This Week in Washington: Bringing you the Business of DC
Here's The State of Play
Following the 10-day 4th of July recess, both the House and Senate return for a legislative sprint before August recess. For those keeping track at home, that’s only 13 legislative days that both the House and Senate are scheduled to both be in session.
BUT: Tuesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will work through the first two weeks of August recess. We'll see if the lower chamber decides to make any similar scheduling announcements.
Either way, there's a lot on Congress's plate, from advancing health care legislation to passing a budget, addressing the debt ceiling, and tackling tax reform.
Health Care: The Senate is still working through differences on how to best repeal the failing parts of Obamacare, protect existing insurance options, and promote free market solutions that end the current mandates which are holding back economic growth.
Expect updated health care legislation later this week and a score from the Congressional Budget Office next week, covering a handful of varying scenarios.
From the Far Left: 80 protesters were arrested Monday outside Capitol Hill offices, and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren continue to push their single-payer health care schemes as Obamacare falters.
With all that noise from the far left, your Senators need to hear that we’re counting on them to find a health care solution that embraces free market principles and repeals Obamacare mandates and taxes.
>>>Remind your Senators today: Keep up the fight on Health Care.
Tax Reform: Kevin Brady, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee with jurisdiction over tax issues, indicates they will have July hearings on the impacts and benefits of tax reform for families, individuals, and small businesses.
The White House’s top legislative aide indicated that they “hope to have a unified plan for overhauling the U.S. tax code in place before Congress leaves Washington in August,” according to Bloomberg reporting.
For Your Radar on the Hill: The House is debating the annual National Defense Authorization bill (including hundreds of amendments) and the Senate will hear from President Trump’s new pick to lead the FBI.
Business Travel: President Trump spent a good part of last week in Europe, visiting Poland and attending the Group of 20 (G-20) economic summit in Hamburg, Germany.
This week, he's headed back over to Europe, accepting the French President Macron's invitation to attend July 14 Bastille Day celebrations.
The Takeaway: July is going to be a busy month for the House and Senate, and August additions to the legislative calendar will keep Congress busier than past summers.
Peeling Back the Red Tape
The underreported success story over the last six months is the successful dismantling of Obama-era regulations. Both Congress and the Administration have worked around the clock to repeal some of the most onerous and unnecessary rules.
Even Politico has described “the push to block, rewrite and delay scores of Obama-era rules" as the administration's biggest untold success.
Recent Wins in Rolling Back Overregulation:
- EPA Puddle Madness: The Trump administration announced it will repeal the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), the Obama-era rule that would have allowed the EPA to regulate puddles and ditches on private land.
- Small Business Uncertainty: Obama-era Department of Labor actions, which increased hiring uncertainty for local franchise operators across the country, took a blow in recent months. The Trump Administration is rescinding cumbersome regulatory interpretations on job creators that the U.S. Chamber’s Randy Johnson said “were merely enforcement traps waiting to spring.”
- Accessing Energy: Rather than dragging their bureaucratic feet, government agencies are finally speeding up the approval process for more oil and natural gas permits.
Invitation: Join us live on Thursday at 2 p.m. EDT to hear from Senators Rob Portman (OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (ND), sponsors of the Regulatory Accountability Act.
Lines are limited for this exclusive conference call: please sign-up here and we'll follow-up as space is available.
The Takeaway: It's not enough to just unwind the entrenched regulatory legacy of President Obama. Our economy demands that we finally take concrete steps towards modernizing the regulatory apparatus for the decades to come, and that means passing the Regulatory Accountability Act.
Celebrating the Right to Take Risk
We hope you and yours had a happy and restful Independence Day, and were able to spend quality time with friends and family celebrating our country's history.
This 4th, our President and CEO Tom Donohue took time to reflect on a special part of the American tradition: the right to take risk.
"One of the foundations of our free enterprise system is the right to take a risk, start a business, fail, and try again. This right has enabled millions of Americans to build their own success stories from the ground up. It has allowed them to pursue a dream, taste the thrill of achievement, and feel proud that they did it through their own pluck and hard work. And when there are failures along the way, they make eventual success and achievement that much sweeter.
The right to risk, fail, and try again underpins American innovation. When anyone—from a parent working out of her spare bedroom to a college student in his dorm room to an immigrant with a big idea—can take a risk and launch a business, the result is widespread creativity and a constant churn of good ideas rising to the top. It keeps established businesses on their toes and capital flowing into our communities. It also leads to jobs and economic growth—not to mention cutting-edge products and services for consumers."
Read more from Tom Donohue on the U.S. Chamber's commitment to protecting and advancing the American right to take risks, and we look forward to keeping up the fight on behalf of our system in the months and years to come.
America was Built on Risk. America’s enterprising roots and enduring entrepreneurial spirit isn't a surprise if you know the backgrounds of our founding fathers–many of whom, it turns out, were successful small business owners themselves.
Discover the stories behind Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and our other storied Founding Fathers who took the risk and signed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honors to the establishment of the United States of America.
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