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Washington Watch - February 8, 2012

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Uncertainty Continues As Congressional Leaders Debate Payroll Tax Deduction Extension

Once again, Congress is locked in a fierce debate over the popular payroll tax deduction that is set to expire on February 29th. Back in December, Congress agreed to a three-month extension in order to grant more time to leaders in both chambers and both sides of the aisle time to identify and agree upon the “off-set” for the popular deduction extension. The deduction roughly equates to an extra $40 per pay period in the American worker’s paycheck.

Republicans and Democrats fundamentally disagree with how to pay for the tax extension, however, their continued inability to find consensus once again places a grave uncertainty on the American taxpayer.  

“There is important work to be done in Congress this year and unfortunately, until Congress deals with the payroll tax extension, other important pieces of legislation are stuck in the pipe. Many of those pieces of legislation support the continued growth of the nearly 22 million self-employed community. We look forward to Congress swiftly moving to extend the deduction through 2012 and quickly pivot to address other issues that are incredibly important to the self-employed,” stated NASE Director of Government Affairs, Katie Vlietstra. 

What can you do? Call your elected officials and tell them that swift passage of the payroll tax deduction is crucial to YOU, the American taxpayer. Visit the NASE Action Alert page to locate the contact information for your elected officials.


State Of American Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) recently held a hearing to examine obstacles to small business job creation and economic growth in America in an effort to narrow down and tackle the most egregious impediments.

Last year, Gallup released a poll outlining the most significant concerns facing America’s small businesses. This poll mirrors numerous trade association, think tank, and national media polls that point to excessive government regulation, lack of available capital, and low consumer confidence as the biggest hurdles small businesses must overcome. 

The Committee heard from Gallup Chief Economist, Dr. Dennis Jacobe, who said, “[A]merica’s small businesses and the U.S. economy are at a crucial juncture. While small-business owners tend to be agile — and have demonstrated their ability to adjust to the business cycle as needed to survive — the current weak economy has persisted since 2008. About one in four small businesses are worried about whether they’ll survive 2012.”

“Last year, we evaluated various barriers for small business growth in our state of the small business hearing, however, we know that many roadblocks still remain,” said Chairman Graves. “There is no doubt that the lack of certainty in burdensome regulatory requirements and complex tax structures coming from Washington continues to be an impediment for growth and job creation for small business owners. This must change sooner rather than later if we want to see economic growth and Americans back on the job. 

Stay tuned to Washington Watch foor more information on these efforts.


Roundtable On Self-Employed Legislation

United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, held a roundtable that  brought together a wide variety of experts: renowned policy leaders, federal and state experts, business leaders, specialists in innovation, successful entrepreneurs and others who are leading the way in creating entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Katie Vlietstra, NASE Director of Government Affairs had the following comments:

"We continue to applaud the ongoing dialogue these roundtables generate as small business serve as the growth engine of the economy and to support Senator Landrieu's efforts to better meet the needs of these businesses."

The discussion is the first in a series of three roundtables and one hearing Chair Landrieu plans to hold to discuss start-ups and economic growth. These discussions will bring together a wide variety of experts who are leading the way in creating entrepreneurial ecosystems. Ultimately, through these discussions, the Chair will identify specific ideas and recommendations to be included in a comprehensive piece of legislation.


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.