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Washington Watch - August 10, 2011

Small Biz Sentiment On The Credit Downgrade

As the economy continues to decline amidst a historic downgrade of our AAA credit rating status, Kristie Arslan, President & CEO of the NASE offered the following statement on the impact the downgrade will have on the small business community:

“Americans have good reason to be disgusted with Congress for risking our fragile recovery with political brinksmanship. Not only did the downgrade make our country's long-term debt a less attractive investment, but it will also likely raise interest rates for the 22 million self-employed entrepreneurs who are focused on getting their business - and, as a result, the economy - back on track. Increasing the cost of business and personal loans during difficult economic conditions is not a formula for growth.

"Even the smallest business has to manage its debt and balance its books to succeed. It shouldn't be too much to ask the world's largest economy to demonstrate the same level of fiscal responsibility.”

Read more about the NASE statement here.

Editor's Note: August Recess

As is customary this time of year, Members of Congress are taking August off to be in their home districts. They will return shortly before September to start the Fall calendar. Along those lines, Washington Watch will be taking a hiatus until there is more news to report to you from Capitol Hill. Look for our email at the end of the month. We will also schedule an edition should something come up that is necessary to report on the small business front.

Thanks, the Washington Watch Team

Debate Continues On Affordable Care Act’s Effect On Health Care Premiums

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions recently held a hearing to question witnesses’ about the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on rising health insurance premiums.

In his opening statement, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), said that in 2014, $250 million in grants appropriated to states for premium rate-increase reviews will help regulators control the premiums insurance companies charge consumers. Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said the CBO projected premiums will increase 10% to 13% when the ACA went into effect, and that one reason for this increase is due to increased mandates. 

Click here to visit SelfMade for more details on the hearing.

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