Linda McMahon: Small businesses want to reinvest money from tax cuts
SBA Administrator Linda McMahon on how President Trump’s tax reform bill is boosting small business optimism.
This is National Small Business Week, and the Main Street half of our economy is on the rise. After years of persistent pessimism, marked by an economically dangerous downturn in business dynamism, small-business owners are once again feeling optimistic, taking productive risks and creating new jobs. This is important for our economy, but can it last, as entrepreneurs’ health insurance premiums are once again on the verge of double-digit increases?
Small-business owners’ outlook has changed in recent months because they feel heard. Policies coming out of Washington, D.C. are addressing two of their biggest ongoing concerns: taxes and regulations. They’ve always told Washington that “less is more” on those issues, and finally their leaders have responded: with historic tax reform that included the lower individuals rates entrepreneurs needed, and with regulatory relief across the federal agencies.
But there have always been three legs to the small-business stool of sentiment. The third leg is the cost of health insurance – an expense so crippling (exacerbated by Obamacare’s requirements and limited choices), it impacts everything from wages to the cost of goods and services and even forces some entrepreneurs to ask whether it is worth it to be insured, or to be in business at all.
Somewhat ironically, relief on the health insurance front may come from a new regulation – one from the U.S. Department of Labor that would allow the creation of association health plans. These plans would enable small businesses to access more affordable insurance plans by allowing them to join together in a way that broadens their risk pool while also, hopefully, exempting them from some of the expensive rules that are unevenly applied in the current, deeply flawed health insurance marketplace.
A draft rule has been written, and it could be a game changer if it is finalized in a way that really opens doors and doesn’t draw too many restrictive lines around new plans.
For example, the draft rule currently limits which businesses can join together to form an association for health insurance. The way the rule is written, only businesses sharing an industry-specific “commonality” could start an association health plan. In other words, local restaurants could join together, but they wouldn’t be able to include local plumbers or landscapers. This guideline is arbitrary and should be modified to allow any small, independent business to join an association and access competitive, affordable health insurance.
The draft rule also fails to treat small-business associations in a way that would allow them to create a national group, insuring owners and employees across the country. This distinction is important because it would simplify the regulations around small-business health insurance and create a more level playing field with corporate America. Big, national employers are currently subject to only one set of health insurance regulations (federal), while small firms’ plans are regulated at both the federal and state level (this is one of many reasons why individual and small group plans are so much more expensive than corporate plans).
If the Labor Department’s final regulation is done right, small-business optimism will continue and may increase even more. The hope of accessing affordable health insurance will be a literal dream come true for small business – a sector that has traditionally offered unique opportunity to economically disadvantaged and minority groups, especially Hispanics.
A well-written, effective rule can also protect Republicans from the political backlash that could come from increasing premiums. News of skyrocketing 2019 health insurance costs this the fall will feel like a punishing tax to the small-business sector.
The small-business community votes, and they are watching health-care policy more closely than any other group.
The combination of potential impact makes association health plans both good policy and good politics; watch closely for those who oppose this good plan. Opposition to association health plans is opposition to small business, period.
With the right Labor Department rule, National Small Business Week next year will be an even bigger celebration for entrepreneurs and for the American economy.
Hector Barreto is Chairman of The Latino Coalition. He served as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2001 to 2006.
Source: Fox Business
WASHINGTON, April 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Latino Coalition (TLC), the leading, national non-partisan advocacy organization representing Hispanic businesses and consumers, issued the following statement on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush:
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush," said Hector Barreto, TLC Chairman and former U.S. Small Business Administrator. "Barbara Bush will always be remembered as a tenacious and admirable woman, who made an indelible mark in history as the torchbearer for literacy. Her legacy and dedication to her family and this nation are remarkable and will live on in our hearts forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bush family, knowing their steadfast faith will guide them through this difficult time."
ABOUT THE LATINO COALITION- The Latino Coalition (TLC) was founded in 1995 by a group of Hispanic business owners from across the country to research and develop policies solutions relevant to Latinos. TLC is a non-profit nationwide organization with offices in California, Washington, DC and Guadalajara, Mexico. Established to address and engage on key issues that that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States, TLC's agenda is to create and promote initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance and empower overall business, economic and social development for Latinos. Visit www.thelatinocoalition.com.
