In an event that went largely unnoticed, this past Thursday the House passed H.R. 3522, the “Employee Health Care Protection Act of 2014." Its passage was notable for three reasons. First, on the substance, it would allow insurers to offer any small group health insurance plans that they offered in 2013 through 2018.
AAF polling shows that Americans are deeply concerned about the cost of college, but they have little interest in having either the federal or state governments trying to solve the problem.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote soon on a bill to provide funding for the federal government through December 11, 2014.
The president has announced that he will defer executive action on immigration reform until after the November election. There are two explanations for this decision.
The impact of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) on growth and jobs has been the subject of an enormous amount of speculation. The $2 trillion of new spending over the next decade exacerbates the already-dangerous federal debt trajectory; hardly a pro-jobs strategy.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Wheeler recently challenged industry and government “to do everything in our power to ensure that the United States has the world’s most dynamic and competitive broadband ecosystem.” He also asserted that there were insufficient “competitive choices for most Americans...three-quarters of American homes have no competitive choice for the essential infrastructure for 21st century economics and democracy.”
What will the Department of Labor Employment Report for August reveal at 8:30? Recall that in July, non-farm employment rose 209,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate settled at 6.2 percent.
This week the NFL regular season kicks off for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the 31 also-rans. However, for years fans’ ability to enjoy NFL games has been restricted by the so-called “blackout rule.” Since 1973, a home game cannot be televised locally if it is not sold out 72 hours prior to its start time. This NFL rule has been enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, but the FCC seems likely to reverse its support. The NFL generates enough demand to permit fans to both attend games and watch from home.
Friday the Supreme Court of Nebraska will take up the last state-level barrier to the vital pipeline, namely whether it was legal for the legislature to let Governor Dave Heineman approve the route through the state for the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline. Alternatively, the decision would have to be kicked to the state's elected Public Service Commission. One way or another, Nebraska will inevitably (see the process here) kick the decision to go ahead back to the White House — again.
Congress returns next week, but to do what? Put aside any fantasies about serious work on the entitlement, tax, regulatory, immigration, or education reforms that would have a significant impact on both the near-term and long-run pace of economic growth. What more modest initiatives could the Congress undertake?