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First Monday in October, SCOTUS Watch and Manufactured Housing

October 2nd, 2017 Comments off

SupremeCourtOfTheUnitedStatusSCOTUSDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) begins its new term by law on the first Monday in October.

Manufactured housing trade associations don’t typically take a public position in terms of submitting amicus briefs on such cases.  But they are worth following, as they have the potential for impacting businesses, as well as the personal beliefs of employers.

With the appointment earlier this year of Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Antonin Scalia, the tilt of the court is back toward the right.  But that tilt didn’t prevent ObamaCare moving forward when it hit the high court, and Gorsuch is new on the bench. 

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So, this session of the Supreme Court will be periodic big news across the political spectrum in the media.

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Per Newsmax and the Associated Press (AP), some of those cases include the following the dates for (the dates for arguments are in parentheses):

  • “Wedding cake for same sex couple (unscheduled):The case stems from a Colorado baker’s religious objections to making a cake for a recently married same-sex couple. At issue is the baker’s claim that he should not be forced to produce a message with which he disagrees and the Colorado law that bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Trump administration is backing the baker.
  • Partisan redistricting (Tuesday):The legal fight over redistricting in Wisconsin has the potential reshape American politics. The justices could, for the first time, impose limits on drawing political maps for partisan advantage. Democratic voters sued over redistricting plans that entrenched Republicans’ hold on state government in a state that is otherwise closely divided between the parties.
  • Employee rights (Monday):The term’s first case pits employers against their workers. To be decided is whether businesses can enforce part of a contract with their employees that prohibits workers from taking complaints about pay, working conditions and other issues to court, and also forces them to engage in individual arbitration, rather than a group effort. Workers say the provision contained in millions of contracts violates federal labor laws. Employers argue that the federal law encouraging arbitration trumps the labor laws. The administration is supporting the employers, reversing the position taken by the Obama administration.
  • Sports betting (unscheduled):Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., is appealing court rulings that effectively prevent the state from making it legal to bet on pro and college sports games at casinos and racetracks. Christie, whose term expires at the end of the year, almost certainly will be out of office when the case is decided, but it could lead several states to seek a share of the estimated $150 billion that is bet illegally on sports each year. The NCAA and the major professional sports leagues oppose Christie’s effort.
  • Cell tower site records (unscheduled):In a case about privacy in the digital age, a Michigan man who was convicted in a string of robberies of stores selling cellphones and other equipment says the police should not have been able to obtain months’ worth of records of his cellphone use without first getting a search warrant. The records helped place him in the proximity of the stores when they were robbed. The decision is likely to affect the privacy rules for a raft of digital data held by large institutions, including banks, telephone companies and internet providers.
  • Ohio voter purge (Nov. 8): Ohio is asking the court to OK a procedure for culling the state’s voter rolls that begins by identifying registered voters who have not cast a ballot in the past two years. A lower court found that the practice was barred by a federal voter registration law. Civil rights groups portray Ohio’s effort as part of a Republican push to restrict voting. This is another case in which the Justice Department, which had backed the civil rights groups, has switched sides since Trump became president.
  • Union fees (unscheduled): The court could deal a blow to Democratic-leaning unions that represent government workers and overturn a 40-year-old precedent. The justices will take up an appeal from a government worker in Illinois who objects to paying fees to the union that represents government workers to help pay for contract negotiations and other nonpolitical union tasks. The same issue was before the court last year and the unions seemed headed for defeat when Justice Antonin Scalia died. The court split 4-to-4. New Justice Neil Gorsuch could be the fifth vote the anti-union side needs to win.”  ## (News, analysis.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Dems Return to the Drawing Board as the GOP Pursues its Agenda

April 17th, 2017 Comments off

(Image credit: TodayIFoundOut.com)

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel sounded an alarm that the GOP does not get moving on its agenda in Congress, it runs the risk of being moved out.

