Slow Progress on Pro-Growth Agenda
Subscribe today for Free Enterprise Updates
- Latest business trends and best practices
- News about legislation and regulation impacting business
- Business how-to articles from industry experts
- Commentary and interviews with newsmakers in business and politics
In June, I conclude my one-year term as Chamber chairman. This transition is a natural point in time to pause and take stock of our efforts to enact pro-growth policies in Washington over the past year.
Despite a deeply partisan and antagonistic political environment in our nation’s capital, there were a few positive policy developments for business and the economy. The president signed free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. These agreements, which had been stalled in Congress for years, will expand access to key U.S. export markets. After a game of political brinksmanship, Congress extended the debt ceiling last summer to avoid a potentially catastrophic default. It passed patent reform and eased burdens on small business by repealing the 3% tax withholding mandate and a measure requiring burdensome data collection and IRS information filing.
More often the case, however, was Congress’ repeated failure to enact pro-growth policies. For example, legislation to end the moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration, facilitate the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, repeal the onerous 2010 health care reform law, improve the process by which regulations are promulgated, and rein in the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have all gone nowhere.
To create the kind of change needed to rev up our economic engine and put Americans back to work, we need to change Congress. There’s an old saying, “Politics before policy.” That’s another way of saying that we need to help elect pro-business candidates before we can expect to see meaningful results with our pro-growth agenda.
This is not the time for the business community to take a seat on the sidelines. Business must educate itself and others on the candidates and their positions and actively participate in the political process. A politically engaged business community can help ensure that come November, the nation will begin charting a new path toward a brighter economic future.