SOURCE The Latino Coalition
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao speak to hundreds of Latino business owners about tax reform, infrastructure and deregulations
NEWS PROVIDED BY
The Latino Coalition
Mar 12, 2018, 10:50 ET
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On March 7, The Latino Coalition (TLC), the nation's leading non-partisan advocacy organization representing Hispanic businesses and consumers, hosted President Donald J. Trump, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao during its Legislative Summit at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.
"We appreciate this historic moment of recognition and engagement from the President and his team," said Hector Barreto, TLC's Chairman and former U.S. Small Business Administrator. "Hispanic business owners are a dynamic, powerful force in our growing economy, and the actions of our government have a tremendous impact on whether they are able to continue to thrive and create jobs. As a business owner himself, President Donald Trump understands the unique challenges that business owners – large, medium and small – face every day.
"We look forward to ongoing engagement with the President, Secretary Acosta, Secretary Chao and other Trump administration officials on the issues that matter to the entrepreneurial Hispanic community," Barreto went on. "Regulatory reform, infrastructure investment and health-care costs will be priority issues for us in the coming months and years of the Trump administration."
During the first address to a Hispanic business group, President Trump pointed out how Latino-owned enterprises make up more than 10 percent of all businesses in the United States and provide jobs for more than 2 million American workers.
"Latino business leaders are living proof that the American Dream is back and stronger than ever. The Latino community embodies the pioneering spirit of America…[you're] helping lead the way. You're paving the path," President Trump said.
He went on to emphasize his commitment to "unleashing the full potential of the Latino community by removing government burdens, restoring safety and security to our neighborhoods, and by defending America's interests so that all of our citizens can prosper."
The day-long summit boasted a premier lineup of executives, business experts and elected officials including: U.S. Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta; U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao; Dan Bryant, Senior VP of Walmart's Global Public Government Affairs; U.S. Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46); Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT); U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27); Alia Moses, United States District Judge for the Western District of Texas; Mary Ann Gomez Orta, President and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute; C.E. Tee Rowe, President and CEO of America's Small Business Development Centers and many more.
Echoing the President's message, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao said, "Hispanic-Americans have many reasons to be proud. The vibrant Hispanic community continues to play a significant role in shaping our country's economy, culture and future. As Hispanic-American leaders, your perspectives and expertise are valuable as we move forward to help ensure our critical infrastructure meets the needs of every community."
During the Legislative Summit, The Latino Coalition Leadership Award was given to Sen. Orrin Hatch for his unwavering commitment to the Hispanic community throughout his time in public office. Sen. Hatch joins key figures such as founding TLC Member Dr. Tirso del Junco, Puebla Mexico's Secretary of State Luis Maldonado-Venegas, the President of the Cultural Foundation Isidro Fabela Arturo Peña del Mazo, Actor and Education Advocate Tony Plana, the President of Litografía Magnograf Armando Prida-Huerta, and Mexican actor, Eduardo Verástegui, as a TLC Leadership Award recipient.
The Latino Coalition also presented the prestigious "Ganas Award" to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) for her leadership and patronage to the Latino community. Previous TLC "Ganas Award" winners include: Director of Supplier Diversity for Southern California Edison Joe Alderete, U.S. Congressman Xavier Becerra, AltaMed President and CEO Cástulo de la Rocha, U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Jennifer S. Korn, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director for the Office of Public Liaison White House, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.
Moreover, Chairman Barreto announced new partnerships formalized by Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) and America's Small Business Development Centers. These organizations join TLC's network of 100+ partners working to enhance the overall business, economic and social objectives of the Hispanic community.
"The Hispanic community is not monolithic – we don't agree about every policy issue – but as the gathering place of choice for state and local Hispanic chambers of commerce, The Latino Coalition will continue to speak with one voice on the economic issues that matter most to our community," Barreto said.
"TLC is off to a fantastic start this year! Seeking to exponentially grow our national footprint, we look forward to continuing to foster relationships with entrepreneurs, business executives, and an Administration that understands the power small business provides the U.S. economy. We anticipate and look ahead to another successful event championing entrepreneurial dynamism with our June 13 West Coast Summit in Irvine, CA," Barreto concluded.