It’s hard to win if you don’t govern. If you make these promises, it’s going to be hard for us to win in the midterms,” McDaniel said. “I think it’s early. I think the president’s working hard on those issues and we’ve already seen some very strong governance from the White House with deregulation, with [Neil] Gorsuch, with Keystone [Pipeline], with jobs coming back. But we have to continue that, and we have to keep promises that we made on the campaign trail.”

(Ronna Romney McDaniel credit: Chicago Tribune)

While there was initial talk of moving on to tax reform and leaving the repeal of ObamaCare, discussions have picked up between the White House and the Freedom Caucus and the centrist Tuesday Group.

House Speaker Paul Ryan described it as ‘Republican growing pains.’

Ms. McDaniel says it shows the strength of diversity in the Grand Old Party (GOP, Republican).

I actually think it’s a strength of our party that we have a robust dialogue, that you bring different viewpoints to the discussion. The Democrats are always in lockstep with each and that is exactly why we have the disaster of Obamacare. They didn’t have a discussion,” the former Michigan GOP chairwoman, who has been the RNC chair for only three months, said. “They didn’t have people pointing out, ‘hey, there’s a flaw here. Let’s talk about this. Let’s take it to our constituents. Let’s have a transparent process. Let’s maybe read it before we pass it.’ Those types of things maybe would have made it a better bill.”

Noting that in 2018 ten Democratic senators are up for re-election in states where Trump won, McDaniel cautions that it is easy to organize opposition by the party out of power, but maintains the Republicans are “focused on the entire ticket and maintaining and expanding majorities in the Senate and the House going into 2018. When you are doing what we do, which is build the ground game, you don’t just lift the top of the ticket, you lift the whole ticket.”

Democrats on the Attack

Meanwhile, attempting to shift back the balance of power, the Democrats are sifting through possible candidates in 64 congressional districts as they chase opportunities for next year’s midterm elections.

According to Politico, they are knocking on the doors of veterans, women and others who have never held elected office, and owners of small businesses as they try to benefit from the anti-Trump energy in the streets.

(Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M. credit Wikipedia)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) leaders have already met with 255 potential candidates. DCCC Chairman Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) said, “We are going to be on offense, we are going to take this fight to the American people.”

A recent recruiting meeting brought together Vote Vets, a liberal group focused on veteran’s issues, and women interested in politics. Convened by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), herself a veteran, she spoke with a dozen veterans about defense and international issues, including two female helicopter pilots, all of whom have recently completed their tours of duty or will soon. “Especially among the younger generation of veterans, you have a community that is far less conservative than people might think,” she said.

Rep.l Seth Moulton (D-MA) has garnered some 22 fellow veterans who are interested in public office. “I don’t think you have to be a veteran to run for office, but when you’re looking for a group of people who might be able to rise above the bitter partisan gridlock, veterans are a good place to look,” he said. “Washington seems like a dirty place. But so was Afghanistan. And so was Iraq. And we’re going to clean it up.

Presidential Approval Back Up

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CBS News was among the media outlets which had writers and commentators slamming President Trump for not remembering to put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem. “Trump is reluctant to put his hand on heart during the National Anthem & is dropped by the San Francisco 49ers.,” snarked a tweet by Chuck Groundhog, posted on the CBS News website. With all that is going on in the world, presidential defenders say, couldn’t the president be just a bit distracted? ‘Can you cut POTUS a little slack?’ Photo credit, CBS News, shared under fair use guidelines.

Even after weeks of blistering attacks, the latest Rassumusen Poll, among the most accurate in the 2016 election cycle, has President Donald J. Trump back at 50% approval.  

Figuring that just attacking President Trump will not be sufficient to turn the tide, Democrats are digging into finances and committee votes of Republican members of Congress. They are focusing more on the South, and in districts where stronger opponents than those that ran in 2016 might have a better chance of unseating the GOP.

Jesse Hunt credit: LinkedIn)

But National Republican Campaign Committee press secretary Jesse Hunt said, “The activist-base Democratic Party is demanding all-out obstruction in Washington, D.C., to the entire Republican agenda, and it’s going to make it difficult for Democratic to make the necessary course correction in these competitive Congressional districts,” Hunt said. “As a result of that, you’re going to see the Democratic base demand far left progressive candidates that don’t fit the suburban districts they need.”

