1. Further complicating the battle over replacing the Affordable Care Act, the Freedom Caucus, which represents the more conservative side of the House Republican caucus, has come forward with two demands. The first is that the repeal mimic the same structure as a 2015 repeal that passed through the Republican-controlled House. That repeal bill called for the elimination of the individual mandate, the expansion of Medicaid, and the taxes used to fund subsidies. The second demand is an immediate repeal of Obamacare regardless of the prospect of a replacement.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Congressional Republicans find themselves realizing that now they have the opportunity to truly repeal the ACA, they must have a strong and sustainable replacement ready for deployment. NECA will continue to advocate for repeal of the Cadillac tax.
2. On February 13, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) had his first meeting with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to discuss the administration’s infrastructure package.
NECA’s Look Ahead: As expected, the infrastructure package will include broadband, electric grid, pipeline and transportation provisions. However, the timing of when the full infrastructure bill will be released is not clear. The package won’t be released until after the House completes the health care and tax reform packages, which would push the release date to sometime in the summer.
3. NECA, as a member of the White House Conference on Small Business (WHCSB), has petitioned the White House to sign an Executive order authorizing the next meeting of the White House Conference on Small Business. This conference has previously met under three administrations (Carter, Reagan, and Clinton) and seeks to bring a voice to small businesses, which make up 99 percent of U.S. private sector employers.
NECA’s Look Ahead: The WHCSB offers the small business community the opportunity to combine its efforts and create a platform of positions necessary to further grow our economy. NECA is optimistic that the administration will move forward on this request.