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Economy Archive

Internet, Email Taxes Could Become Reality if Lawmakers Fail to Act | Commentary

If certain members of Congress and President Barack Obama have their way, 2014 may very well be remembered as the year we started taxing the Internet. The good news is that the passage of Internet sales tax legislation appears unlikely — at least for the moment. The bad news is there are still two far reaching and potentially expensive measures under consideration that pose a serious threat to the Internet as Americans now know it.

Timeless Management Advice for Congress | Commentary

For 30 years, the Congressional Management Foundation has published a handbook on how to run a congressional office. “Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide” was first published in 1984, and provided advice to the 99th Congress on everything from budgeting, to staffing the office, to buying computers. The guidance is not the same as the formal instructions provided by the committees and institutional offices which assist in the management of Congress. Instead, “Setting Course” addresses the mechanics of being a member of Congress or senior staffer and leader of what amounts to a small business.

Now You See Them, Now You Don't: Banks' Misdirection on Data Breaches | Commentary

A staple of the illusionist’s trade is “misdirection” — distracting the audience with the movements of one hand while using the other hand to make an object “magically” disappear.

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Texas Democrat Seeks Top House Health Committee Post

Texas Democrat Gene Green appears poised to take the top Democratic slot on the House Energy and Commerce panel that handles health legislation next year after current ranking member Frank Pallone Jr. takes the top Democrat spot on the full committee.

The U.S. Should Strive to Protect Its Intellectual Property Abroad | Commentary

The Chinese government recently announced it will establish its first independent court in Beijing for adjudicating intellectual property (IP) rights disputes. Officials plan to create two more in other key commercial hotspots within the next couple years.

Why the Senate's Pro-Business Agenda Should Club Patent Trolls | Commentary

It has been one year since the House of Representatives passed legislation to protect businesses from the scourge of the digital age: patent trolls. Yet in that year, as the Senate allowed patent reform legislation to languish in committee, trolls have continued to extort legitimate businesses, collectively draining $80 billion from the U.S. economy.

House Eyes Terror Insurance Vote as Negotiators Near Agreement

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the House will vote next week on a plan to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act ahead of a year-end deadline, as congressional sources reported significant progress Thursday toward a compromise agreement.

Attacking Hillary's Strengths: Lame Duck GOP Oughta Take a Holiday Break | Commentary

The holiday season has arrived and Americans are decorating trees, taking toys for their children out of layaway and planning holiday parties. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be celebrating the holidays for the first time with her brand new grandbaby. ’Tis the season for family, reflection and worship. Republican operatives, though, are busy attacking Hillary Clinton. They are stuffing their stockings with hopes that Clinton will decide not to run for president.

Congress and the President: Set Your Sights Low | Commentary

In the aftermath of the upheaval on Capitol Hill caused by the recent elections, the president and congressional Republicans laid out their various priorities for the coming two years: immigration reform, alterations to Obamacare, lifting environmental regulations, a Pacific trade deal and revisions to the tax code. No doubt this list is likely to expand in the coming weeks, as more D.C. insiders try putting their favorite issues on the political radar.

GOP Strategy on Labor Issues Remains Hazy

The new Republican-controlled Congress is expected to take a pro-business approach to labor issues, including trying to rein in what GOP leaders consider an activist National Labor Relations Board and perhaps blocking some of its decisions.

The Most Bipartisan and Popular Bill Sits Before Congress: It's Time to Pass It | Commentary

For the past eight years, I have been working to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (HR 647, S 133), legislation that will lead to a brighter future for millions of Americans living with disabilities. Commonly referred to as the ABLE Act, the bill opens this door by amending the tax code to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. And, in so doing, it provides them with the same type of financial planning tool available to other Americans.

Congress Must Modernize Communications Regulations to Protect Competition and Consumers | Commentary

A year ago today, the House Energy & Commerce Committee leaders Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Greg Walden, R-Ore., launched the #CommActUpdate, an ambitious effort to overhaul the federal laws that govern America’s communications. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, on the heels of a Republican takeover of Congress and a public endorsement of the effort by soon-to-been Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, John Thune, R-S.D., this necessary effort seems destined for significant progress in 2015. Given the outdated 1934 laws are in today’s digital economy, this should be welcome news for all stakeholders in the communications landscape, including Internet companies, consumers and legislators looking to promote modern, constructive public policy. And with a long history of bipartisan success in this area, unlike other contentious policy areas in Congress, the #CommActUpdate is not only feasible, but realistic.

Time Running Short to Extend Terrorism Risk Insurance Act | Commentary

Congress has much to do and not much time to do it before year’s end. Fortunately, leaders on both sides of the aisle have made it clear that renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or TRIA, is a “must-do” before Congress adjourns. The program, first enacted in 2002 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, has been extended twice because lawmakers understand it is a vital component of our national defense and economic security, and is fundamental to thwarting the economic goals of terrorism.

Looking for Investment in the Next Generation

Privatization backers of a corporation model such as the one used in Canada would help advance the technological upgrades required under the beleaguered NextGen air traffic control modernization program.

Congress Must Do Its Part on Giving Tuesday | Commentary

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when charities, businesses and Americans from all walks of life join together to celebrate the spirit of the season and give generously to the causes and organizations most important to them.

Marketplace Fairness: An Idea That's Time Has Come | Commentary

The American free enterprise system, a marketplace economy featuring dynamic innovation, entrepreneurial risk-taking and robust competition, is what makes the United States such an inspiring country in which to start and grow a business. Over the past two decades, the Internet has burst onto the scene and developed into a vital, vibrant commercial platform in both the retail economy and the business-to-business space. It comes as no surprise that businesses of all sizes in various industries have taken to the Web in an effort to tap its economic potential. Our technology is cutting edge, but sadly, our sales tax system is stuck in the early 1990s thanks to a two decades-old Supreme Court decision (Quill v. North Dakota) — unable absent a federal legislative remedy to evolve to meet this vividly present and rapidly growing economic reality. Congressional action is needed now to ensure the free marketplace of the 21st century is one that features a level playing field for all who compete.

Will Patent Reform Tackle Government Trolls? | Commentary

With the election victory by the Republicans, Congress at last seems ready to tackle two issues on which the parties’ differences are narrow: trade and intellectual property.

Congress Must Act and Pass Advanced Manufacturing Bill During Lame Duck | Commentary

As the chief executives of two global trade associations that represent manufacturers, we are pleased with the focus of many governments in promoting pro-manufacturing agendas that benefit our members around the world.

Price Pushes Plan to Separate Immigration Funding From Omnibus

House GOP leaders are likely to float a proposal in their conference next week to fund most government agencies through September 2015, while providing a shorter-term stopgap component for immigration-related programs and initiatives.

Finding Common Ground for the Small-Business Community | Commentary

The midterm elections mean a Republican majority with a vastly different congressional agenda. As many anticipate this new set of legislative priorities, there’s much discussion around the potential for a “grand bargain.” Polls have consistently shown Republican and Democratic voters overwhelmingly united on one key issue — growing America’s economy.

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