|Dear Chamber Friends,
So, now what?
This is what we’ve all been asking ourselves since early Wednesday morning, and we bet a lot of you and your members have, too. For Tom Donohue’s take on the election results, please click here.
We had anticipated four years of relative gridlock on Capitol Hill–i.e. largely a continuation of the current state of play between the Administration and Congress. We were prepared for less legislation, even more regulation, and plenty of partisan rancor over must-pass bills that keep the government up and running.
So, now what? We really don’t know. The Trump campaign released a document prior to the election that lays out an ambitious plan for his first 100 days in office. As of yesterday, his top priorities include addressing the Affordable Care Act, tax reform, and the immigration system. Trying to predict what the next Administration will look like and how it will function is somewhat of a fruitless endeavor at this point, but as White House staff come on board, we will communicate your concerns on urgent issues like the Overtime Rule (more on that below) and other regulations that are keeping so many businesses across the country from growing and thriving.
As always, we appreciate what you do, both bigly and big league.
|Entitlement Reform Sign-On Letter
Our entitlement programs—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—are growing faster than we can pay for them, posing a looming threat to our nation’s social safety net. At current spending levels, entitlement programs and net interest will consume 96% of federal revenue by 2026. This means we will have to borrow to pay for almost everything else—education, defense, infrastructure, research and development, and so on.
As the business community, we must encourage the next Congress and President-elect Trump to address these programs now. Modest, carefully crafted, phased-in adjustments to our entitlement programs could sustain them for the long haul and protect the most at-risk among us without bankrupting our country. We need leaders courageous enough to make that choice, and they need support from the business community to make it happen. Join our efforts to encourage them to take action and sign our letter to the 115th Congress. Read the letter and signon before November 30th by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
|Overtime Rule Update
Given the election, many of you may have questions regarding its impact on the overtime rule and whether the push for a phase-in bill will continue. Today, a federal court in Texas will hear the U.S. Chamber’s arguments against the rule and will ultimately decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction that would stop the rule from going into effect on December 1, 2016. If this doesn’t happen, the U.S. Chamber will continue to lobby for a phase-in bill during the lame duck session and encourage the incoming administration to revisit the regulation through additional rulemaking. In the absence of court action, the rule will go into effect on December 1, and businesses (and chambers) should continue with their compliance processes. Look to your regional U.S. Chamber team to keep you updated on the progress of any rule delaying legislation.
|Nominate a Business for the Inaugural Healthy10 Awards
This year, the USCC Foundation, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has traveled to several regions hosting forums for our Health Means Business (HMB) campaign, which motivates business to be leaders in community wellness. Continuing the spirit and mission of the HMB Campaign, the Healthy10 Awards will honor ten outstanding cross-sector collaborations or innovative businesses working to improve the health, well-being and equity in their communities. One applicant will earn the title of HMB Partnership or Business of the Year!Nominations are open to businesses and cross-sector partnerships, as long as one member of the partnership represents the business community. Nominate a worthy business or partnership in your city today.
Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed the President bypass Congress and the legislativeprocess and legislate through executive orders and regulations. However, under the next administration and new Congress, we expect efforts to roll back many of those orders andregulations, some of which include:
· EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Ozone rule, and Waters of the U.S.
· Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
· Affordable Care Act
· Dept. of Labor’s Overtime, Persuader, and Contractor “blacklisting” rules
Along with your help, we’ve been challenging these regulations, and we look forward to working with the next administration and Congress on reforming our regulatory system altogether.
After each election cycle the U.S. Chamber of Commerce looks to host “Freshman Forums” with newly-elected Members of Congress. The Western Regional Office can help you coordinate such an event for early 2017. If you have a newly-elected U.S. Representative or Senator in your area and are interested in partnering with the U.S. Chamber to host a Freshman Forum, please let me know.