NFIB Weekly News

NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

Cassidy: “48 Or 49” Republicans Back Plan To Replace ACA With Block Grants. (09/19/2017)

The Washington Times (9/17, Howell) reports that with time running out to replace the Affordable Care Act with just 50 votes, Senators pushing a plan to replace the law with state block grants “are making real noise...insisting they are just one or two votes shy and that President Trump can nudge their last-gasp bill to victory.” Sen. Bill Cassidy, who co-wrote the legislation with Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday, “We are thinking that we can get this done by Sept. 30.” Cassidy “said his informal whip count stands at ‘48 or 49’ Republican votes.” However, Sen. Rand Paul “announced Friday that he is staunchly opposed to the bill, lengthening the odds of success.” Democrat leaders, meanwhile, “are rallying Obamacare’s defenders to stamp out a revived threat to their signature law.” In a tweet over the weekend, Senate Minority Leader Schumer wrote, “Trumpcare is back & Senate GOP has until Sept 30 to pass their bill. ... We need your voices more than ever!”

Business Climate

US Economic Growth Hampered By Recent Hurricanes. (09/19/2017)

The Wall Street Journal (9/15, Chaney, Subscription Publication) reports that the damage from hurricanes Harvey and Irma stands to hinder US economic growth, which was already in a state of decline before the storms as August saw a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent drop in US industrial production and a 0.2 percent decline in spending at US retailers. The storm reportedly decreased Americans’ perceptions of the economy as well, seeing as sentiments in this regard were the highest before the storms since 2000 and are now 1.5 percent lower, according to the University of Michigan.

Small Business Marketing

Facebook IQ Revamps Site As One-Stop Research Portal, With “Discovery Engine.” (09/19/2017)

AdWeek (9/12, Cohen) reports that Facebook IQ has revamped its website to create “an easy-to-access portal for all of its research,” including its “data, white papers and success stories on insights, marketing and measurement from Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Facebook Audience Network.” A new Insights to Go “discovery engine” is designed to allow users “to filter, find and share relevant insights and data.” The feature also produces slides that “can be shared or downloaded, and the text contained within them can be copied and pasted.”

Wages and Benefits

Median Household Income Rose By 3.2% In 2016. (09/19/2017)

The Census Bureau said last week that the median US household income increased 3.2 percent in 2016 to $59,039, marking is second straight yearly increase “as the long-running economic recovery generated broad gains in prosperity,” the New York Times (9/12, A1, Appelbaum, Subscription Publication) reports. For the American middle class, the Washington Post (9/12, Long) says, 2016 was the “highest-earning year ever.” According to the Census Bureau, “the uptick in earnings occurred because so many people found full-time jobs – or better-paying jobs – last year.” The Post adds that the poverty rate “also fell to 12.7 percent, the lowest since 2007, the year before the financial crisis hit.” The Wall Street Journal (9/12, Leubsdorf, Subscription Publication) reports that the percentage of Americans lacking health insurance also declined from 9.1 percent in 2015 to 8.8 percent in 2016. USA Today (9/12, Davidson) says the Census Bureau report “underscores that in the final two years of the Obama administration, low- and middle-income Americans made noticeable progress after struggling in the early years of the economic recovery.”

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