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NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

House To Focus On Proposed Tax Code Overhaul, Budget Proposal This Week. (05/23/2017)

The Wall Street Journal (5/21, Nicholas, Tau, Subscription Publication) reported that this week, the House Ways and Means Committee will hear testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, and then hold a separate hearing on a tax code overhaul.

The Hill (5/19, Jagoda) similarly reported Republicans are “trying to stay focused on tax reform” this week, after the House Ways and Means Committee held its “first tax-reform hearing of the year” last week. The Hill added that Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn “held a series of meetings with lawmakers on tax reform” last week “as part of the outreach efforts they’ve been undertaking since the roll out of Trump’s tax plan late last month.” Mnuchin also testified before the Senate Banking Committee, “and he and Vice President Pence spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where their comments touched on taxes.”

The Hill (5/19, Jagoda) reported separately the hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee on the border adjustment tax scheduled for this week “will include witnesses who both support and oppose the proposal.” The piece explained that the witness list “reflects the fact that businesses, economists and lawmakers are divided over the import tax proposal that was in the tax-reform blueprint House Republicans released last year.”


Business Climate

Industry Wants Faster Permits, Simpler Rules From Regulatory Reform. (05/23/2017)

Reuters (5/17) reports that US industry groups “have told President Donald Trump’s administration that they want two main things from his promised regulatory overhaul: a speedier permit process and simpler environmental rules.” Reuters added, “Associations representing the drilling, refining, mining, and building industries have submitted hundreds of pages of documents to the Commerce Department and Environmental Protection Agency in recent weeks, outlining regulations they want to see eliminated or modified.”


Small Business Marketing

Half Of All Searches May Be Spoken By 2020. (05/23/2017)

In broader commentary on research, MediaPost’s Research Brief (5/16, Loechner) mentioned that voice search “is quickly becoming the search method of choice for many consumers,” and is expected to be about “half of all searches...by 2020.” As a result, there is “a rise in longer, more conversational queries, causing savvy advertisers to refocus their keyword strategy.”


Wages and Benefits

Trump Administration May End ACA Program For Small Businesses. (05/23/2017)

The Dallas Morning News (5/18, Rice) reported that small businesses “may lose the ability to enroll their employees into health insurance plans using the federal marketplace’s Small Business Health Options Program next year.” The program, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, sought “to make it easier for companies with 50 or fewer full-time employees to provide health and dental coverage.” Last week, “federal health officials said they plan to scale back the program, in part, because too few businesses participated.”


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