Two Congressional Heavyweights Talk with NFIB California Members

Date: June 25, 2021

Small-business owners had a lot to say and hear at June 22-25 Virtual Fly-In event

Both the Republican Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and a Democrat member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, who also is chairman of its Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee, met with NFIB California members this week as part of NFIB’s Virtual Fly-In event.

On Tuesday, June 22, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the Republican Leader of the House, commented on the progress of some big issues for small business, including the extra unemployment benefits that are making it more lucrative for some to not work. “You never thought government would pay someone to stay home than go to work,” he said. A former small-business owner, McCarthy remembers being the first to show up for work, the last to leave, and the last to be paid. He encouraged NFIB members to invite elected officials to their place of business to meet with employees as well. This, he said, is an effective way to get the small-business message across. “Don’t ever not meet with someone,” is something smarter politicians practice.

On Friday, June 25, Democrat U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, whose Northern California district includes the Napa and Sonoma wine country, reminded members of the old adage, ‘the president proposes, Congress disposes,’ to allay some fears about many of the tax proposals swirling around Congress. Everything is on the table, but it’s not soup yet.”

He shared that the President “got a loud and clear message from us” regarding an idea to eliminate the stepped-up basis, which dramatically changes how family-owned businesses and farms are taxed. “We’re not going to do this [tax policy] in a way that will harm family farms and businesses.”

Regarding the 2017 change in the state-and-local-tax-deduction (SALT), which Congressman Thompson said hit California particularly hard and which he hears from his constituents most about, he held out hope that “It’s something we can fix.” Though any effort to repeal the SALT cap will need to be examined closely. For instance, Rep. Thompson mentioned supporting a bill that would remove the SALT cap for two years; in exchange, the bill would increase the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6%.

NFIB would not allow a pandemic to deter America’s No. 1 job-creators from having their say with top Congressional leaders, so it conducted its annual Fly-In event virtually. The timing was never more vital.

More than 1,000 NFIB members from around the nation were apprised of the latest actions on legislation that regrettably portends higher taxes and more regulations through proposals such as:

  • American Jobs Plan
  • American Families Plan
  • Pro Act
  • Raise the Wage Act

Attending small-business owners were also encouraged to get in direct touch with their representatives and senators who are right now considering new tax proposals and further burdensome regulations, including:

  • Increasing the corporate (C-corp) tax rate from 21% to 28%
  • Increasing the top income tax rate on passthrough businesses from 37% to 39.6%, broadening the reach of the tax, and limiting the Small Business Deduction (§199A)
  • Increasing Taxes at Death:
    • Repealing stepped-up basis
    • Taxing capital gains at death rather than point of sale
    • Increasing the top capital gains tax rate from 23.8% to 43.4%
  • Enacting the Healthy Families Act, which mandates employer paid sick leave
  • Creating a government-run paid family and medical leave program
  • Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
  • Automatically extending and expanding unemployment insurance payments

This 11-slide PowerPoint presentation provides a little more detail on the bullets above. You can also click these single pages of information on proposed tax increases and new regulations.

“Members of Congress do respond,” said U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, the Virtual Fly-In’s first-day guest, “do not give up. Your voice matters.” Louisiana U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy agreed, suggesting inviting elected officials to “come to you” and if they take you up on it, make sure to invite your employees. “If they see employees, then they’ll listen. Get the talkative ones up front.”

One of the many benefits of NFIB membership is the opportunities your association presents to hear directly from and talk directly to the top policymakers and agency officials making the decisions affecting your ability to own, operate, and grow your business. In addition to this annual event, check your email or your NFIB state webpage for other events such as Small Business Day at the Capitol and member meetings throughout the state.

U.S. Reps. Kevin McCarthy, left, and Mike Thompson, right, spoke with NFIB members during Virtual Fly-In week



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