Budget Agreement Repeals Auto Enrollment

With Congress reaching agreement on a budget deal with the White House and Congressional Democrats this week, the auto enrollment provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act were officially repealed from the healthcare law.  Auto enrollment, a provision that many did not even know was in the ACA, required employers of 200 or more to…

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Obama Signs Change to ObamaCare

Although I never thought I’d write that headline, President Obama did sign the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE), a bi-partisan bill from Congress amending his health care mandate.  PACE restores a 50 employee cap on the small group market (Small Business Health Options Program or SHOP) for health insurance.  States are now empowered…

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Bi-partisan Congress Amends ObamaCare

Yes, you read that correctly – it is not a typo!  With support from both democrat and republican members, Congress passed legislation amending ObamaCare!  Under The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE), which passed both branches last week, larger small businesses (defined as those with 51 to 100 employees) will not be forced into…

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Congressional Democrats File Wage Act

A bill easing the process for workers to unionize has been filed in both the US House and Senate by Congressman Bobby Scott (D – VA 3) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) respectively.  Among its many provisions, the so-called Wage Act (Workplace Action for a Growing Economy) would strengthen existing worker protections, triple backpay penalties…

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Congress Files to Overturn Joint Employer

Although it is likely an exercise in futility, Republican leaders in both the US Senate and the House have filed legislation seeking to overturn the National Labor Relations Board recent ruling validating the new definition of joint-employer.  Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions, along with Congressman…

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SBA 7(a) Program Open$ Again

After Congress moved quickly to unanimously increase funding for the popular SBA 7(a) loan program for small business, President Obama wasted little time as well in signing the funding bill into law – even doing so, for only the 6th time in his presidency via autopen since he is out of the country travelling.  The…

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SBA 7(a) Loan Program Reaching Limit

One of the more popular loan programs administered by the US Small Business Administration is rapidly approaching its lending limit and will likely be suspended at the end of the month.  The 7(a) loan program is authorized to loan $18.75 billion this fiscal year, but some $16.6 billion had already been guaranteed by July 11. …

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National Food Labeling Passes Committee

Earlier this week, the House Committee on Agriculture approved HR 1599, legislation establishing a uniform standard for the labeling of food and beverage products containing bioengineered ingredients.  The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KA) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), is designed to preclude individual states from passing labeling legislation that…

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NLRB Grilled by Congress on Call For Briefs

We reported at the end of last month that the NLRB had issued a call for briefs to essentially challenge the validity of right-to-work laws currently in place in literally half of the states in the union.  Last week, the US Senate got into the act by grilling the NLRB leadership in a Senate Health,…

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US House Kills “Death Tax”, Senate Agreement Unlikely

Well, some in Washington are at least trying to put more money back in the taxpayers’ pockets, but it’s not likely they’ll succeed in this particular effort.  The House voted last week to repeal the federal estate tax, also known as the “death tax” and currently pegged at 40% of inherited assets, by a vote…

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