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Policy News -March 26, 2019

March 26, 2019


The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy released the March 2019 Small Business Facts, highlighting women-owned employer businesses. The Census Bureau’s latest Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs revealed that in the United States, there are currently 1,118,863 women-owned businesses.99.9 percent of these woman-owned firms represent the small business community, employing eight workers on average and reaching $1.3 million in annual sales.View more on detailed SBA report here.

Last week, the Department of Labor released the Federal Register’s publishing of the Department’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This rule would increase the number of American workers eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by more than a million individuals. Interested members of the public are encouraged to submit comments about the proposed rule electronically at www.regulations.gov, comments must be received by May 21, 2019 to be considered.

In other relevant EIW news, taxpayers are receiving penalty relief, as a result of the Department of the Treasury lowering the withholding underpayment threshold to 80 percent. This modification affects taxpayers whose total withholding and estimated 2018 tax payments are equal to or greater than 80 percent of their taxes owed. On average, the usual threshold to avoid a penalty is 90 percent. Taxpayers are encouraged to check their withholding at IRS.gov/withholding to ensure they are properly withheld for 2019 and are receiving the full benefits of the new tax law.

 

On Capitol Hill

 

Floor proceedings 

House: in session

· The House will reconvene and debate the H.R. 920 – Venezuela Arms Restriction Act, H.R. 854 – Humanitarian Assistance to the Venezuelan People Act of     2019, H.R. 1616 – European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019, H.R. 1839 – Medicaid Services Investment and Accountability Act of 2019.

· Following last votes, the House will debate H.R. 1477 – Russia-Venezuelan Threat Mitigation Act.

 

Senate: in session

· The Senate willconvene and proceed to executive session to resume consideration of Bridget S. Bade to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.

 

Committee proceedings

House Committee on Small Business

· On March 26th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled “Cleared for Take-off? Implementation of the Small Business Runway Extension Act”

· On March 27th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled “Unlocking Small Business Retirement Security”

 

The Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

· On March 27th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "Small Business Committee to hold a Business Meeting”

 

House Committee on Financial Services

· On April 3rd, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "Member Day Hearing: Committee on Financial Services”

· On April 3rd, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "Putting Investors First: Reviewing Proposals to Hold Executives Accountable”

· On April 9th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Community Reinvestment Act: Assessing the Law’s Impact on Discrimination and Redlining”

· On April 10th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis”

 

House Committee on Ways and Means

· On March 26th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "Trade and Labor: Creating and Enforcing Rules to Benefit American Workers”

· On March 27th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "The 2017 Tax Law and Who it Left Behind”

 

House Committee on Appropriations

· On March 26th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "National Science Foundation’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2020”

 

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions 

· On March 26th, the Committee will hold a hearing titled "Implementing the 21st Century Cures Act: Making Electronic Health Information Available to Patients and Providers”

 

Bills of Interest 

· A bill was introduced in the House Committee on Financial Services to provide the legal framework and income tax treatment necessary for the growth of innovative private financing options, and for other purposes. H.R.1810

· A bill was introduced in the House Committee on Ways and Means to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modernize the Office of the National Taxpayer Advocate. H.R.1825

· A bill was introduced in the House Committee on Education and Labor to require annual reporting by employers of the number of settlements with employees regarding claims of discrimination on the basis of sex, including verbal and physical sexual harassment, and for other purposes. H.R.1828

· A bill was introduced in the House Committee on Ways and Means to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to deny a deduction for severance payments made in connection with sexual misconduct.  H.R.1829

· A bill was introduced in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to direct the Federal Communications Commission to carry out a grant program to make grants for the establishment or expansion of job training programs for communications tower service, construction, and maintenance. H.R.1848

· A bill was introduced in the House Committee on Ways and Means to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for designation of qualified opportunity zones every 10 years. H.R.1852

 

At the Agencies

Department of Labor: 

· The Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report.

· The Department of Labor announced that the Office of the Federal Register has published the Department’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would make more than a million more American workers eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

· To raise awareness about the hazards in the grain handling industry, including potentially deadly engulfment and dust explosions, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is joining with industry leaders and safety professionals on March 25, 2019, to initiate the 2019 National Safety Stand-Up and Grain Safety Week, March 25-29 in Bloomington, Illinois.

 

Treasury: 

· The U.S. Department of the Treasury lowered the withholding underpayment threshold to 80 percent, delivering more taxpayers penalty relief.

SBA:

·  No relevant activities today.

 

USTR:

· No relevant activities today.

 

Commerce:

·  No relevant activities today.

 

Links You Can Use

For reviewing legislation and tracking appropriations: www.congress.gov

For reviewing proposed and pending regulation: www.federalregister.gov

 


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