Republicans have led Democrats in fund-raising each month of 2017, and have met with 100 prospective candidates on their own.

According to GOPUSA, the seating of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch will begin the return of respect for constitutional powers and “undo what eight years of Obamanista rule inflicted on the nation.”

LoisLernerAttorneyformerIRSWikipedia-postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsOne place to start would be going after IRS officials who were caught persecuting tea party and other nonprofit conservative groups in order to assist in Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. In addition, not only did Lois Lerner, who was in charge of the division that conducted the persecution, retire with full pension, but thousands of IRS employees who fudged on their tax returns were not charged.

What’s more, an inspector general’s report discovered “the IRS routinely seized millions of dollars from legitimate businesses between 2012 and 2015 simply based on the business people’s practice of making bank deposits of less than $10,000 to avoid onerous paperwork. This guilty-until-proven-innocent scheme of the IRS victimized countless small business people, some of whom didn’t recover what was seized even after being cleared of any criminal activity.”

A random sample revealed 91 percent of the businesses in a sample of 278 forfeiture cases had made their money legally.

At the Environmental Protection Agency, large donors to the Democrats routinely abused Clean Water and Clean Air acts without any retribution. President Trump has directed the EPA to review its regulations, and has reversed regulations that were intended to put coal operators out of business.

Additionally, the GOP sees the Justice Department as also having served purely ideological ends during the Obama administration, especially in the Civil Rights Division and in the Voting Section. Much of the wrongdoing came under Thomas Perez, now the chair of the Democratic National Committee. The agency needs to be returned to the non-partisan, chief enforcer of the nation’s laws as it was intended. ##  

Related by RC Williams – Consumer Confidence Surges to New High Under Trump Admin.

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matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comSubmitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Recent Victories, More Hard Work to Do: NFIB’s Duggan Speaks

February 3rd, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: NFIB.

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) President and CEO Juanita Duggan and small business leaders from across the U.S. met with President Trump this week, to explain why small business owners have such a big stake in Supreme Court justice nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

 

The NFIB tells MHProNews that its members understand first-hand the difference that one justice can make, as they were the lead plaintiff in NFIB v. Sebelius, the landmark case against Obamacare.

The controversial law was upheld by a single vote.

In reviewing Gorsuch’s record, the NFIB says the organization found him to be consistently tough on regulatory agencies seeking to expand their authority by rewriting the law. In a very influential decision, Judge Gorsuch challenged the Chevron Doctrine, which gives deference to regulatory agencies to interpret laws in ways that expand their power.

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Juanita Duggan. Credit: NFIB.

Earlier this week, President Trump signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new one approved,” wrote Duggan in a letter to members.

His actions to reign in excessive regulation is good news for the small business community. Small and independent businesses have been crushed by the aggressive regulations of the past eight years. According to the 2016 NFIB Small Business Problems and Priorities report, overregulation is now the second most important problem for small business owners.

Duggan also addressed President Trump’s executive order to revive the Keystone XL Pipeline, and, of great importance to small businesses, tax reform.

We are very active on tax reform, one of our key priorities for 2017. President Trump and Congressional leadership agree that taxes are far too high for both pass-through businesses and C corporations. The tax code strongly favors large corporations. NFIB believes that no small business should be paying a higher tax rate than Exxon Mobil,” said Duggan.

I have made it clear to Congress and the President’s team that tax reform starts with small business. Small business employs 58 million Americans and creates more than half of all jobs. If the purpose of tax reform is to grow the economy and create jobs, then it must focus on small business.

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Credit, NFIB.

Duggan and the NFIB have been vocal and active leading up to, and after the election of President Trump, including a report last month about small business optimism being at it’s highest rate in 37 years.

We haven’t seen numbers like this in a long time,” said Duggan. “Small business is ready for a breakout, and that can only mean very good things for the U.S. economy. Business owners are feeling better about taking risks and making investments.

That report is linked here. For more from the NIFB on small business, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.