The Latino Coalition would like to thank the following Title Sponsor: Wal-Mart. TLC also acknowledges and is grateful for all its partners: AltaMed Health Services Corporation, Altria Client Services, Alvarado Smith, American Beverage Association, American Facility Service Group Inc., Association for Affordable Medicines, AT&T, Atticus Group Inc., Bank of America, California Resource Corporation, Comcast/ Universal, , Direct Selling Association, Dun & Bradstreet, East West Bank, Ecco Select, Edison Electric Institute, Herbalife, Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute, H&R Block, International Franchise Association, Intuit, JP Morgan, Koch Industries, Master Your Card, MasterCard, McDonald's, National Association of Broadcasters, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, NewTek, NV Energy, PG&E, PhRMA, Southern California Edison, The Latino Coalition Foundation, The Libre Initiative, T-Mobile, Tributo Tequila, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Univision, Verizon. Media Partners: Conexión, Finding Productions, Tico Sports Productions, LLC.
ABOUT THE LATINO COALITION- The Latino Coalition (TLC) was founded in 1995 by a group of Hispanic business owners from across the country to research and develop policies and solutions relevant to Latinos. TLC is a non-profit nationwide organization with offices in California, Washington, DC and Guadalajara, Mexico. Established to address and engage on key issues that that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States, TLC's agenda is to create and promote initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance and empower overall business, economic and social development for Latinos. Visit www.thelatinocoalition.com or follow us at #TLCsummit.
Source: The Latino Coalition
Progressives in Congress are taking a hard line on immigration, betting that the Democratic base will stick with them even if their tactics prevent lawmakers from agreeing to a temporary extension of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) officially opposed passage of a $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by the House Thursday, arguing it "would fund Trump’s border wall and mass deportation force" and lacked protections for so-called Dreamers, a term used to describe illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
But the omnibus bill, which passed with majority support in both parties, was the last must-pass piece of legislation for Congress before the midterm elections. That means Democrats are unlikely to have any leverage going forward to force action on DACA, a program that had allowed Dreamers to live, work and go to school in the United States.
Progressive Democrats, who were once hell-bent on using the omnibus to force a legislative replacement for DACA, made clear their position, but didn't take a do-or-die attitude as they had in previously legislative fights.
In doing so, they are betting that the base will support avoiding a bad deal even if it means Dreamers or their families could face the threat of deportation in the coming months.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a veteran immigrant activist, said the Dreamers are broadly onboard with the Democratic strategy.
"There's no question. I remember pushing for the Dream Act 10 years ago — the Dreamers have come a very long way, and they really understand all the pieces of who has power, and who brings what to the floor, and how does something come to the floor, and what is the Democratic leverage as a minority party," she said.
Jayapal said Dreamers also understand that proposals restricted to the protection of current DACA recipients or potential recipients — a universe of anywhere between 700,000 and 1.8 million people — would come at the expense of their family members.
"They also understand that they're being played off of their parents. They're not going to let that happen," she said.
Greisa Martínez Rosas, a DACA recipient and advocacy and policy director at United We Dream (UWD), an influential immigrant youth network, says Dreamers haven’t wavered on insisting that their families be protected.
"It wasn’t a difficult decision. It was a heart-wrenching one because we knew what the political implications would be and what the life implications would be. But it’s about our families," she said.
Still, Martínez Rosas said Dreamers also understand that not all Democrats are necessarily on their side, and not all Republicans are necessarily against them.
"We’re doing what we know works, which is organizing the community and making sure they understand the political nuance that, just because you say you like Dreamers, doesn’t mean you’re fighting deportation, and just because you have an R at the end of your name, doesn’t mean you are part of Trump’s deportation machine," she said.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), who's been an outspoken advocate for a legislative DACA replacement, said a great part of the reason both Republicans and Democrats in Congress let the issue pass by was a court decision that extended DACA.
President Trump canceled DACA in September, giving Congress until March 5 to enact a replacement before its recipients started losing benefits. Before the deadline, a judge in California declared Trump's order illegal and extended the program until the case is resolved.
"Now that this is in the courts, it's taken the urgency away, unfortunately," said Newhouse. "We find ourselves in a place where we need to get this done, the American people support us getting this done, but the urgency has been lifted and so there wasn't a need seen to put it in this bill, to address the issue."
