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Washington Watch - March 17, 2010

TripAlly tracks, calculates and records miles driven to create the ultimate tax-deduction mileage logTripAlly For iPhone Uses Built-In GPS To Create Your Mileage Log

New iPhone application TripAlly tracks, calculates and records miles driven to create the ultimate tax-deduction mileage log. Whether you need to track miles for your small business, charitable contributions, for employee reimbursement, or simply because you want to know, TripAlly can help.

TripAlly follows your entire trip using the iPhone’s built-in GPS – not just your starting and ending address – and stores mileage reports by purpose, month and year. Created by the National Association for the Self-Employed, TripAlly is the perfect solution for real estate agents, sales and delivery people, and anyone needing to record round-about routes for tax and reimbursement purposes.

Registered Features:

  • Round about route? TripAlly pings your GPS location every .3 miles, not just your start and end location. Great for real estate agents, sales agents and anyone needing to track the miles they drive!
  • Go somewhere frequently? Save your route as a favorite, and add your trip to your total trip history with one touch.
  • Want to store more information? Categorize your trips by purpose, and add notes.
  • Forgot to add a trip? No problem – add one manually by entering your starting and ending locations, or repeat a favorite route.

Find out more at

Health Care Update

Democrats are scrambling for votes as health legislation makes what has widely been considered as its last pass through Congress this year. While the cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office are trickling in, there are a handful of items yet to be resolved in the House and Senate bills. Among these are an excise tax on high-cost insurance plans and insurance subsidies for low- and middle-income households. Medicaid issues such as state-specific payments, the prescription drug "doughnut hole" and the creation of a dedicated payroll tax are also being discussed.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit House and Senate leadership online:

Senate Unveils Second Financial Reform Package

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs recently released a new draft of their legislation to reform the financial system. In a prepared statement, Committee Chairman Chris Dodd outlined the proposals:

"First: This legislation will end "too big to fail" bailouts. It proposes new capital requirements and other strong supervisory protections. Meanwhile, when large, complex companies do fail, they will be shut down – through bankruptcy or resolution – in a way that doesn’t threaten the rest of the economy. "

"Second: This legislation will create a strong and independent consumer protection watchdog. The watchdog in this bill will have an independent head, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Its budget will be independent, to ensure that it can’t be smothered by a refusal to provide it with resources. It will have the autonomy to craft rules and the ability to enforce them." 

"Third: This legislation will create an early warning system so that someone is tasked with looking out for the next crisis. We will create a systemic risk council with the job of scanning the economic radar to identify unsafe products or practices that could threaten our economic stability – and the authority to stop them."

"Fourth: This legislation will bring transparency and accountability to exotic instruments like hedge funds and derivatives that have for too long lurked in the shadows. These activities left investors open to tremendous risks they didn’t even know existed. Now, the discussion draft we introduced in November contains very strong measures to bring transparency and accountability to these sectors of our financial system. And the legislation I present today includes similar strong language."

Find the bill summary here or read the entire bill.

March 14th-20th: Cover The Uninsured Week

Forty-six million Americans are uninsured. More than 9 million of them are children. More than eight out of 10 are in working families. They are our friends, neighbors and colleagues--forced to gamble every day that they won't get sick or injured.

Cover the Uninsured, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and supported by the NASE, is a national effort to highlight the fact that too many Americans are living without health insurance and demand solutions from our nation's leaders.

The campaign works to build and sustain broad-based support for change. This includes raising awareness and building support among policy-makers, health care professionals, grassroots advocates, faith leaders, the business community and active citizens through Cover the Uninsured Week and reaching out to enroll eligible uninsured families in public health coverage programs during the annual Back-to-School Campaign.

Learn more at

What Do You Think Of The Health Care Debate?

President Obama was unsuccessful at garnering a compromise on health reform at the televised Health Summit. Now, the President is pushing for a majority vote on health reform legislation.

Please click here to take the survey.

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