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NAM Group Meets with President

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and a group of manufacturing executives met in the White House last week with President Trump and unveiled the NAM’s latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey. The survey showed that 93.3 percent of manufacturers have a positive outlook about their companies, the NAM said.

Business Insider reported that Trump said the survey illustrates the “surge of optimism that is spreading all across our land” and is “another vote of confidence in our plan that will bring back jobs, lower taxes, and provide a level playing field [for] our workers.”

In an interview with Timmons and Marlin Steel President and NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Group Chair Drew Greenblatt after meeting with President Trump, Fox Business reported the survey shows manufacturing optimism is “higher than ever.” Some 60 percent of the manufacturers surveyed believe the country is on the right track, up from a pathetic 26 percent in December.

Timmons talked with Bloomberg Politics and discussed his meeting with President Trump and his “optimism about manufacturing, infrastructure investment and tax reform.”


BCA SIGNS LETTER URGING SUPPORT OF SMALL BUSINESS LEGISLATION

The BCA joined dozens of other business groups from across the United States in urging Congress to pass the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act. S. 584. It would reform the regulatory process and ensure that all federal agencies appropriately consider the impact of their rules on small businesses before implementing any rule.

The BCA-signed letter was sent to U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management and serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

If the bill becomes law, federal agencies will be required to issue smarter regulations that minimize inefficiencies and unnecessary burdens while still protecting public health, worker safety, and the environment.

The impact would be huge. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were over 28.8 million small businesses in 2013 employing 57 million workers, almost half of all private sector employees, and responsible for about 60 percent of all net new jobs from 2010 through 2013.

Smaller businesses are disproportionately affected by compliance burdens associated with regulation because the compliance cost is very high in relation to their incomes, the NAM said. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees pay $11,724 each per year in regulatory compliance and small manufacturers pay $34,671 per employee.

S. 584 would improve and modernize the 1980 Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) that requires federal agencies to transparently account for the impact of regulation on small businesses. However, each agency interprets important terms in the existing statute in widely divergent ways and can avoid the RFA’s requirements as Congress intended, the letter states.


PRESIDENT SIGNS REP. BRADLEY BYRNE’S BILL THAT STOPS UNLAWFUL POWER GRAB

President Trump this week signed H.J. Res. 83 by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, into law.

“I want to thank President Trump for signing this important resolution and blocking the Obama administration’s attempt to change the law through executive fiat,” Rep. Byrne said. “This is just one step in our efforts to uphold the rule of law and advance responsible, proactive policies that keep America’s workers safe.”

Rep. Byrne introduced H.J. Res. 83 earlier this year to block an unlawful rule by the Obama Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that violates the Occupational Safety and Health Act and fails to improve workplace safety.

“The role of the executive branch is to enforce the laws – not rewrite them,” Rep. Byrne said. “This OSHA power grab was completely unlawful. It would have done nothing to improve workplace safety while creating significant regulatory confusion for small businesses.”

Rep. Byrne’s office said that, currently, employers are required to record and maintain a log of workplace injuries and illnesses that occur during a five-year span. While OSHA inspectors have long used this information to enhance health and safety protections in America’s jobsites, the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act explicitly says that employers can only be cited for record-keeping violations within a six-month time period. Yet during the waning days of the Obama administration, OSHA rewrote the law through regulatory fiat to extend the threat of penalty up to five years. Two federal appeals courts have rejected this.

The resolution by Rep. Byrnes, chairman of the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, blocks OSHA’s rule from taking effect and prevents future administrations from promulgating a similar rule.


ALABAMA SENATORS VOTE TO CONFIRM PRESIDENT’S CHOICE TO SUPREME COURT

Alabama U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Luther Strange voted today to confirm President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed 54-45 mostly along partisan lines.

“We congratulate Alabama’s senators for confirming Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court,” BCA President and CEO William J. Canary said. “Justice Gorsuch is a principled jurist who will faithfully interpret the nation’s laws.”

Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation brings the court to its full complement of nine justices after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. “As a deep believer in the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch will serve the American people with distinction as he continues to faithfully and vigorously defend our Constitution,” the president said.

Former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., changed the filibuster rules in 2013 by removing a 60-vote threshold needed to advance President Obama’s nominees. Republicans today used Reid’s 2013 move to require only a simple majority to confirm Justice Gorsuch.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Republicans Move to Shape Trump’s Infrastructure Plan
The HILL (Zanona 4/5) “Dozens of Republican lawmakers on Wednesday offered their ideas to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about the emerging plan to repair U.S. roads, bridges and airports, a key campaign promise for Trump. Following a defeat on healthcare reform, Chao said the infrastructure measure could now be unveiled as soon as next month – a major shift from the administration’s initial goal of fall.

Chao said during a town hall event at the White House on Tuesday that the administration is still in the process of crafting a $1 trillion bill that ‘will probably be in May or late May’. The proposal wasn’t expected to be considered until much later in the year, after Congress tackled healthcare and tax reform. But since the House failed to move forward on ObamaCare repeal last month, some have predicted that the timeline for priorities such as infrastructure may be accelerated.

“House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members say they are eager to focus on infrastructure spending. Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the Senate’s No. 3 Republican and chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said the upper chamber would be willing to move on Trump’s legislative priorities in whatever order they come.”

How Trump Could Cut Regulations for Manufacturers
Chief Executive (Guillot 4/5) “While President Trump has highlighted his intentions to help boost American manufacturing by rolling back regulations by up to 75%, there have been few details on what regulations might be targeted.

“National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons said he is upbeat on Trump’s potential to move regulatory and comprehensive tax reform. He said the tax and regulatory burden creates a 12% to 24% cost differential to manufacture in the United States. ‘If we can reduce those costs-by tax reform, by regulatory reform, create more investment in jobs here-our goal, at the end of the day, is for every new investment to be invested in the United States so we can build jobs right here’, said Timmons.

“Timmons is hoping President Trump will take on “the big three” of tax reform, regulatory reform and infrastructure investment. He expects all will be addressed with this Congress: tax reform and regulatory reform in the next six to nine months, and infrastructure next year. But like many in the sector, Timmons wants clarity. ‘Our goal, at the end of the day, is for every new investment to be invested in the United States so we can build jobs right here’, Timmons said.”

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