Driving the Day: 4/17/12

Apr 17, 2012

Need to know…

  • Buffett Rule Gets Shot Down in the Senate. In a mostly party-line 51-45 vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes they needed to move forward with a debate on the so-called “Buffett Rule” legislation that would impose a 30% minimum tax on millionaires. All but one Republican, Senator Susan Collins, voted to oppose proceeding on the legislation, while Senator Mark Pryor was the only Democrat to vote against the motion.
  • Business Leaders Are Fed Up with Congress. The Hill reports that “Business groups are exasperated that Congress has made little progress on issues they see as vital in helping the ailing economy.” Industry leaders are perplexed that Congress has made no immediate plans to extend 60 tax provisions that expired at the end of last year. They are also concerned that the transportation bill has become stalled in the House, while energy legislation is not likely to come up in the Senate because Democratic leaders want to avoid having to cast difficult votes on EPA regulations.
  • Gas Prices and Washington Regulations Keep Small Businesses from Hiring. Entrepreneur reports that according to a new U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey of small businesses, growing confidence in the economy is not leading to an influx of new hiring. Small businesses fret about uncertainty driven in large part by taxes, regulations, and legislation coming from lawmakers in Washington, as well as the growing cost of fuel. 
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Wants to Wield More Power Over Business Hiring. The Wall Street Journal editorial board takes aim at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over policy guidance being developed that would significantly limit companies’ use of credit and criminal histories in hiring. The Journal contends that the Commission would be overstepping its legal bounds if it proceeds since it has the ability to “issue, amend, or rescind suitable procedural regulations,” not make substantive new rules.

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