and call on state officials to reconsider the costly medical mandates, imposed under their own laws, that price millions of low-income families out of the insurance market.” – page 36
  • Medical Malpractice Reform: the platform calls for tort reform to reduce the costs of medical lawsuits.
    • “We support state and federal legislation to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, thereby relieving conscientious providers of burdens that are not rightly theirs and addressing a serious cause of higher medical bills.” – page 37



Make America Work Again

It’s Official: Donald Trump and Mike Pence are now the Republican Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. After the state-by-state roll call was complete, Trump Tweeted “Such a great honor to be the Republican Nominee for President of the United States. I will work hard and never let you down! AMERICA FIRST!”

Tuesday’s RNC theme, Make America Work Again, was of keen interest to NFIB members and all small business owners. Per the RNC: “The Obama years have delivered anemic economic growth, the lowest labor-force participation rate in 38 years, and job-killing regulations and legislation like Obamacare. These policies are crushing middle-class families, and a Hillary Clinton presidency would merely be an Obama third term that would deliver the same poor results. Donald Trump is a successful businessman with a solid record of creating jobs and the experience we need to get America’s economy up and running … and get American’s working again.”

In one of the earlier speeches of the night, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell made a sharp comparison between Obama and Trump on several issues that NFIB and small business owners have watched closely the past few years:

“We put an Obamacare repeal bill on the President’s desk. He vetoed it. Trump would sign it.”
“We passed a bill to finally build the Keystone Pipeline. Obama vetoed it. Trump would sign it.”

Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, leading a contingent of freshman senators, addressed jobs in the energy industry. “We will put coal miners and oil drillers back to work, not target them for extinction as Hillary promises,” he said.

Trump’s children Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. both addressed the convention, praising their father’s business experience and crediting him for teaching them “the dignity of hard work from a very young age.”

Actress and entrepreneur Kimberlin Brown, a member of California’s Businesswomen for Trump, delivered the closing speech on Tuesday night, directly addressing concerns of small business owners. She has seen first-hand the negative impact of the Affordable Care Act on her small business. She made the case that Donald Trump would reinvigorate the American economy by empowering small business owners and their employees. She also addressed why female business owners should vote for Trump, saying, “One-third of all small businesses are owned by women. And to the 9.4 million women business owners who employ about 8 million workers — a value of about $1.5 trillion to our economy — I urge you to think about how important this election is for your future. Who do you think better understands your challenges, and will stand with you fighting for a better economy and more opportunities? Read more about Brown’s appearance at the RNC

Key Tuesday speakers that have strong small business records included:

Governor Asa Hutchison: Governor of Arkansas

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson: Wisconsin Senator and NFIB Member

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Kentucky Senator

U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: Wisconsin Representative

U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: California Representative

Governor Chris Christie: Governor of New Jersey

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito: West Virginia Senator

See the full list of Tuesday speakers here.

NFIB is tweeting the RNC in both English and Spanish. Follow @NFIB to stay updated on key small business topics at the RNC.



Make America Safe Again

The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off Monday in Cleveland, where Republican delegates will nominate Donald Trump as their 2016 presidential candidate. Trump made his first appearance, introducing his wife, Melania, who thanked supporters who “have turned this unlikely campaign into a movement that is still gaining in strength and number.” Other notable speakers from Monday night, with the theme of “Make America Safe Again,” included Rudy Giuliani, Senator Joni Ernst, and Senator Jeff Sessions. Though most speeches focused heavily on national security, Sessions did touch on the economy, a topic small business owners are deeply concerned about, saying “average Americans have been the first to know that something is wrong with this economy.”   

Watch clips from Monday night, or the night in its entirety, on the RNC’s YouTube channel >>

House Speaker Paul Ryan will speak about party unity on Tuesday night. You can watch the convention via live stream here.

Below is a high-level daily agenda with featured themes and speakers:

Monday: Make America Safe Again
Headliners: Melania Trump, Lieutenant General (ret.) Michael Flynn, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jason Beardsley and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (Mont.).
See Monday’s detailed agenda here.
Tuesday: Make America Work Again
Headliners: Donald Trump, Jr., U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Ben Carson and Kimberlin Brown.
Wednesday: Make America First Again
Headliners: Lynne Patton; Eric Trump; former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista; and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, whom Donald Trump has chosen as his vice presidential running mate.
Thursday: Make America One Again
Headliners: Peter Thiel, Tom Barrack, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump.

Read NFIB’s RNC preview article >>

NFIB will be tweeting the RNC in both English and Spanish. Follow @NFIB to stay updated on key small business topics at the RNC.

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