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Washington Watch - February 17, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


White House To Offer Health Reform Proposal To Congress

In a move unprecedented in the health care debate thus far, the Obama Administration has announced it will offer a draft proposal for reform, instead of the outline it provided to Congress previously. The legislative language is forthcoming and will be discussed at the White House health care summit to be convened next week. The summit was announced last week by President Obama as a bipartisan meeting on the reform effort.

The invitation lays out the format of the event, with the President moderating and each party choosing a leader to offer remarks. The focus of the discussions will then turn to insurance reforms, cost containment, expanding coverage, and the impact health reform legislation will have on deficit reduction.

According to the invitation, "It is the President’s hope that the Republican congressional leadership will also put forward their own comprehensive bill to achieve those goals and make it available online as well."

Read details from the invitation to Congress on the White House blog. Click here for the full list of invitees.


Regulatory Changes Saved Small Biz $7 billion In 2009

Small businesses realized $7 billion in first-year cost savings and $745 million in annually recurring savings as a result of fiscal year (FY) 2009 efforts to help agencies comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The law requires agencies to review the economic impacts of proposed regulations on small entities and consider less burdensome alternatives. The figures are reported in the FY 2009 edition of the Office of Advocacy’s annual Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

In FY 2009, Advocacy reviewed hundreds of regulations to assess RFA compliance, convened numerous roundtables to solicit the priorities and comments of small entity stakeholders, and submitted more than 30 public comment letters to federal agencies on regulatory proposals.

The NASE partnered with the Office of Advocacy to place the Home Office Deduction on the Top 10 list of business regulations in need of reform for the self-employed. Currently, there are two bills pending before Congress to offer an optional standard home office deduction with the hope that such a deduction would encourage more eligible micro-businesses to take it.

Find out more about the study by visiting the Office of Advocacy. For information on the NASE's work for tax simplification, click here.


Senate Introduces Jobs Bill

Democrats in the Senate have come forth with a bill to spur further economic recovery through job creation. Many of the proposals focus upon tax incentives, including some for small businesses. The following is a package of various provisions that will be introduced in the Senate, according to Majority Leader Harry Reid:

  • Schumer-Hatch Jobs Payroll Tax Exemption: offers an exemption from social security payroll taxes for every worker hired in 2010 that has been unemployed for at least 60 days.  There would also be an additional $1,000 income tax credit for every new employee retained for 52 weeks to be taken on the employer’s 2011 income tax return.
  • Section 179 Expensing: helps small businesses grow by allowing them to write off more of their expenditures.
  • Highway Trust Fund Extension: extends existing highway programs which provide states and localities with the certainty they need to make decisions on projects.  It allows for billions more to be invested in infrastructure throughout the nation and saves one million jobs.
  • Expanding Build America Bonds: allows state and local governments to borrow at lower costs to finance more infrastructure projects and put people to work.

For more information, visit democrats.senate.gov.


Poll: Are You An Independent Contractor Or Do You Hire Them?

The Obama Administration recently released their FY2011 Budget. Included in the budget is a proposal to change regulations relating to the use of independent contractors.

Please click here to take the survey and let us know what you think.


Washington Watch Online

Visit NASE Advocacy to view archived editions of Washington Watch. While you’re there, read the latest updates from the Washington, D.C. office, write your Congressperson, and find out how you can join the fight for micro-business.