Hector Barreto, chairman of the Latino Coalition, a conservative Hispanic group that's close to Trump, said Democrats are less keen to hurry the issue along, as it benefits them electorally.
"It's a winning issue for them, it's baked into the cake," said Barreto, who added that he thinks Trump is the right politician to break a 30-year impasse on immigration reform.
"To me, it's a Nixon-goes-to-China situation," he said.
But both Barreto and Jayapal pointed out that immigration hardliners on the right stand to win support from Trump’s base by holding firm on immigration.
"I don't think the Republicans can play Dreamers off of us," Jayapal said. "They might be able to play some of their base, people that are already with them, but that's fine."
Still, Barreto said that Dreamer support forces Democrats to have a real long-term plan, as opposed to perpetually appealing to voters on an unresolved issue.
"Democrats have to be careful not to be too clever on this issue," Barreto said. "The old playbook will for better than it will for Republicans, but it won't work forever."
Martínez Rosas said the issue has gone past the political for Dreamers, and become a daily fixture in their lives as they and their families face immigration enforcement action.
"This is not politics as usual, and one of the clearest ways we’re seeing it right now is the structural powers like ICE and CBP and DHS have become political pawns in a way they’ve never been emboldened before," she said.
Rep. Juan Vargas, a California Democrat who voted against the omnibus because it lacked protection for Dreamers, said his party has to keep proving itself to Dreamers after disappointing in the budget process.
"It's horrible. The situation here is that everyone had promised these kids that they would do something. The Republicans promised, the president promised, the Democrats promised, the Senate promised, the Congress promised, and they got nothing."
Source: The Hill
By Julian Canete, Peter Guzman, Cindy Ramos-Davidson, Carlos Gomez & Michel Zajur
As we watch the leadership crises of two historically significant, national Hispanic interest groups, we are reminded of something that was said by Hispanic comedian George Lopez: “When things are bad, it’s the best time to reinvent yourself.” These are important words for the Hispanic community to remember right now. We are living through a time that could deeply impact the position and role of our community; this is a good time to think again about how we are represented at a national level.
Both the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have long served as gathering places for Hispanic Americans, offering national representation for our community as individuals and as business owners. Unfortunately, neither organization has strong footing at this moment. The board at USHCC has dismissed its president and CEO amid a sensational scandal involving accusations of financial and personal impropriety. Meanwhile, LULAC’s president is facing calls for his resignation after he applauded President Donald Trump’s plans for immigration reform.
In both cases, it strikes us that the role of the individual became greater than the role of the group — this is the beginning of the end of any effective leadership, and it pains us to see it happening in the Latino community in such a public way. Like any national leader, the men and women who preside over Hispanic organizations must put themselves and their personal views last while they faithfully represent their membership. The day an organization president or CEO believes that he or she is the organization is the day the organization begins to crumble.
Much like America herself, national advocacy groups (Hispanic or otherwise) do better when their power comes from — and remains with — the state and local level. As the heads of state and local Hispanic chambers of commerce, we are looking for national representation that recognizes that our organizations are in the best position to serve Hispanic business owners because we know them, and work with them, personally every day. Our groups will happily partner with organizations that can represent us in Washington, D.C., but our independence is important.
In the coming days, more than a dozen other heads of local and state Hispanic chambers in co-hosting a meeting of The Latino Coalition (TLC) — another national group that represents Hispanic entrepreneurs and consumers in the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. TLC’s focus is on business and economics, and on the public policies that provide the best opportunities for Hispanic Americans, particularly those who are starting or running their own businesses.
Those of us who are partnering with TLC are responding to their mantra of “leadership, integrity, community and partnership.” Our experience with TLC has been one where we are treated as equals. We have never been treated as “little” chambers, but instead as leaders ourselves. There is recognition that state and local Hispanic chambers are an important and lasting tradition that should be leveraged for the good of our community, not exploited for the benefit one or two high-profile officials.
TLC’s approach is certainly influenced by its leader — Hector Barreto, Jr. — who is the son of a well-remembered, well-loved leader in our community. Hector Barreto, Sr., was one of the original founders of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was the visionary who, some forty years ago, first conceived of a national gathering place for state and local Hispanic chambers.
