Gov. Nixon calls special session to pay for Ferguson damage as questions linger about failure to defend businesses

Governor Jay Nixon announced today he plans to call a special legislative session to ask for “critical funding for the ongoing operations of the Missouri National Guard and the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Ferguson and the St. Louis region.” Click here for the press release.  Details regarding dates of the special session will follow, according to the release, “in the coming days.” But questions from Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, as reported in this article that appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and carried widely in the national media, still have not been answered: why was the National Guard deployed only in defense of the police station and the central command center areas of Ferguson on the night the violence was the worst?  That question was echoed by Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones in this article by St. Louis Public Radio, noting that nearly 10% of Dellwood’s business district had been gutted by the violence. Although more than 700 National Guard

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Missouri congressional delegation, smaller but mighty

With word coming last week that Congressman Jason Smith had been named to the ultra important House Ways and Means Committee, and Congresswoman Ann Wagner to a position on the House leadership team, Missouri’s group of representatives and senators may be smaller than ever, but one could argue it is as powerful as ever. The once-every-ten years census, and the congressional reapportionment that comes from that have not been kind to the state of Missouri. Many of us can remember when Missouri had ten representatives in the U. S. House of Representatives. That number shrunk after the 1980 census, and then again after the census of 2000, as Missouri’s population declined in relation to other states. Despite the smaller numbers, Missouri representatives and senators continue to make names for themselves on Capitol Hill, especially on committees and in roles that are important for Missouri business. Cong. Jason Smith (MO-8) at 34 is Congress’ second youngest member. But the lawyer from

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NAM: NAM-Led coalition sends letter to USTR on need to improve trade environment with India

The Hill (11/24, Needham) reports that 16 business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, on Mondaycalled on US trade officials to pursue a “better trade and investment environment in India,” with the story previewing Tuesday’s U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum in New Delhi on “longstanding bilateral trade problems and new barriers imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.” The groups wrote to US Trade Representative Michael Froman asking that their concerns be addressed during the forum, which NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey called “a critical opportunity for concrete action to level the playing field for U.S. products and exports in India.” She added, “While India’s new government has talked of opening its market for business, we have yet to see real results on a wide range of barriers.” In a news release, the National Association of Manufacturers (11/24) reports on the letter and describes the coalition of signatories as “representing all sectors of the U.S. economy.”

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BREAKING NEWS: Manufacturers respond to expanded EPA Ozone Standard

Following today’s early morning announcement from the EPA to tighten the current ozone standards, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement: “Manufacturers in the United States are working hard for a manufacturing comeback, attempting to utilize America’s unmatched energy resources, building hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new facilities across the country. These are the facilities that make advanced cars and trucks, steel pipelines, fertilizer to grow our crops and roofing and insulation that keep our energy bills down.” “This new ozone regulation threatens to be the most expensive ever imposed on industry in America and could jeopardize recent progress in manufacturing by placing massive new costs on manufacturers and closing off counties and states to new business by blocking projects at the permitting stage. This new standard comes at the same time dozens of other new EPA regulations are being imposed that collectively place increased costs, burdens and delays on manufacturers, threaten our international competitiveness

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Obama administration releases new Ozone standards

We’ve been warned for months that his was going to happen…and I guess we should have expected it to come on a quiet day before a major holiday. The Obama administration today (11-26) released controversial new regulations on the emission of ozone. Read the New York Times article about the new regulations here.

Ferguson businesses bear brunt of rioting

As violence continues in suburban St. Louis, local business owners are trying to keep their livelihoods from being taken from them. More than a dozen buildings were burned on Monday, the first night after the St. Louis County Grand Jury announced it would not indict the Ferguson police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager in August. Other businesses were looted, while others suffered damage. I found a collection of pictures at this site that illustrate the daily struggle of shopkeepers and restaurant owners who just happen to do business in what has become for all intents and purposes a war zone.

Modeling Taxation and Growth to Assist the Tax Reform Effort

By James Carter Note: This article was originally published by Tax Analysts in the publication, “Tax Notes” and is reprinted here with permission. Senior members of Congress’s tax-writing committees have launched a serious effort to reform the individual and corporate income taxes. Enthralled by the promise of tax reform to make the code simpler, fairer, and more conducive to economic growth, they seek, as former Secretary of the Treasury William Simon once put it, “a tax system which looks like someone designed it on purpose.” While most lawmakers are willing to pursue revenue-neutral tax reform, a small but highly influential contingent on Capitol Hill refuses to consider tax reform unless it is accompanied by a bipartisan agreement to increase federal revenue significantly above the current law baseline. This would seem the end of tax reform. Not necessarily. If we can’t have tax reform without additional revenue, and if we can’t unlock the jobs and income growth that comes with tax reform

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Reaction to Obama speech mostly partisan, with some bi-partisan agreement

On Thursday, President Obama announced actions he is taking to grant a reprieve from deportation to about 5 million immigrants in the U.S., whether they are here legally or illegally. The president’s plan would allow all immigrants to apply for a three-year work permit if they can pass a background check, register with the government, submit biometric data, and establish they are eligible for relief. Most members of Missouri’s congressional delegation felt that beyond the merits of the president’s plan, his use of executive privilege was uncalled for. Missouri U.S. Senators, from different parties, found some common ground. “Our immigration system is broken, and I support a comprehensive plan to fix it, but executive orders aren’t the way to do it,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill. “The system can only truly be fixed through legislation by congress.” “On more than 20 occasions, President Obama said he does not have the authority to take the executive action that he announced tonight,” said

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NAM leads broad Tax Extenders Coalition to push for action in lame duck

The NAM highlighted the need for Congress to act quickly on the tax extenders by spearheading a November 18 letter to every member of Congress. More than 500 groups representing millions of individuals and businesses of all sizes in every sector of the U.S. economy joined the NAM in urging lawmakers to work together during the lame-duck session to extend seamlessly, enhance or make permanent expired and expiring tax provisions that are critically important to U.S. jobs and the broader economy. “Failure to extend these provisions is a tax increase” and would “inject instability and uncertainty into the economy and weaken confidence in the employment marketplace,” wrote the signatories, which was widely reported by The Hill, Politico and other influential publications. At least 50 tax provisions expired at the end of 2013 or are scheduled to expire in 2014, including the R&D tax credit and Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation provisions. “Renewing the tax extenders will provide a bridge

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NAM calls on Congress to take action on immigration reform

A press release (11/21) from the NAM following President Obama’s announcement of executive action on immigration highlights a statement made by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Today’s announcement further underscores that congressional action is critically needed on immigration reform. Voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots on November 4 for a Congress that will end the gridlock and address the tough issues facing this country. Congress shares the responsibility of governing, and manufacturers are counting on our leaders to end the uncertainty by fixing our broken immigration system. For manufacturers, immigration reform is a competitiveness issue that impacts our ability to grow in the United States. Without reform, we will fall behind in an increasingly competitive global economy as other nations offer a more inviting environment for innovation.” The NAM also released a video on immigration reform which can be found here (11/21).