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Washington Watch - April 4, 2012

JOBS Act To Be Signed By President Obama

On Thursday, President Obama will sign H.R. 3606, the bipartisan JOBS Act, a package of bills aimed at supporting small business and start-up growth. In a rare bipartisan moment, Senate and House leaders moved relatively quickly to pass the act after President Obama acknowledged his support of the package during his State of the Union speech in January. 

The NASE had previously reported that the legislation had hit a snag while under debate in the U.S. Senate, which resulted in a change to the crowdfunding component of the package. Two amendments were offered that would require additional oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and stricter limits on how much capital a business could raise utilizing crowdfunding mechanisms. The Senate adopted the lesser of the two restrictive amendments, which punted the bill back to the House to re-approve and thus avoiding a conference committee on the legislation.

The JOBS Act will become only the 103rd bill signed into law by President Obama since January 1, 2011 and during the 112th Congress.  

Looking forward, the NASE hopes that Congress will work to address additional inequalities that exist for small businesses, including the health insurance deduction which remains our number one legislative priority. Legislation introduced in the Senate extends the deduction for an additional two years and we have been working with our small business partners to find a champion in the House to introduce companion legislation in hopes of spurring congressional action.  

“It is evident, that when necessary, the congress can act in a bipartisan manner to pass positive legislation. We hope that in the coming months that Senate and House elected officials will come together to pass legislation that serves as powerful motivators for job growth for the self-employed and micro-business community. This includes the extension of the health insurance deduction which directly results in money being placed back into their pockets and businesses that are generating job growth and economic recovery,” stated NASE Director of Government Affairs Katie Vlietstra.

Individual And Employer Mandates Under The Health Care Law

House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) announced that the Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to explore the constitutional concerns raised by the individual mandate and economic problems caused by the employer mandate which were created in the health care law. The hearing will focus on the constitutional questions surrounding the individual mandate and the economic impact of the employer mandate.

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) continues to oppose the individual mandate. The lack of cost controlling mechanisms in the law along with the mandate put America’s smallest businesses in the difficult position of being required by law to purchase more expensive health coverage. In this difficult economic time, forcing small business to pay for costly health insurance without providing them with an affordable coverage option is too great a burden. The association, however, is supportive of the market reforms included in the law, but believes that Congress failed to address underlying issues of affordability when crafting the health care law. 

Read more about the NASE's position here

Surveys: Self-Employed And The Economy

Quarter by quarter, small businesses outperformed large firms in net job creation nearly three out of four times from 1992 through 2010 when private-sector employment rose, according to the Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Economy 2011.

Highlights of tables in this year’s report include the following:

  • The number of employer firms has fluctuated from just under 5 million to just over 6 million firms over the past 25 years, while the larger number of firms without employees has increased steadily, from about 14 million in 1992 to nearly 22 million in 2010. 
  • Many macroeconomic indicators, such as sales, which slowed from 2005 to 2009, are now picking up again. 
  • By demographic group of business owners, the most dramatic increase was in Hispanic business owners, up 86 percent over the 2000-2010 period. 

Read the results of the recent NASE survey on the economy for a different take on how the self-employed are faring in this economy. 

Washington Watch Online

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