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.

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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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E&C Committee Releases Framework to Build the Architecture of Abundance

February 9, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today released a framework for a comprehensive energy package to advance its Architecture of Abundance agenda this Congress. The committee is preparing a series of discussion drafts to address four key policy areas: modernizing infrastructure, a 21st century energy workforce, energy diplomacy, and efficiency and accountability. The committee plans to advance the discussion drafts through the committee’s legislative process in the coming months with the goal of bringing a solutions-focused energy package to the House floor later this year.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Burr, Hatch, Upton Unveil Obamacare Replacement Plan

Bicameral Republican Blueprint Lowers Health Care Costs and Increases Access to Affordable, Quality Care without Washington Mandates

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) unveiled the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act—a legislative plan that repeals Obamacare and replaces it with common-sense, patient-focused reforms that reduce health care costs and increase access to affordable, high-quality care.  In contrast with Obamacare and its government-centered mandates and regulations, this bicameral proposal empowers the American people to make the best health care choices for themselves and their families.

“The American people have found out what is in Obamacare— broken promises in the form of increased health care costs, costly mandates, and government bureaucracy.  They don’t like it and don’t want to keep it,” said Burr.  “Our nation’s health care system was broken before Obamacare, and the President’s health care debacle has only made things worse.  The Patient CARE Act repeals Obamacare and addresses the fundamental cost drivers that Obamacare failed to address.  We can lower costs and expand access to quality coverage and care by empowering individuals and their families to make their own health care decisions, rather than having the federal government make those decisions for them.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Rep. Tiberi (R-OH) and Rep. Kind (D-WI) Reintroduce America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act

U.S. Congressmen Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI) today reintroduced America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act. The bill, first introduced during the last Congress, would help create stability for small businesses leading to their growth and expansion by making permanent increased small business expensing outlined in Section 179 of the tax code.

“It’s been proven that members of both parties can unite around this issue and pass this critical legislation,” said Congressman Tiberi. “It would provide predictability for small business owners by making permanent a small business expensing measure that’s been part of the tax code since the 1950s. Employers have told me over and over that this measure reduces compliance costs for small businesses, reduces the cost of capital, and improves cash flow allowing them to invest, expand, and create jobs.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

New #Cures2015 White Paper Seeks Continued Feedback as Legislative Phase Begins

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today released a discussion document in the 21st Century Cures initiative, outlining many of the ideas submitted over the past year, including ideas from both Republicans and Democrats. This release marks the beginning of the #Cures2015 legislative phase. In conjunction with the discussion document, the committee is releasing a new white paper, continuing its request for feedback on the ideas outlined in the discussion document to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments.

Read the introduction to the white paper below and the complete paper online here.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE