Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Taxpayer Protection Pledge

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, 12:36 PM PERMALINK

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in Houston on January 17 in his bid for a third term this November. The Pledge, sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, commits gubernatorial signers to oppose and veto any and all efforts to enact net tax hikes. 

Americans for Tax Reform offers the Pledge to all candidates for state and federal office. In signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Greg Abbott becomes the 15th incumbent governor who has made this important commitment to taxpayers. More than 1,000 state legislators across the country and 20 members of the Texas congressional delegation have also signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

“I want to thank and congratulate Governor Greg Abbott for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Governor Abbott, in addition to adhering to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge during his two terms in office, has enacted significant tax relief that has made Texas an even more attractive place to live and do business. By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Governor Abbott makes it clear that tax hikes will not be a concern in Texas if he’s elected to a third term.”

“Texas has long been recognized as a relatively low-tax state, one that boasts no income tax. Under Governor Abbott’s leadership, not only has Texas remained a national leader in keeping taxes low, it has also become a model for spending restraint,” Norquist added. “Under Governor Abbott, the rise in state spending has been held below the rate of population growth and inflation. What’s more, Governor Abbott has begun addressing profligacy at the local level with the enactment of a reform that makes it so annual local government revenue growth in excess of 3% now requires voter approval.”

With his election last November, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) became the nation’s 14th governor to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, tying the historic record for gubernatorial Pledge signers that was set after the 2012 election. By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge yesterday, not only did Governor Abbott make it clear tax hikes are off the table in Texas so long as he is in office, he set a new record for the number of sitting governors who are Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a public, written commitment by elected officials or candidates to the taxpayers of his or her state or district. The Pledge is a commitment to oppose and veto or vote against any net tax increase. All candidates for federal and state office have been offered the Pledge each election cycle since 1986.


Lawmakers Should Support the Inflation Prevention Act

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Posted by Isabelle Morales on Monday, January 17th, 2022, 1:40 PM PERMALINK

In order to protect the American people from inflationary spending, U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) recently introduced the Inflation Prevention Act (IPA). This bill would make it out of order to consider new legislation estimated to increase inflation if year-over-year inflation rate is above 4.5 percent. This restriction could only be waived with a three-fifths majority of lawmakers.

This legislation is four pages long, outlining the policy clearly: 

SEC. 2. POINT OF ORDER AGAINST SPENDING THAT WILL INCREASE INFLATION UNTIL INFLATION IS NOT GREATER THAN 4.5 PERCENT.  

(a) POINT OF ORDER.—  

(1) IN GENERAL.—In the Senate, it shall not be in order to consider a provision in a bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, amendment between the Houses, or conference report that provides new budget authority and that is estimated to result in an increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unless the annualized rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers most recently published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is not more than 4.5 percent. 

Cosponsors of this legislation include Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.). 

This bill is especially necessary now as inflation surges and Democrats repeatedly attempt to pass trillions in new government spending. 

The harm of rampant inflation is blatantly obvious to most Americans outside of Washington. The average U.S. household spent $3,500 more in 2021 due to inflation, according to a Penn Wharton University of Pennsylvania Budget Model analysis.  

Low-income households were disproportionately harmed, as those households spent about 7 percent more while higher-income households spent about 6 percent more. For example, between November 2020 and November 2021, the bottom 20 percent spent $309 more on food, $761 more on energy, $476 more on shelter, $390 on other commodities, and $224 on other services. 

Most recently, the consumer price index, or “inflation,” increased by 7 percent on an annualized basis, a 40-year high. In January 2021, before Joe Biden took over the presidency, annual inflation was at a stable 1.4 percent.  

Not only is inflation harming consumers by increasing household costs, but it could also have long lasting economic damage. Inflation is eroding purchasing power, especially given that wages are decreasing. Real average hourly earnings dropped by 2.4 percent on an annualized basis. 

According to a new Gallup poll, 71 percent of low-income households have reported experiencing financial hardship due to rising prices. Of the 71 percent, 28 percent of low-income households say they have experienced “severe hardship” due to rising prices, and 42 percent say they have experienced “moderate hardship.”   

88 percent of voters say they are concerned about increased inflation, according to a recent Harvard CAPS and Harris poll. When asked what causes inflation, the top three answers were "Massive government spending," "Significant amounts of money being injected in the economy by the Federal Reserve," and "Uncontrollable government deficits."     

Even so, President Biden and Congressional Democrats still seek to pass trillions in new spending, with the full awareness that this kind of spending would be inflationary. 

If lawmakers refuse to take inflation seriously in desperate times, there must be guardrails in place to protect the American people. Lawmakers should support Sens. Scott and Thune’s Inflation Prevention Act (IPA).

Photo Credit: "US Senator of South Carolina Tim Scott at Citizens United Freedom Summit Greenville South Carolina May 2015" by Michael Vadon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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The Anti-Vaping Crusade Backfires: Smoking Rates INCREASE For the First Time in Decades

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Posted by Garrett Smith on Friday, January 14th, 2022, 10:49 AM PERMALINK

 

From seed oils to the food pyramid, health officials have a reputation for missing the mark when it comes to informing public wellbeing. One thing they have prided themselves on however is the success in curbing smoking rates, with cigarette sales steadily declining for more than thirty years. Until now.

Smoking, especially among minors and young adults, seems to be making a comeback in the general public for the first time in decades. The causes of this rise have puzzled researchers, some saying perhaps the pandemic is to blame. After all, smoking is a typical coping mechanism for people struggling with isolation, sadness, and stress - all emotions many have felt while being forced to quarantine indoors. However, this claim is contradicted by data coming out of New Zealand claiming that smoking rates on the archipelago have declined after loosening regulation on electronic cigarettes.

The New York Times partially attributes smoking’s rise from the ashes to fashion. Kat Frey, a Brooklyn copywriter the Times spoke to, calls it part of a  “sexy and ethereal 1980’s revival” with a “contemporarily atypical” aesthetic in contrast to vaping which is seen to some as a juvenile activity.

But undoubtedly the blame in large part rests upon the shoulders of those same health officials. Their puritanical fervor towards the complete cessation of nicotine use in its totality shifted the focus from cigarettes to reduced-harm smokeless tobacco alternatives. In recent years, advertisers and policymakers embarked on a zealous war on reduced-harm smokeless tobacco products and vaping, despite the fact that electronic cigarettes have been proven to be a 95% less harmful alternative. One person interviewed by the Times claimed she "switched back to cigarettes because I thought it would be healthier than Juuling," a testament to the widespread misinformation against electronic cigarettes.

The shift in focus is the result of a dogmatic, paranoid anti-nicotine mindset which pervades public health spheres that are ignorant of the facts. Nicotine alone has a risk profile identical to caffeine, and can even yield positive effects on persons with mental health and eating disorders as most of the danger from smoking comes from the inhalation of toxic carcinogens and cancer-causing chemicals. Endless propaganda against smokeless products has created a stigma against these products while encouraging legislation which makes access to life-saving cigarette alternatives increasingly difficult to acquire. For example, in San Francisco, youth smoking actually increased by 6.2% following a ban on flavored vape products and Minnesota’s 95% tax on e-cigarettes created more than 32,0000 new cigarette smokers. Meanwhile places with lax restrictions on vaping like New Zealand have seen record declines in smoking rates.

So perhaps it is time for the health lobby to reassess their priorities and acknowledge their recent failures in tobacco policy. In their fight against all nicotine products, they have begun to pursue regressive policies which conflict with their stated goals.

Photo Credit: "Lighting a Cigarette" by Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli

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Biden to Use Taxpayer Funds to Deploy “Clean Energy Corps”

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Posted by Mike Palicz on Thursday, January 13th, 2022, 6:19 PM PERMALINK

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced on Thursday that President Biden's Department of Energy will use taxpayer dollars from the recently enacted infrastructure law to hire 1,000 new government employees tasked with the vague mission of leading a “clean energy revolution.”

In a video released Thursday, Granholm dubbed the new program the “Clean Energy Corps” and revealed that the corps will be funded from the $62 billion appropriated to the department by the recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure law. The addition of 1,000 new bureaucrats to the Department of Energy (DOE) would represent the largest staffing expansion at the department since its creation in 1977.

Modeled off the “Civilian Climate Corps” which aimed to boost young adults’ outdoor recreation

According to reporting from The Hill, the new DOE program is modeled off President Biden and congressional Democrats’ proposed “Civilian Climate Corps (CCC)” -  a make-work program for progressive climate activists to promote “environmental justice.”

In September, President Biden described the CCC as a government program designed to help “young adults find work installing solar panels, planting trees, digging irrigation ditches and boosting outdoor recreation.” The CCC itself is currently stalled as part of the Democrats’ reckless trillion tax and spend package.

Government competing with private business for workers

As Main Street struggles to find workers during a labor shortage, Democrats now plan to recruit and add 1,000 activists to the government payroll, increasing government competition with the private sector for workers. The newly launched application portal for the program stresses that the department is seeking applicants “right out of college” and that experience in clean energy isn’t required so long as individuals are “committed to public service and with a mission of supercharging the clean energy revolution.”   

The so-called "Clean Energy Corps" is a clear effort from the Biden Administration to ram through some version of Democrats's failed effort to create a Civilian Climate Corps, which Congress has thus far rejected.

Taxpayers should not be on the hook for providing progressive climate activists with a government job.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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SEC Failing to Provide Adequate Time for Public Feedback on Rulemaking

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Posted by Bryan Bashur on Thursday, January 13th, 2022, 1:03 PM PERMALINK

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is limiting timeframes for stakeholders to provide public comment on rulemaking. This is especially concerning because the SEC has been issuing complex and controversial draft rules for topics such as manipulation of security-based swaps, stock buybacks, insider trading, incentive-based compensation, and proxy voting. 

Failure to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to provide feedback on proposed regulations undermines the rulemaking process and ultimately harms individual investors, consumers, and businesses.

The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 requires federal agencies to provide a comment period before finalizing regulations. Past Democrat administrations have recognized that the public comment period should be at least 60 days for complex proposals. For instance, the Clinton administration issued Executive Order 12866 which, states that “each agency should afford the public a meaningful opportunity to comment on any proposed regulation, which in most cases should include a comment period of not less than 60 days.” The Obama administration also expressed the belief that the comment period for rulemaking should be at least 60 days. 

However, the Biden administration is not following suit and is instead rushing proposals through. Since October 2021, the SEC has issued nine draft rules that have less than 60-day public comment periods. As a result, stakeholders have very little time to read and analyze hundreds of pages of rules and submit public comments. 

This practice of rushing through public comments has rightly drawn the ire of lawmakers. On January 10, House Financial Services Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) sent a letter admonishing the SEC for issuing rules with short comment periods. The SEC’s unreasonably short comment periods prevent rules from receiving adequate input from all types of stakeholders including companies, individuals, academics, think tanks, and advocacy groups.

Insufficient time for public comment increases the potential for future rulemakings to be drafted in a way that is harmful to consumers, businesses, and investors. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has expressed his interest in introducing rulemakings related to cryptocurrencies, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), and private equity firms. This has the potential to significantly increase red tape. For instance, Gensler wants private equity firms to disclose more information, even though these investors have been forced to navigate a “complex regulatory framework” enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. 

By refusing to allow enough time for input from the stakeholders that will be directly affected by his rules, Gensler will slug businesses and investors with additional compliance costs, which could ultimately limit the amount of capital available in financial markets. Instead, Gensler should reconsider current and future rulemakings by allowing at least 60-day public comment periods. This will ensure stakeholders are able to provide thoughtful feedback on the potential impact of new regulations.

Photo Credit: "U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission" by arsheffield is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

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2022 State Trifecta Map: GOP With Full Control of 23 States, Dems 14

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Posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2022, 11:00 AM PERMALINK

In 2022 Republicans control the legislature and governorship of 23 states.

With Democrats losing the Virginia governorship last year, the party lost a trifecta and now controls the legislature and governorship of just 14 states.

In 2022 Republicans have full control of the legislature in 30 states. Democrats have full control of the legislature in just 17 states. The remaining three states have a divided legislature (Minnesota, Alaska, Virginia).

View the full map here.


Will Mississippi Be the 10th No Income Tax State?

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Posted by Margaret Mire on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, 4:11 PM PERMALINK

The Mississippi House of Representatives has now approved a bill that will put the state’s personal income tax on the path to zero. Phasing out the income tax – which has been a top priority for Governor Tate Reeves – would be a huge win for all residents of the Magnolia State.

The Mississippi Tax Freedom Act of 2022, which is sponsored by House Speaker Phillip Gunn, House Speaker Pro Tempore Jason White, and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Trey Lamar, advanced out of the state house after receiving a vote of 97-12. The bill, House Bill 531, is a great opportunity for lawmakers to deliver historic tax relief.

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Reeves and Speaker Gunn, Mississippi has taken a giant step towards history making tax relief this year,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “House Bill 531, once enacted, will make Mississippi a model for other states to copy.”

There are currently eight states that do not impose individual income taxes of any kind: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. New Hampshire is slated to become the 9th no income tax state after it completes a 5-year phase out of its tax on interest and dividends income. New Hampshire does not tax wage income.

Noticing that people and jobs continue to move out of high tax states and into states that impose low- and no-income taxes, a growing movement of states are working to become the 10th no income tax state. If HB 531 is enacted this year, it is very likely that title would go to Mississippi.

“The race is on to be the tenth no income tax state,” explained Norquist. “North Dakota’s House of Representatives has already passed a phase out of the state income tax. So has the West Virginia Senate. North Carolina lawmakers have already cut the income tax in about half over the last six years enroute to zero and have voted to phase out its corporate income tax. Arizona lawmakers have already voted to reduce their state income tax to a flat 2.5% and Governor Ducey has made clear his goal is then onward to zero. The Wisconsin House and Senate plan to enact an income tax phase out this spring. Republican candidates for Governor in Iowa, Maine and Arkansas are campaigning on the goal of phasing out their state income taxes. May they all win.”

Phasing out the state income tax would be a huge win for all Mississippians. It would enable Mississippi to better compete with its no income tax neighbors Tennessee, Florida, and Texas for businesses that are looking to expand, investors who are looking for growing economies, and families who are looking for greater opportunities. 

And most importantly, eliminating the state income tax would allow individual taxpayers and families to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.

The bill now heads to the Senate. Stay tuned.

Photo Credit: Mississippi welcome, US78WB.JPG by Michael Rivera is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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14 States Approve Income Tax Cuts

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Posted by Christian Matos on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, 2:16 PM PERMALINK

The new year came with much to celebrate for Americans who live in the seven states where income tax cuts took effect on January 1. Thanks to many states in the union underestimating how much revenue they would bring in during year two of the pandemic, several states had the opportunity to enact meaningful income tax reform last year.

Fourteen states enacted income tax relief in 2021: Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. Of these fourteen state income tax cuts, half of them took effect on the first day of 2022. Taxpayers in the following states woke up to reduce income tax rates on new year’s day:  Montana, Missouri, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire. In Georgia, an increase in the standard deduction that was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp also took effect on January 1. 

Arkansas's income tax cuts will begin to take effect at the start of the new year; however, it will not fully go into effect until 2025 and is dependent on how Arkansas handles its finances. The Arizona state legislature also passed a bill into law that would provide significant income tax relief, but an Arizona judge delayed the implementation of the tax cuts in a recent ruling stating Arizona residents have the right to vote on a referendum to either affirm or repeal the income tax cuts. Idaho and Iowa lawmakers opted for a retroactive income tax cuts that made them effective going back to January 1, 2021. Wisconsin also had the tax cuts go into effect in 2021, beginning on July 8, 2021.

