Main Street Applauds House Passage of Legislation to Strengthen Medicare by eliminating the Sustainable Growth Rate and “Doc Fix”

(Washington, DC) – The Main Street Partnership today applauded the House of Representatives for passing bi-partisan legislation to strengthen and reform Medicare by eliminating the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and accompanying “doc fix.”

“Thanks to the hard work of Chairmen Fred Upton and Paul Ryan, the House of Representatives took an important step to strengthen and protect these important programs for our nation’s seniors, health care providers, and low-income children,” said Main Street Partnership’s Chief Operating Officer Sarah Chamberlain. “Most importantly, this bill provides certainty to doctors by giving them stable and predictable reimbursement schedules so they can serve the health care needs of patients without anxiety each year. It is my hope that this legislation will move quickly through the Senate and to the President’s desk for his signature.”

H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act would permanently replace Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) physician payment system, extend funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and implement structural reforms in Medicare to improve care delivery and slow rising costs. The legislation was introduced by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) of the House Ways and Means Committee along with their ranking members.

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Main Street Applauds Passage of Fiscally Responsible Federal Budget

(Washington, DC) – The Republican Main Street Partnership, which is aligned with the governing wing of the Republican Party and counts more than 65 House Republicans among its membership, today applauded the passage of a fiscally responsible federal budget. The House-passed proposal would balance the budget in less than 10 years – without raising taxes – and cut spending by $5.5 trillion, which is more than any previously adopted Republican budget.

Main Street’s Chief Operating Officer Sarah Chamberlain made the following statement applauding tonight’s vote:

“Put simply, to budget is to govern and the House-passed budget is a blueprint for responsible governing. Speaker Boehner and the Members of Main Street who helped to lead this effort once again demonstrated their commitment to getting our economy back on track, to creating jobs, and to protecting our homeland with a strong military. Importantly, this budget also proposes critical reforms to the costly entitlement programs that have contributed to our skyrocketing federal debt.

President Obama and congressional Democrats now have a choice to make – whether to continue down their path of more taxes, more spending and more debt or to join with Republicans and work for a better economic future for our country.

Main Street applauds the leadership shown by Speaker Boehner and his team in passing this important budget and we’re proud that it was the Members in our organization who stood with them and helped to lead the way.”

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From E&C: Support for Permanent #SGR Solution Continues to Grow

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WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives on Thursday will vote to put an end to the nearly two decades of “fixing” the broken Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). Bipartisan leaders of the Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Committee earlier this week introduced H.R. 2, legislation to fix the Medicare payment formula for doctors, protect seniors’ access to their Medicare physicians, strengthen the program over the longer term, and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Support continues to build for this “historic opportunity” to strengthen Medicare and put an end to the repeated and costly “doc fix” bills that have served as a vehicle for bigger government.

Quin Hillyer in National Review:

“The bill up for consideration on Thursday would implement a number of Medicare reforms of the sort conservatives long have championed. Some of those reforms bring market forces into play. Others tighten eligibility rules to achieve savings, and others are likely to catch and block some attempts at Medicare fraud. … A host of conservatives, eminently trusted on economics/budgetary issues, recognize that this bill represents real (even if only incremental) long-term reform of just the right sort. … This set of Medicare reforms is good medicine.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Obama endorses Medicare deal

President Obama signaled Wednesday he’s prepared to sign a bipartisan deal on Medicare emerging in Congress.

“I’ve got my pen ready to sign a good bipartisan bill,” the president said during a speech at the White House.

“I love when Congress passes bipartisan bills that I can sign, it’s very encouraging,” he joked to applause.

VIEW THE FULL STORY HERE

OPINION: Upton, Ryan, Kline in WSJ: An Off-Ramp From Obamacare

If the Supreme Court follows the law, there will be an opening for a sane health-care alternative. Here it is.

