The nation’s leading small business advocacy group is urging the Senate to expedite the confirmation of four Pres. Elect Donald Trump's cabinet nominees so they can quickly begin repealing and reforming Obama administration policies that are suffocating economic growth and crippling businesses.
“For the past eight years, the federal government has overtaxed and overregulated small business,” says Juanita Duggan, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “The sooner these nominees can get to work reforming the system, the sooner we’ll see the kind of robust economic growth that the country needs.”
Duggan sent letters to Senate leaders urging quick action on:
- Andrew Puzder, nominated for Labor Secretary;
- Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), nominated for Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary; and
- Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator; and
- Steve Mnuchin, nominated for Treasury Secretary;
“Each of these nominees will play a critical role in executing a pro-growth agenda, which features major tax reform, health care reform, and regulatory reform,” Duggan says. “Every one of those reforms is necessary for small business to lift the economy and spread prosperity. They should be confirmed without delay.”
Duggan notes that small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers and they account for half of all jobs. According to the 2016 NFIB Problems and Priorities report, in which small business owners rank a list of 75 concerns, their top three headaches are:
- Federal taxes,
- Regulations, and
- The high cost of health insurance.
NFIB expects the four nominees to be instrumental in comprehensive tax reform, regulatory reform, and repealing and replacing Obamacare. Indeed, optimism among small business owners has soared since Trump’s election.
“Small business is the engine of economic growth. Regulations and taxes are like sand in the gears,” Duggan said. “Every one of these nominees has exactly the right experience to get the engine revving again.”
Trump’s Labor pick, for example, has the business experience needed to understand the damage caused by the Obama administration’s attacks on business franchises – and to reverse it, Duggan says:
“Many NFIB members are franchisees, a business model that was under attack during the Obama administration. Andy Puzder understands how these actions and other labor regulations directly harm American entrepreneurs and family businesses.
“NFIB has multiple suits against harmful Department of Labor regulations rushed out at the end of the President Obama’s term. We are hopeful that should the nominees be confirmed, he will take immediate action to halt these overreaching rules. President-elect Trump has made a good choice for this critical cabinet position.”
The NFIB is currently engaged in several lawsuits against rules created by the DOL. The overtime and persuader rules are under federal court injunctions. NFIB is also suing over a DOL memo that allows union representatives to accompany OSHA inspectors on inspections of non-unionized businesses.
Likewise, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is ideally qualified to head the EPA and reverse Pres. Obama’s illegal efforts to bypass Congress and cripple economic growth through onerous regulation, Duggan says:
“Attorney General Pruitt is an excellent choice who will bring some sense to the Environmental Protection Agency. In Oklahoma, he stood with small businesses to oppose federal regulations that would concentrate power in Washington and slow economic growth.
“Under President Obama, the EPA tried to go around Congress to expand its regulatory power. NFIB is leading legal challenges against the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rules, both of which are currently under injunction because of bureaucratic overreach. Pruitt filed suits against these same rules. Small business should be able to count on him to keep the EPA within its statutory boundaries.”
And, Duggan says small business owners are “thrilled” by the nomination of Rep. Tom Price, M.D., who will save their businesses from the ravages of Obamacare:
“Small business owners are thrilled to see Congressman Tom Price, a physician and a leader in the House on health care and budgetary policy, selected to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. NFIB battled Obamacare all the way to the Supreme Court because we knew it would harm small businesses and their employees.”
“We look forward to working with the Trump administration on health reform that will help small businesses control rising costs and increase flexibility for their employees.”
Rep. Price has a long record of support for small business priorities. He has been named NFIB’s Guardian of Small Business in all six of his terms in the U.S. House.