Washington Watch - December 15, 2010


Washington Watch - December 15, 2010

From The Editor: Happy Holidays

Season's Greetings, Washington Watch readers!

This will be the last issue of Washington Watch for 2010. We'll return fresh and ready in January to cover the 112th Congress and all of its new members. We'll also return ready to fight for action on the 1099 increased reporting requirement, which the lame duck Congress has failed to fully address.

Have a wonderful holiday and be ready for more small business legislative news in 2011!

All the best,

Kristin Oberlander


House Approves Budget Plan

The House approved a $1.093 trillion temporary extension (continuing resolution) of the fiscal year 2011 budget. Fiscal year 2011 began in October and Congress has be struggling to agree to a permanent budget for most of 2010. This continuing resolution (CR) would freeze the pay of federal workers and limit spending to fiscal year 2010 levels.

The proposal was approved 212-206 and now heads to the Senate for further debate. The Senate is expected to replace the bill with an enormous spending package, including multiple spending bills and earmarks. The House CR contains no earmarks.

Lawmakers are working to wrap up votes by December 18th, when the current CR expires. This one includes $513 billion alotted to the Pentagon, $72.5 billion for military construction and veterans and $501.4 billion for all other spending.

For aditional information on the measure, please visit the Library of Congress.

Senate, House Debate Tax Cut Compromise

The tax compromise bill cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate this week, which almost ensures that the White House and Republican compromise will continue forth in that chamber. The final vote was 83-15 in favor of moving the legislation forward.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) alluded to possible changes to the estate tax provision, a proposal to which some Democrats are particularly opposed. It would allow for two years the estate tax at 35 percent of those valued at $5 million and above.

The Bush tax cuts, which are to be extended for two years and are based on a White House/Republican agreement, are set expire at the end of this year if no action is taken.

The NASE expresses optimism that the compromise will allow for passage to avoid raising taxes on the millions of middle-class self-employed Americans who pay taxes at their individual income tax rates.

Quick Look: Health Care Mandate Struck Down By VA Court

This week, in the case of Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Sebelius, Section 1501 of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), was ruled to exceed Congress’ powers to regulate interstate commerce and was thereby claimed unconstitutional. It is expexcted that the Department of Justice will repeal the ruling and that it will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court.

A 2009 NASE study showed that over half of micro-businesses opposed a requirement that each individual obtain health coverage. The current health care law will require each individual to carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

See all NASE surveys.

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.

Courtesy of NASE.org