On Wednesday the Supreme Court will take on yet another legal challenge to the president’s health-care law, when the justices hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell. If the court rules against the administration, as any fair reading of the law would demand, millions of individuals and families will hit a major roadblock: They’ll be stuck with health insurance designed by Washington, D.C., that they can’t afford. Americans should have an off-ramp from ObamaCare—a legislative alternative that leads them away from an expensive health-care wreck and toward a patient-centered system.

To review: ObamaCare made health insurance even more costly by requiring plans to include Washington-determined benefits and levels of coverage. The only way to get people to buy these plans was to mandate them. And the only way people could afford these plans was through hundreds of billions of dollars of government subsidies.

READ THE FULL OP-ED HERE

The Main Street Partnership Applauds House Passage of Legislation to Enhance and Strengthen 529 College Savings Plans

(Washington, DC) – The Main Street Partnership today applauded the House of Representatives for passing legislation that will make 529 College Savings Plans a more attractive way to save for higher education.

H.R. 529 is a bill designed to improve the 529 student college savings plans expenses that will encourage American families to set money aside for higher education. The legislation was championed by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) who was instrumental its passage through the House.

Thanks to Congressman Lynn Jenkins for putting in the time and effort to get this bill passed. Making college more affordable by encouraging families to save money for a college education,” said Main Street Partnership’s Chief Operating Officer Sarah Chamberlain. 529 college savings plans are extremely popular with Americans and the improvements being made to enhance and strengthen them will make them even more appealing to the millions of people that are looking for ways to save their money in order to manage the ever-inflating costs of higher education.”

BACKGROUND:

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) allow payments from qualified tuition programs (529 plans) for the purchase of computer or peripheral equipment, computer software, or Internet access and related services to be used primarily by the beneficiary while enrolled in an eligible educational institution; (2) eliminate the requirement that distributions from a 529 plan be aggregated for purposes of determining the amount includible in a taxpayer’s income; and (3) allow a tax-free recontribution to a 529 plan of amounts refunded to a student by an eligible educational institution if the recontribution is made not later than 60 days after the date of such refund and does not exceed the refunded amount.

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Main Street Partnership Disappointed Obama Vetoed Keystone Pipeline Bill

(Washington, DC) – The Main Street Partnership today expressed disappointment that President Obama used his veto pen and rejected the Keystone Pipeline legislation that would have created thousands of jobs and create a more energy independent America.

It is disappointing that President Obama put politics over the American economy and vetoed the Keystone Jobs bill.   This measure has strong bipartisan support and the majority of Americans stand behind it,” said Main Street Partnership’s Chief Operating Officer Sarah Chamberlain. “The legislation would have easily created thousands of new jobs and America would have relied much less on foreign oil.”

The Keystone Pipeline legislation would have added 42,000 jobs in construction and manufacturing to the workforce. It would have also provided widespread economic benefits that would reverberate throughout the country, especially in the corridor states of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. It’s estimated that Keystone would have injected $2 billion into the U.S. economy.  It would also have helped drive down energy prices, making access to energy sources more affordable for all. Finally, the creation of this pipeline would have integrated North America’s energy markets, bringing us closer to our ally, Canada, and making the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil from hostile regimes abroad.

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Main Street Partnership Members Continue To Lead On Important House-Passed Legislation

Tiberi’s Bipartisan Small Business Tax Relief Act Moves Forward

(Washington, DC) – The Main Street Partnership today hailed House passage of bipartisan legislation designed to lower the tax burden on small businesses. America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act, sponsored by U.S. Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI), would help create stability for small businesses by making permanent the expensing limits of certain depreciable assets.

“Small business owners across the country deserve certainty in our tax code instead of dealing with a patchwork of provisions that harms their ability to save, invest and hire new workers,” said Main Street Partnership’s Chief Operating Officer Sarah Chamberlain. “We are proud to have members of the Main Street Partnership like Congressman Tiberi leading the way to pass common-sense bills like this that will help small businesses, farmers and families.”