Many of the state income tax cuts enacted in 2021 were significant. By 2025, when all the provisions go into effect,  residents of Arkansas will see $500 million dollars in income tax relief. Residents in Georgia will see their deductions rise from $4,600 to $5,400 if they are filing individually and if they are filling jointly the deduction will rise from $6,000 to $7,100. In addition to the income tax rate reduction, Idaho will be issuing $220 million in total rebates to its citizens. Montana's top marginal rate will drop from 6.9% to 6.75%. North Carolinians just had their flat income tax cut from 5.25% to 4.99%. The rate will drop again to 3.99% in 2027, a rather substantial tax reduction that once it is fully implemented will help everyday Americans bring home more money.

The Sooner state will cut all residents’ taxes by 0.25% the state’s top tax rate will drop from 5% to 4.75% and the governor has plans to completely phase out the state’s corporate income tax, which currently sits at 6%. Such a plan will help individuals and will allow businesses to retain more money as they continue to reopen and recover from the financial hardships of the pandemic. Nebraska lawmakers also gave businesses that operate within its borders tax relief as the corporate income tax will drop from 7.81% to 7.25%. People in New Hampshire will see the investment income tax completely phased out and businesses will also see a tax break as well. Residents in Louisiana will see a $600,000 in total income tax deductions. Ohioans will see a 3% reduction in income tax. Wisconsin residents will have their second highest tax bracket drop from 6.27% to 5.3%. Residents in Missouri will see their tax rate reduced from 5.3% to 4.8%.

These state tax cuts will benefit American businesses and taxpayers. What’s more, these tax cuts will make these 14 states more attractive places to live and do business, which is especially important at a time like this, when Americans are voting with their feet and moving in droves from high-tax states to lower-taxed states.

Photo Credit: Income-tax-491626 1920 (1).jpg by stevepb is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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In One Tweet, Elizabeth Warren Exposes the Left’s Crackpot Antitrust Crusade

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, 11:30 AM PERMALINK

In a bizarre tweet this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for a round of antitrust action against grocery stores, showing that the left’s antitrust crusade goes far beyond technology companies. 

Warren tweeted: “What happens when only a handful of giant grocery store chains like @Kroger dominate an industry? They can force high food prices onto Americans while raking in record profits. We need to strengthen our antitrust laws to break up giant corporations and lower prices.”

It is stunning that Warren’s new target is so-called “Big Grocery,” a notoriously dynamic and competitive industry. In Warren’s home state of Massachusetts, shoppers can choose from over 60 supermarket chains. In Ohio, where the supposedly villainous Kroger is headquartered, shoppers have over 70 different supermarket chains to choose from. If Kroger cannot even drive out the competition in its home state, what makes Warren think that Kroger is a nationwide monopoly? 

Monopoly prices, a defining characteristic of real monopolies, are also absent from the grocery industry. Conventional grocery stores have a razor-thin profit margin of between 2 and 3 percent. Kroger’s profit margin is 1.52 percent, slightly below average and hardly indicative of monopoly pricing. 

Warren’s silly tweet illustrates two things. First, the tweet is a standard left-wing attack on the private sector in an attempt to shift blame away from the Biden Administration for runaway inflation. For months, Biden has cajoled agencies to “investigate” various industries for the inflation and supply chain issues that his liberal policies have caused. 

Second, the tweet is yet another reminder that the left’s antitrust crusade goes far beyond Big Tech. The slate of antitrust bills Warren supports gives the Biden Administration sweeping new power to go after companies with a market cap of $600b. As of this writing, Kroger’s market cap is a comparatively small $34.74 billion.

If Warren is willing to use government power to beat the grocery industry into submission, a clearly competitive and dynamic industry, there is no limit to the left's antitrust crusade. 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Letter from Senate Republicans urge Biden to withdraw David Weil's nomination

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Posted by Jackson Avery on Tuesday, January 11th, 2022, 5:07 PM PERMALINK

On Wednesday morning, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee will consider David Weil’s nomination as Wage and Hour Administrator for the second time. President Joe Biden initially nominated Weil in 2021, but the Senate failed to advance Weil’s nomination.  