At a time when we have an opportunity to reinvent our national profile, Hispanic Americans should look for the leaders and groups who, like Barreto’s original Chamber, put us ahead of their own self-interest. That is where we will find a national gathering place and the voice we need during these consequential times.
Julian Canete is the president and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce; Peter Guzman is the president and CEO of the Latin Chamber of Commerce — Las Vegas, Nevada; Cindy Ramos-Davidson is the president and CEO of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Carlos Gomez is the president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce — Greater Kansas City; Michel Zajur is the president and CEO of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
President Trump delivered remarks at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit in Washington on Wednesday where he touted the economic accomplishments of Latinos under his presidency, addressed immigration, and pushed the audience to get Democrats to agree to a DACA fix.
Trump said his immigration proposal that includes a DACA fix is the "mainstream view" of all Americans, including Latinos. He said Democrats filibustered the plan because they "don't care about the immigration system or reform and they don't want to solve the problem." Trump also touted a poll that showed 72% of Latino voters support a merit-based immigration system.
"We’re trying to have a DACA victory for everybody, by the way," Trump said. "And the Democrats are nowhere to be found. They’re nowhere to be found. It’s really terrible. We’re ready. You know the expression, 'Ready, willing, and able.' We’re ready, willing, and able. They are nowhere to be found."
Trump told the Latino Coalition to "go push those Democrats" to get the DACA fix passed.
"This is our time," he said. "This is our moment. Go get DACA. Go push those Democrats. I’m telling you. So this is a moment for DACA, for all of us. But this is a very special moment. A lot of tremendous things can happen here. Right now, so many tremendous things can happen if people want them to happen. This is how we are taking care of our people, taking care of our country."
Transcript, via White House:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you. And thank you, Hector. I’m thrilled to be here with so many of our incredible leaders in the Latino business community. And you folks are good business people. I know that. I know that for a fact. I’ve had to compete against you for a long time. (Laughter.) In fact, I said, I want to get out of that; I want to be President. It’s easier. (Laughter.)
But I especially want to thank Chairman Hector Barreto for the invitation and for the many years of his leadership on behalf of America’s small businesses. I also want to recognize Secretary Chao who’s joining us today. Elaine? Hi, Elaine. (Applause.) You’re doing a fantastic job, by the way. Thank you very much, Elaine.
Most of all, I want to thank all of you, the Latino business leaders, who are living proof that the American Dream is back and stronger than ever.
The Latino community embodies the pioneering spirit of America. We’re a nation that loves adventure — and you love adventure — (laughter) — that celebrates risk-taking, and that embraces faith and family as the true center of American life.
As President, I am committed to unleashing the full potential of the Latino community by removing government burdens, by restoring safety and security to our neighborhoods, and by defending America’s interests so that all of our citizens can prosper.
America First is about unity. It’s about coming together as one family — one big, beautiful American family — no matter our race, or color, or creed, to protect our jobs, our communities, and our country. We want all Americans to thrive and flourish together.
Our program is working far beyond our wildest expectations. We’ve created nearly 3 million jobs since the election. Think of that. Three million jobs. If I would have said that prior to the election, nobody would have believed it. (Applause.) Right? They would not have believed it.
Today we have more Hispanic Americans working than ever before in our history, setting records. New jobless claims have hit a 48-year low last week. (Applause.) And last year, the Hispanic unemployment rate reached the lowest level in history. Congratulations. (Applause.) And I’m proud to report Hispanic unemployment has now remained at or below 5 percent for the longest period of time ever recorded. You’re doing very well. (Applause.) That’s good.
Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high. Business confidence is through the roof, with a record number of small business owners saying that now is a good time to expand.
And, by the way, we’re going to keep your playing field level so that we don’t have outside interests coming in and hurting our country, which they’ve been doing. They’ve been doing a lot of that over the last 25 years. And we’re doing a lot of things to stop that. And you’re seeing that, actually, already, in the numbers. That’s why these numbers have been so good — or great, I might add.
Latino-owned businesses now make up more than 10 percent of all businesses in the United States, providing jobs for more than 2 million American workers. These businesses contributed nearly half a trillion dollars to our economy last year alone. Latinos are also starting new businesses at three times the national average. That’s pretty good. Three times.
The American economy is coming back bigger and better and stronger than ever before. And Latino businesses are helping to lead the way. You’re paving the path.