Chamberlain also observed that Tiberi’s bipartisan legislation passed the House twice last year only to be blocked in the Senate by then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying, “For far too long, important legislation like America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act has been blocked in the Senate by Harry Reid. But this is a new day, and with a new Republican majority in the Senate, we hope pro-small business legislation can move forward and job creators can be given the certainty that they deserve.”

BACKGROUND:

From 2010-2013, the expensing rules outlined in Section 179 of the tax code allowed small business owners, farmers, and ranchers to immediately deduct up to $500,000 in investments in property, equipment, and computer software rather than depreciating such costs over time.

Late last year, Congress passed and the president signed into law a measure to retroactively extend these levels for 2014. However, over the years, the deduction limit has varied; this year it dropped to $25,000 of qualifying property. The Tiberi-Kind bill would make permanent the levels effective during the 2010-2014 tax years allowing taxpayers to expense up to $500,000 in investments in property, equipment, and computer software with the deduction phased out after investments exceed $2 million. These amounts would be adjusted for inflation.

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Main Street Partnership Hails House Passage of the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act

(Washington, DC) – The Main Street Partnership today applauded the House of Representatives for passing legislation that will help the fight against hunger that still plagues many families across the United States by incentivizing food donations to those that need it the most.

The Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2015 (H.R. 644) is directed at helping millions of American families that are struggling with hunger by providing a tax deduction over the cost of goods sold if the food is donated to a charitable organization. U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), a member of Main Street, who was instrumental in its passage through the House, championed the legislation.

“Thanks to Congressman Tom Reed for working so hard to get this bill passed. This is a positive step towards defeating hunger across the United States for millions of Americans that wake up worrying about where their next meal will come from that day,” said Main Street Partnership’s Chief Operating Officer Sarah Chamberlain. “Allowing restaurants, family farms and small businesses to stop wasting millions of pounds of food and offer the opportunity to receive an enhanced tax deduction for those helping people in need is the right thing to do.”

BACKGROUND:
The Fighting Hunger Incentive Act would amend the Internal Revenue Code to permanently extend and expand certain expired provisions that provided an enhanced tax deduction for businesses that donated their food inventory to charitable organizations. The enhanced deduction for food inventory contributions expired after December 31, 2014, and applied to sole proprietors, partnerships, and other businesses not organized as C corporations (which are already permanently allowed an enhanced deduction under more general provisions of current law). H.R. 644 would also expand the maximum deduction for all businesses by allowing deductions of food inventory donations up to 15 percent of the net income of the donating organization, an increase from the 10 percent allowed permanently under current law for C corporations and allowed previously for other businesses. In addition, the bill would allow certain businesses to make alternative assumptions about the cost basis and fair market value of donated food inventory.

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Main Street Partnership Hails House Passage of the Keystone Pipeline Bill; Urges President to Sign it

(Washington, DC) – The Main Street Partnership today applauded the House of Representatives for passing the Keystone Pipeline legislation that will create thousands of jobs and create a more energy independent America. The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for signature.

“House Republicans have put the American economy first by passing the Keystone Jobs bill. This measure has strong bipartisan support and the majority of Americans stand behind it,” said Main Street Partnership’s Chief Operating Officer Sarah Chamberlain. “It is my hope that President Obama will now move progress forward and sign the measure into law. Thousands of new jobs will be available, Americans will rely much less on foreign oil and America’s finances will strengthen because of this legislation.”

The Keystone Pipeline legislation would add 42,000 jobs in construction and manufacturing to the workforce. It would also provide widespread economic benefits that would reverberate throughout the country, especially in the corridor states of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. It’s estimated that Keystone would inject $2 billion into the U.S. economy. It would also help drive down energy prices, making access to energy sources more affordable for all. Finally, the creation of this pipeline would integrate North America’s energy markets, bringing us closer to our ally, Canada, and making the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil from hostile regimes abroad.
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