Weil is a radical left-wing academic whose policies would hinder the business models millions of Americans rely on to put food on the table. States, such as West Virginia, Montana, and Nebraska rely on the business model of franchising to support not only their family but local community too. Weil, who opposes the business model of franchising describes it as a “form of outsourcing.” This is categorically not true. Approximately 7.6 million Americans across 733,000 establishments nationwide are supported by this economic model. Those states, families and communities will suffer from David Weil’s anti-franchise, anti-growth politics.

Weil also wants to rid the workforce of independent contractors, which he deems as “worker misclassification.” Weil, under the illusion of protecting workers, wants to eliminate this classification and prevent nearly 60 million Americans from engaging in freelance work. Freelance or contracting work, just as becoming a franchisee, is a vibrant part of the American economy.

David Weil has held this position before, working in the Obama administration to pursue his anti-business policies. From 2014 to 2017, Weil fought to ensure the destructive policies of labor unions were enforced across the nation. Weil has been a long time intellectual in the field of pro-union, anti-enterprise politics. Before joining the Obama administration, he was a mediator in union negotiations and served as a strategic adviser to many of the most influential unions, not just in America. Now he plans on a second try to enforce his unpopular radical left-wing agenda upon the whole of America, and to stop the economic rebound we’ve seen after the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Senate Republicans have sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to drop Weil as a nominee. If his nomination is to succeed, it will be a dark day for not only franchisees, but the average American business owner too. Read the full letter here or attached below:

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden 

The White House 

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. 

Washington, DC 20500 

Dear Mr. President, 

We write to urge you to formally withdraw the nomination of Dr. David Weil, of Massachusetts, to be Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor, vice Cheryl Marie Stanton. Dr. Weil’s track record is hostile to employers, unproductive to the employees served by such employers, and the actions he took at the federal level were mired in costly litigation. 

The United States Constitution divides the responsibility for populating top positions in the federal government between the President and the United States Senate. The appointments clause (Article II, Section 2) empowers the President to nominate “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate”. The role of the Senate to give advice and consent is an integral part of the process for populating top officials in our government. 

The Senate received Dr. Weil’s nomination on June 8, 2021. The Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) carefully considered the merits of his nomination, actions that included a full committee hearing. The HELP Committee was unable to favorably report Dr. Weil’s nomination to the full Senate during an August 3, 2021 business meeting, lacking the necessary votes to do so. In the nearly five months that followed this failed business meeting, no action was taken by the full Senate to discharge or otherwise consider his nomination. On December 21, 2021, this nomination was formally returned to the White House, as the Senate did not give consent to hold over Dr. Weil’s nomination. 

The lack of sufficient support for Dr. Weil’s is not surprising given actions he took during the Obama Administration as Wage and Hour Administrator. Chief among the concerns with his record: promulgation of a job-killing overtime rule in 2016 that overstepped and was therefore struck down by the U.S. District Court; an arbitrarily strict standard for classification of independent contractors in 2015; and a destructive expansion of “joint employer” definition in 2016 that led to a 93 percent increase in litigation. Additionally, both Dr. Weil and the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have refused to provide all the documents regarding Weil’s actions with the Labor Advisory Board in Massachusetts. Requests to both by the Ranking Member’s staff have been stonewalled and public records requests have been unnecessarily delayed. These are not the actions of an individual committed to transparency and accountability in government service. His nomination has raised sincere concerns on behalf of many of the constituencies we represent. 

Small business entrepreneurs in this country deserve a Wage and Hour Division Administrator that will work constructively alongside them. The Senate has spoken this year that Dr. Weil is not the right fit for this position. We appreciate your responsiveness to this request, and ask for prompt confirmation that the nomination of Dr. David Weil is formally withdrawn. 

Sincerely, 

Mike Braun U.S. Senator 

Richard Burr U.S. Senator 

Bill Cassidy, M.D. U.S. Senator 

Roger Marshall, M.D. U.S. Senator 

Tim Scott U.S. Senator

Jerry Moran U.S. Senator

Weil must not be allowed to continue his path of destruction with a second term as the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Administrator.  

Photo Credit: "David Weil" By U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Licensed under Public Domain


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