At the center of America’s resurgence are the massive tax cuts I just signed into law. Now, that is a lot of money in your pockets, no matter where you’re coming from. (Applause.) Business or personal, it’s a lot of money. It’s the biggest tax cut and reform in American history. We got no Democrat votes, by the way. Not one. Now they’re all saying, mmm, maybe we should have voted. You notice they’re having second thoughts? They’re saying, we think we made a big mistake. We didn’t get one vote. And at the heart of our plan itself is the tremendous relief for working families and small businesses.
A typical family of four earning $75,000 a year will see an income tax cut of more than $2,000 — that’s not crumbs — slashing their tax bill in half. We nearly doubled the standard deduction, meaning a married couple will not have to pay one dime of income tax on the first $24,000 that they earn.
We doubled the child tax credit because the most important investment we can make is in our children. That was a big thing.
When I signed the tax cuts just before Christmas, it was like jet fuel for the American economy. Within hours, companies began announcing thousands of new jobs and thousands of dollars each in bonuses to their workers. Over 4 million workers have already received tax cut bonuses, and the number continues to grow every single day.
As a result of our business tax cuts and reforms, the typical family will see their annual household income eventually rise by an average of $4,000 a year.
We have finally given American businesses a level playing field, and you’ll see more of this in the coming weeks. We’re bringing it back. Our jobs have been stolen from us. Our businesses have been taken. Our factories have been closed. It’s all coming back.
You saw, two weeks ago, Chrysler announced they’re leaving Mexico and they’re coming back into Michigan, and open up a big plant. (Applause.) We have many plants opening. Many, many plants are opening. They’re coming back. For a lot of reasons they’re coming back, but one of them is the tax cuts, another is the regulations. But now we’re able, again, to compete with anyone in the world.
Joining us today are two business leaders who are at the forefront of America’s economic revival. Jeanette Prenger is the president of Ecco Select, a technology staffing business in Kansas City, Missouri. Great place. (Applause.) A lot of people from Kansas City, I noticed. I’ve seen a lot of people from Kansas City. A lot of friends there.
Not only is her company’s tax bill going down, her sales are going way up as other businesses hire and just, really, are working very hard. She’s filling those jobs for those businesses. And they’re really creating something very special. In fact, Jeanette says her business is experiencing the best quarter in the company’s 22-year history. And that’s great news for everybody. (Applause.) Congratulations to Jeanette.
Where is Jeanette? Where is Jeanette? Hi, Jeanette. Pretty good, right? Big difference. Big difference. Yep. A lot of people are saying the same thing. Thank you very much, Jeanette.
Adam DeVone is also joining us. Adam is the founder of Benefits Exchange Alliance, an HR consulting firm headquartered in Orange County, California. As a result of tax reform, Adam was able to provide generous five-figure bonuses to every one of his employees. They very much appreciated it. He’s also hired six new workers, and he plans to hire as many as 15 more this year. Adam, wherever you are in this, really, beautiful room, packed with people — Adam, thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, Adam. Great. Great job. A big difference, Adam. Like day and night?
MR. DEVONE: Day and night.
THE PRESIDENT: Ah, that’s great. Thank you, Adam.
And thank you both for investing in your workers and investing in your country. Thank you very much.
In addition to passing a historic tax cut, we’re also slashing job-killing regulations. And I have friends, great business people; many of them think that the regulation cutting is more important, frankly, than even these big tax cuts.
According to a survey by the National Small Business Association, the average small business spends $83,000 to comply with regulations in just their first year of existence.
Under the Trump administration, we are finally getting government off of your backs and out of your pocketbooks. That is why I’m proud to report we have cut more regulations than any administration in the history of our country, and we’ve only had 12, 13 months now to do it. So, in a short period of time, we’ve cut more regulations than any administration, whether it’s 4, or 8, or, in one case, 16 years. Nobody is even close.
And, Elaine, while I’m looking at you, maybe you could cut some more because — (laughter) — you know, it would take 17, 20, 21 years to get a roadway built. (Applause.) We want to bring those numbers down to two years, and even one year. And if it’s not done properly and environmentally good, we’re not going to approve it. But you’re not going to have to wait 20 years to find out whether or not it’s going to be approved. So I know, Elaine, you’re working on it.
