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Fed Reduces Funds Rate Again

Oct 31, 2007

November 6, 2007—At its latest meeting, the FOMC cut the funds rate 25 basis points to 4.50%, its second consecutive rate reduction. The GDP grew 3.9% in the 3rd quarter and has increased 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. Personal income rose 0.4% in September while consumption grew 0.3%. During the same period, growth in compensation costs decelerated to 0.8%, which is good news for inflation. Last, the ISM index decreased in October to 50.9, but remained in expansionary territory.

Rangel Defends Tax Proposal, Calls for Chamber Support

Oct 31, 2007

House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) challenged the U.S. Chamber and Senate Democrats to "begin a dialogue" on his recently introduced $82 billion tax package. "This is an exciting opportunity for the Chamber and the House, and in particular, the Ways and Means Committee, to work together," Rangel told an audience of Chamber members and industry leaders during a speech on November 7. 

Committees Pass Climate Change, Tax Bills

Oct 31, 2007

In a tight 4-3 vote, a Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee approved legislation that would, among other things, create a cap-and-trade system in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the bill, the administration would place caps on carbon dioxide emissions from businesses. Beginning in 2012, companies would get allowances to release a certain amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and could buy or sell the permits on a market.

Senate Passes 7-Year Internet Tax Moratorium

Sep 30, 2007

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded the Senate for passing a tax moratorium on Internet purchases and access for seven years before the current moratorium expired on November 1. The House will now consider the Senate legislation, which goes further than the recently approved House bill to extend the moratorium for four years. The Chamber supports a permanent ban on Internet taxes.

Read the Chamber's latest letter.

Corruption, Maternity Leave Rules, Wildfires

Sep 30, 2007

State, Study Says Small Business Development Centers Work

Delaware's Small Business Development Center has helped to create more than 400 full-time jobs in the state, the Delaware Economic Development Office announced. A recently released survey by the Association of Small Business Development Centers credits the center with helping to retain jobs, generate tax revenue, and increase the sales of its clients above comparable Delaware businesses. According to the study, the center has helped to create 453 full-time jobs and retain 194 jobs.

Health Care, Unemployment, Immigration

Oct 31, 2007

Bill Would Hold State Accountable for Job Grants

A state senator is introducing legislation to provide increased accountability and scrutiny of state grants and loans awarded to businesses for job creation. The bill by Sen. Jane Orie, R-McCandless, will address a state audit released last week that found that 60% of the 360 companies that received state job grants between 2000 and 2003 did not meet their job promises.
Source: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A Legal System Run Amok

Oct 31, 2007

By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
November 6, 2007

How did we get to this point? We have allowed a deeply flawed legal system to infect and alter our democratic form of government, our civic life, and our character as a people.

New Home Sales, Prices Increase

Sep 30, 2007

October 30, 2007—New home sales rose 4.8% in September to 770,000 units but are down 23.3% compared to last year. Existing home sales, however, fell 8.0% during the same period and are down 19.1 on a year-over-year basis. Overall, the housing market remains weak. Last, new orders for durable goods fell a larger-than-expected 1.7% while orders for capital goods increased 0.4%.

ILR Releases AG Code of Conduct, Study at Summit

Sep 30, 2007

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is encouraging state attorneys general to voluntary adopt an ethical code of conduct in response to improper practices by some officials. The proposed code of conduct–unveiled at ILR's 8th Annual Legal Reform Summit on October 24—provides recommended "best practices" for initiating and conducting investigations and litigation, including guidelines for employing outside attorneys, communicating to the public about an ongoing lawsuit, and handling any settlement or award.

Overtime Lawsuits Escalate

Oct 31, 2007
from NCLC

NCLC Supports Business in California Case

With employees taking on more managerial duties and putting in more time at the office, plaintiffs' lawyers are aggressively pushing to expand definitions of and exploit gaps in overtime laws.

This chase for jackpot verdicts and multimillion-dollar settlements has led to a surge in overtime or wage-and-hour class action lawsuits at the state and federal levels against companies of all sizes.


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