Tension Between White House and Republican Congress May Limit New Initiatives
With the Republicans taking control of the Senate in January, the GOP will control both chambers of Congress. In general, small business advocates don’t foresee major developments in the near term due to the likelihood that President Obama will veto large-scale legislative initiatives crafted by Republicans in Congress. NFIB President Dan Danner told the AP that party differences make the likelihood of comprehensive tax reform very difficult, and full repeal of Obamacare almost impossible.
However, there could be significant support in Congress for a permanent extension of a tax deduction that allows small businesses to deduct the costs of some equipment up front rather than depreciate it.
In addition, Republicans, with support from some moderate Democrats, may be able to provide some relief from Obamacare, dialing back some of its more burdensome requirements. For example, Congress could change the rule stating that employees who work 30 hours a week are considered “full time,” and therefore must be offered health coverage. Another measure that may have new life would change Obamacare so employees who receive health insurance from the Department of Defense or the VA do not count as employees for the purposes of determining the size of a business.
In addition to the legislative issues, the GOP capture of the Senate will see Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) replaced as chair of the Small Business Committee, probably by current ranking member Sen. Jim Risch (R). Risch has previously pushed for additional scrutiny of new Federal regulations that might hurt small businesses, and has also authored legislation designed to help small firms bring in more capital.
Small Business reacts to Election Results: NFIB highly encouraged by the outcome.