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Washington Watch - December 2, 2009


White House Hosts Forum On Jobs, Economic Growth

 

The White House will gather small-business owners, financial experts and other thought leaders this Thursday for a Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth. Forum participants will offer their ideas to President Obama on what can be done to continue to drive the economy forward. 

“During these difficult economic times, we have a responsibility to consider all good ideas to encourage and accelerate job creation in this country," he said in a release.

Later this week, the President will travel to Allentown, Pennsylvania to kick off a nationwide tour of cities across the country. The White House to Main Street Tour will also be used to gauge the nation's views on health care and the economy.

For more information, click here.


Quick Look: House Mulls Estate Tax Legislation

 

With the tax cuts enacted by former President George W. Bush set to begin expiring as early as next year, Congress has begun tackling a provision that will hit taxpayers in 2011. Lawmakers have recently turned their attention to the estate tax, which is levied on the value of an individual's property and money when that person has died. Since 2001, this tax has declined each year and is now set to expire January 1, 2010 and reset the following year.

Congress is planning to vote this week to extend the measure, allowing a $3.5 million per-person exemption with a 45 percent tax rate. Should lawmakers allow it to expire, wealthy taxpayers will see a $1 million per-person exemption and a 55 percent top rate.

For more information on current estate tax legislation, visit the Library of Congress to read about H.R. 4154.


Small Biz Health Care Roundup

 

The context of the clips below is as follows: Democrats and Republicans are faced with mounds of amendments to the health care reform package, but leaders have narrowed down those that will be debated. As it stands, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has warned lawmakers that an extended work schedule is likely for the next several weeks while the leaders of both parties tinker with the measure. The job for Democrats will be to continue garnering enough votes needed to reduce filibusters.

That in mind, here's a sampling of this week's top health care reform articles. If you find an article or blog that you think should be considered, drop us a line at media at NASE dot org.

  • CBO Confirms Health Coverage Will Cost More After Reform [Commentary] (NASE Staff Blog) -NASE Executive Director Kristie Arslan: "With jobs and the economy a constant focus of legislators and the Administration, I find it astonishing that no one seems to care that the business community is defecting en masse, with almost all of the major business organizations and associations opposing the direction Congress is taking on reform."
  • Health Care Issues: Shopping For Insurance (Associated Press) - "The House-passed bill and the legislation in the Senate would create some version of a purchasing exchange or gateway that would allow small employers and individuals not already covered by government or employer plans to shop for insurance."
  • Dems Willing To Stay Through Christmas Recess To Pass Bill (Politico) - Legislators want to deliver it to Pres. Obama before the year's end.
  • Senators Express Hope For A Health Reform Bill (Washington Post) - "Senators prepared to cast their first votes Wednesday on health-care reform, but even as partisan divisions hardened and contentious amendments stacked up, Democrats increasingly expressed optimism that they would succeed in passing a bill before Christmas."
  • VIDEO: Key Players Ready For Health Care Debate (Associated Press)

 



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