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Health Care Plans Are Debated

May 31, 2008

Campaign Experts Come to the Chamber


Gary Gensler outlines Hillary Clinton's health care reform proposal at the U.S. Chamber.

The U.S. Chamber invited advocates of the major presidential campaigns to make the case for their respective candidate's health care reform plan during a panel discussion on April 16 at Chamber headquarters.

In Your Backyard

May 31, 2008

 
Delaware
State Has Lowest Tax Burden-
Delaware has the lowest business tax burden, according to an annual study by the Council on State Taxation. Delaware business taxes came in at 3.5% compared with the national average of 5%.
Source: Associated Press

It Was a Very Good Year

Jun 1, 2008

Progress on Health Care, Education


Paul S. Speranza Jr.
Chairman of the Board
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

As my year as volunteer chairman of the U.S. Chamber board of directors concludes, I feel proud to have played an important role in strengthening the organization and in advancing a few of its key policy priorities.

Tax Bill Clears the House, Faces Uncertain Future in the Senate

Apr 30, 2008

 
Despite the threat of a presidential veto, the House passed a $54 billion tax bill that would extend energy and business tax provisions supported by the U.S. Chamber but it would do so by using revenue-raising provisions that targets other businesses.

"The Chamber supports legislation that would extend these vital tax provisions; however, the Chamber opposes the decision to include targeted tax increases on the nation's businesses," the Chamber's Bruce Josten said in a May 21 letter to the House.

House Approves Anti-Immigration Bill

Apr 30, 2008

 
California
State Officials Predict Economic Boost from Marriage Decision
In the wake of the state Supreme Court's legalization of gay marriage, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said he believes gay marriages could help boost the state's economy. The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau anticipates a tourism boom in the city this summer, said spokesperson Angela Jackson. The bureau's Web site promotes a gay travel section and now explains that same-sex couples are "officially allowed to marry in the state of California."

Bush Headlines Summit

May 31, 2008

Small Business Owners Meet With Lawmakers


President Bush rallies small business owners around his trade, health care, and tax proposals.

At the U.S. Chamber's Small Business Summit, President George W. Bush praised small businesses and the Chamber for their contributions to the economy and to the policy debate in Washington, D.C.

Business Tax Credits Passed in Last Minute Flurry

Apr 30, 2008

 
Louisiana
Schools Offer to Retrain Students

Louisiana's community and technical colleges are offering to retrain students for free if businesses deem them not prepared enough after hiring them. Gov. Bobby Jindal (D), who campaigned partly on the "Day 1 Guarantee," praised the new plan in a news conference at Baton Rouge Community College. There is no funding set aside specifically for the new "Day 1 Guarantee" policy, so there will be limited direct effects. But Jindal said the message and the stronger links between industry and colleges are key.

Senator McConnell Visits Chamber to Rally Support for Colombia FTA

Apr 30, 2008

 
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) kicked off World Trade Week by encouraging the U.S. Chamber and the Latin American Trade Coalition to continue the fight on the hill for a U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) during a meeting held May 19 at the Chamber headquarters. The meeting with McConnell came one day before over 300 Latin American Trade Coalition and other business representatives canvassed Capitol Hill to garner support for the Colombia FTA.

Housing Market Remains Weak

Apr 30, 2008

 
May 13, 2008—The housing market remains weak and despite many good deals, pending home sales data indicate that existing home sales will not recover in the next few months. The ISM nonmanufacturing index increased, indicating that the service sector is growing, while productivity growth continued in the 1st quarter.

Energy Prices Offer Mixed Benefits for State Economy

Apr 30, 2008

 
Michigan
Businesses Split on Proposed Smoking Ban

A smoking ban in Michigan restaurants and bars wouldn't have the long-term negative impact on business that many owners fear it will, several restaurateurs predicted last week. But some still are unhappy that the state may be on the verge of imposing a ban. The Michigan Restaurant Association, an opponent of the ban, is especially unhappy about a possible exemption for American Indian-run casinos.
Source: Detroit Free Press

Congress Passes Chamber-Backed FACTA Clarification Bill

Apr 30, 2008

 
On Tuesday, May 20, the Senate passed legislation (H.R. 4008) supported by the U.S. Chamber that will amend the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) to make clear that a company is not in willful violation of the act if it shortens a consumer's credit card number printed on a receipt to four digits but does not remove the expiration date. The House passed the bill a week earlier.

House Panel Clears Extender Tax Bill

Apr 30, 2008

 
The House Ways and Means Committee on May 15 voted out legislation that would extend expired and soon-to-expire energy and business tax credits but would pay for those credits with tax increases on certain businesses.

In a letter to committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Ranking Member Jim McCrery (R-LA) the Chamber voiced its support for extending through 2008 the research and experimentation tax credit, tand he deduction of state and local general sales tax, among other tax provisions that expired at the end of 2007.

House Passes Intellectual Property Bill

Apr 30, 2008

 
The House on May 6 passed Chamber-supported legislation that would further crack down on intellectual property theft and piracy.

The "Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007,"  or PRO-IP Act, would strengthen civil and criminal penalties against intellectual property theft and piracy, increase resources devoted to fighting IP crimes, and improve coordination of federal efforts.

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