Export-Import Bank closes today

Because Congress failed to act before leaving DC for the 4th of July recess, the Ex-Im Bank’s authority to operate expires today. We have heard efforts to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank will be made following their return, but they need to hear from businesses about the importance of the Bank. View this video from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and click here to lend your support to reauthorizing the Bank.

Obama to lower threshold for overtime pay – without Congressional action

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports President Obama’s Department of Labor plans to issue a regulation that more than doubles the threshold at which an employer may be excused from paying a worker overtime pay for working more than 40 hours per week – and he is doing it without Congress. The move continues the trend by President Obama to act without consulting the elected representatives of the people. The threshold at which overtime would not be required would increase from the current $455 per week to $970 per week by next year, according to the article. You may access the full article here.

Missouri and 12 other states file lawsuit against EPA’s “Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)” regulation

The Missouri Times reports Attorney General Chris Koster has signed Missouri on to a lawsuit by 12 other states against the EPA’s overreach with the agency’s regulation that would greatly expand the authority of the EPA over areas that are currently unregulated. The states are asking for a restraining order against implementation of the regulation. View the full story on the Missouri Times website here.

U.S. Supreme Court hands Obama administration a defeat on environmental regulations, but more to come

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled against the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) regulation, stating the agency had exceeded their authority to issue a regulation that was “appropriate and necessary” given the high costs of compliance with the regulation. “We are pleased the Supreme Court has properly ruled the EPA has exceeded its authority on this regulation, but this is only one regulation out of many that deserve the high court’s attention,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “The EPA is in the process of proposing even more expensive regulations that will boost utility bills for all electricity consumers and cripple our job creation efforts, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” said McCarty. The MATS regulation was the first in a series of regulations in which the Obama administration had hoped to set an example for other nations, followed by an expected regulation on ozone and another on carbon dioxide. “The Obama administration should realize that industry in the United States

read more U.S. Supreme Court hands Obama administration a defeat on environmental regulations, but more to come

Governor Nixon testifies in favor of higher levels of ethanol in fuel despite consumer concerns

Yesterday (June 25), Governor Jay Nixon testified at a regional hearing by the EPA against a change in regulations that would loosen the current renewable fuel standards. The regulation changes are reportedly being considered due to the lack of consumer demand for higher ethanol blends. Higher ethanol blends also cause problems for consumers, including voiding the warranty on older vehicles and reduced gas mileage. Read the full story at Manufacturing.net by clicking here.

NAM: House votes to limit impact of Administration’s Coal-Fired Greenhouse Gas Rule

The AP (6/25, Daly) reports that on Wednesday, the House voted 247-180 for a plan to allow states to opt out of the Administration’s plan to “limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants if the state’s governor determines it would cause significant rate hikes for electricity or harm reliability of service.” The bill, which the White House has threatened to veto, would also “delay the climate rule until all court challenges are completed.” The Hill (6/25, Cama) reports that multiple conservative congressmen spoke against the EPA’s proposed climate regulations before the vote. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on power, said that the EPA’s move “is a radical regulation that will dramatically transform the way electricity is produced and regulated in America,” while Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) said that the EPA has “picked up a shotgun and pointed it at the heart of the American economy.” In a separate piece, The Hill (6/25, Cama, Marcos)

read more NAM: House votes to limit impact of Administration’s Coal-Fired Greenhouse Gas Rule

Missouri congressional delegation reacts to ACA decision

The Missouri congressional delegation’s reaction to Thursday morning’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in King vs. Burwell was predictably split along party lines. In a statement released by his office, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt said he would keep fighting against what he calls “Obamacare”. “For more than five years, I’ve heard from countless Missouri workers, seniors, and families who are facing higher costs and fewer choices due to the president’s health care takeover. And Missourians recently learned more bad news when the Obama Administration announced premium rate increases for our state in 2016 of up to 34 percent. “This law has been one false promise after another. First, the president promised people if they liked their health care, they could keep it. He insisted that not having coverage would result in a penalty, not a tax, and he promised affordable health care to millions of Americans who now find they cannot afford it. “While I’m disappointed that the Court didn’t

read more Missouri congressional delegation reacts to ACA decision

Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare subsidies

From The Hill The Supreme Court has upheld a key provision of ObamaCare, affirming that 6.4 million people can continue to receive subsidies that allow them to purchase healthcare plans. The 6-3 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts is a huge victory for President Obama; it ensures that consumers purchasing health insurance on the federal exchange in roughly 34 states will continue to be able to do so. In his decision, Roberts argued that a ruling killing off the subsidies would set the state markets into a death spiral, and that this could not have been the intent of Congress. “The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a State’s individual insurance market into a death spiral. It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner,” he wrote. “The argument that the phrase ‘established by the State’ would be superfluous if Congress meant to extend tax credits to both

read more Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare subsidies

Blunt, McCaskill still working for federal transportation funds

From the Jefferson City News Tribune Congress still is working on plans to continue funding for the nation’s transportation system, including roads and bridges, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt told reporters Wednesday. “I’d be really disappointed if we don’t have a multi-year transportation bill,” the Missouri Republican said during a conference call. “I would like it to be a five- or six- year bill.” Recently, Congress has been passing short-term extensions of the last transportation funding bill, which leaves state planners with questions about the long-range prognosis. “You can’t build roads and bridges six months at a time or, even, two years at a time,” Blunt said. Also Wednesday, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said she’s moving to use unspent transportation earmark funds across the country to address critical transportation needs. In a news release, McCaskill said she’s “teaming up” with U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., “to claw back previously earmarked, but unspent, taxpayer dollars at the Department of Transportation.” Her

read more Blunt, McCaskill still working for federal transportation funds