NAMA's government affairs team increases role with US Chamber of Commerce
NAMA's government affairs team announced today they recently became more closely involved with the U.S. Chamber. Read the article.
NAMA promotes Small Business Administration webinars on the
Affordable Care Act
The White House recently announced the postponement, for at least a year, of its plans to allow small businesses in many states to use a website to select health insurance plans for their employees. There is some confusion regarding the recent postponements, thus NAMA's Government Affairs Division share a link to a free webinar series that provides small business owners the basics of the Affordable Care Act and what it means for their business and employees.
Calorie disclosure update: Final action projected for February 2014
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration's pending Calorie Disclosure Rules are projected for February 2014 for final action. Read the release.
NAMA signs letter of support for 'Small Business Fairness in Obamacare Act'
NAMA recently signed a letter of support for H.R. 3419, known as "Small Business Fairness in Obamacare Act." The bill, introduced in the U.S. House in October by Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-1), seeks to change the Affordable Care Act's definition of "large employer" to exempt any small business that falls within the meaning of Section 3 of the Small Business Act. Read the release.
Contaminant of the month: Lead
In 2011, Congress passed the "Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act," regarding the prohibition on use and introduction into commerce of certain lead pipes, solder, and flux by modifying the definition of "lead free." The impending effective date of the Act (Jan. 4, 2014) has prompted discussion about the composition of lead, its use, and health and safety concerns.
ENERGY STAR refrigerated beverage vending machines specification (Version 3.1) has been finalized
The clarifications to the ENERGY STAR Refrigerated Beverage Vending Machines specification have been finalized. The Version 3.1 specification makes clear the eligibility of refrigerated beverage vending machines that vend beverages along with other refrigerated products. The final document reflects the changes proposed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency letter distributed to stakeholders on July 10, 2013. In 2014, EPA will investigate potential efficiency requirements and relevant test procedures for adding non-refrigerated vending machines into the scope of covered products.
FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro under fire during HOS hearing
FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro was recently under fire last by legislators and truckers during a hearing on the new Hours of Service rules by a congressional subcommittee constantly defending the new rule that requires truckers to stop and rest after a certain amount of time on the road.
Senators' letter lends bipartisan support to charitable deduction
Two senators from opposite sides of the aisle recently joined forces to urge their fellow tax writers on the Senate Finance Committee to preserve the deductibility of charitable contributions.
Small business hit with Obamacare delay
The Obama administration recently announced a one year delay of online enrollment for small businesses looking to purchase health coverage through federal Obamacare exchanges, another high-profile setback for HealthCare.gov. It is the second delay for online small business enrollment, which the administration had said would begin this past November.
Treasury and IRS issue guidance for 501(C) (4) tax-exempt social welfare organizations
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service recently said they are issuing initial guidance regarding qualification requirements for tax-exemption as a social welfare organization under Section 501(c)(4) of the Tax Code after a scandal erupted earlier this year over claims that the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Conservative leads effort to raise minimum wage in California
Using what is seen as conservative principles to advocate a policy long championed by the left, Ron Unz, a notable California conservative is now arguing that significantly raising the state's minimum wage would help curb government spending on social services, strengthen the economy and make more jobs attractive to American-born workers. Unz intends to pour his own money into a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage in California to $10 an hour in 2015 and $12 in 2016, which would make it by far the highest in the nation. Currently, it is $8 — 75 cents higher than the federal minimum.
Major split in California over buying junk food with federal aid
Food stamps, the nation's premier poverty program, can buy just about anything that passes for edible on a supermarket shelf: chips, soft drinks, candy and all the other items known in common parlance as junk food. This fact, in tandem with epidemic obesity that afflicts the poor and racial minorities more than other Americans, lurks beneath the brawl dividing Congress over whether to slash funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. What few on either side want to touch are the conclusions of a report last year by Oakland public health activist Michele Simon, who called food stamps the "the largest, most overlooked corporate subsidy in the farm bill" and urged Congress to enact nutrition standards that would limit purchases of unhealthy food with government assistance.
Suppliers say Pennsylvania fuel tax hike to hit pump prices
Pennsylvania's new transportation law will raise fuel taxes Jan. 1, and companies that supply gas and diesel in Pennsylvania say razor-thin profit margins leave them little choice but to pass on the entire cost increase to the pump. That point has at times gotten lost amid mixed messages from Gov. Tom Corbett and some lawmakers. In various ways they have suggested that the cost may not entirely be passed down to consumers, or that it shifts the tax burden to "oil companies," never mind the fact that integrated multinational oil companies are barely involved in distributing gas in the U.S.