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NPES Government Affairs in Brief

Advancing Small Business Healthcare Relief Act

NPES, working with fellow members of the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), has succeeded in advancing the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (H.R. 5447), recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is a bipartisan effort to allow employers not sponsoring a group health plan to reimburse their employees for healthcare premiums for individual health coverage. Currently, such action violates the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and runs the risk of a penalty of $100 per day per reimbursed employee. The bill is now awaiting action in the Senate Finance Committee as S.3060.

Pushing Back on Section 385 Proposal

NPES has joined other business organizations in pushing back against the recently announced U.S. Treasury regulation 385, which would give the IRS unprecedented authority to treat a company’s related party debt as equity, threatening legitimate business practices and imposing new costs and taxes on manufacturers. While the proposal is intended to curb cross-border mergers (i.e., inversions), the broad regulation will have a significant negative impact on a wide range of global and domestic manufacturers in the United States.

Blocking Anti-Paper SEC Rule

The full Senate Appropriations Committee has banned the SEC from expending resources to implement its proposed Rule 30e-3, which would change the default delivery of shareholder information from paper to electronic, thus jeopardizing access to critical investment tools, and significantly disadvantage millions of Americans, especially older citizens, as they manage their investments and retirement savings. Survey data shows that most investors still prefer to receive printed shareholder reports in the mail rather than electronic online copies and investors across the country have spoken out against SEC Rule 30e-3. While the provision has a long way to go in the legislative process before it carries the force of law, it nevertheless sends a strong signal to the SEC that the full Senate Appropriations Committee stands squarely against their proposed rule.

Continuing Support for TPP

As a member of the U.S. Coalition for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), led jointly by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NPES continues to strongly support approval of the multilateral trade agreement by the U.S. Congress. TPP would help NPES members and other American manufacturers access the nearly 500 million customers in the other 11 TPP countries, by enabling the U.S. to participate in setting the rules for trade in a huge sector of the global economy.

Advising Association Members to Prepare for DOL Overtime Rule

Notwithstanding the opposition of many business organizations, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued its much anticipated final “Overtime” rule, modifying the exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new rule, which goes into effect December 1, 2016, dramatically increases the minimum salary an employee must be paid to qualify for white collar or highly compensated exemptions from $23,660 to $47,476 annually. This and many other details of the new rule are explained in an online Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) webinar offered to NPES members at:  sblc.org/member-reports/new-overtime-regulations-101/, Password: SBLC40th.


For more information on any of the above items, contact NPES Government Affairs Director Mark J. Nuzzaco at phone: 703/264-7235 or e-mail: mnuzzaco@npes.org.