In fact, I’ve just instructed my whole Cabinet — we’re going to go for that final 40 percent. And we need some regulation. But you had regulations on top of regulations. You had the same approval to get from four or five different agencies. And it was ridiculous. It was impossible to do business.
One of the reasons we’re doing so well now is because of the regulation cutting. So, Elaine, you’ll go and start cutting some more as soon as you get back to the office. Right? (Laughter and applause.) We want to get those roads down to one year instead of two.
And we will cut even more red tape if Congress acts on my infrastructure proposal. You know, we have an infrastructure proposal in front of Congress. The Democrats don’t want to approve it because they don’t want to give us a victory. They think we’ve had too many victories. We got a lot victories. We’ve had a lot.
And we’re trying to have a DACA victory for everybody, by the way. And the Democrats are nowhere to be found. They’re nowhere to be found. (Applause.) It’s really terrible. We’re ready. You know the expression, “Ready, willing, and able.” We’re ready, willing, and able. They are nowhere to be found.
But also, infrastructure. Also, the people in the administration. We have hundreds of people sitting out there, and they’re obstructionists. They don’t want to approve them. So then we get blamed for not having — they are — it is just a terrible thing. Elaine, we have so many people — is that correct? — so many people from other agencies. Your agency gets pretty good treatment, I think.
But I will say that many of the agencies just have so many people out there, including diplomats from, as an example, Germany. Major countries — we have diplomats, they wait in a line because the Democrats don’t want to approve them, because they want to obstruct. And that’s not good. It’s never been like this, ever. They’ve never held them this long. Republicans have never done this to this extent with the Democrats. And Schumer and the Democrats ought to get going because it’s the wrong thing for our country. It’s a very terrible thing.
I’ve asked Congress to pass a bill that generates $1.5 trillion on infrastructure and cuts the permitting process from 10 years down to 2 years, or even less. After years of rebuilding other countries — and we have built a lot of countries — it’s time to start building our country again. (Applause.)
But a wealthy nation must be a safe nation. Protecting the security of our country is my highest duty. It’s the most important thing I can do. That is why my administration is committed to securing our border, dismantling dangerous gangs, and stopping the flow of deadly drugs that are just pouring across. It’s never been a problem — like over the last three, four years.
And we’re doing a job, and I will say the Border Patrol and the ICE, and the all of the different people that are working so hard — law enforcement, generally — they’re working so hard on the drug problem. Never been a problem, but many countries are having this problem. But there’s never been anything like it in the history of this world, and it’s destroying people’s lives. So many. And we’re going to stop it. Every American child, regardless of where they live or what family they come from, should be able to grow up in a safe community.
My administration submitted a balanced and responsible immigration reform plan to Congress. Our plan fully secures the border; provides a permanent solution to DACA, which we’re really working on; and modernizes our immigration system by ending extended-family migration and the lottery system so we can eventually have a merit-based system where people can come in and work for your companies, work for you, and do a phenomenal job — a phenomenal job. People that love our country and that want to love our country and our people.
These reforms are supported by the vast majority of Latino voters. In fact, more than 8 in 10 Latino voters think immigration to our country should be based on skill, not just a relationship with people you don’t even know. This is the mainstream view of all Americans, including Latinos. Yet, the Senate Democrats filibustered our plan because they don’t care about the immigration system or reform, and they don’t want to solve the problem. They would rather use it to get elected. That’s not working so well.
But we remain committed to immigration reform that protects our country, strengthens our economy, and lifts our workers from poverty to prosperity.
We want every American to know the dignity of work, the pride of a paycheck, and the satisfaction of a job well done. Because when our people are free to live their lives and to follow their hearts, there is nothing — nothing at all — that we cannot achieve.
What we are witnessing now is the rebirth of the American Dream. Everybody in the world is talking about it. It looks a little nasty when you watch the news, or as I sometimes call it, the Fake News. (Laughter.) But everybody in the world is talking about what’s happening in the United States. It’s really incredible. Best numbers in so many different ways — companies, unemployment. So many records we’re setting. The whole world is talking about it. And each of you here today, along with millions of hardworking Latinos all across our nation, are making that dream into a reality. You’re really making America great again. A lot of the people in this room are making America great again. (Applause.)
You’re unleashing the American spirit. You’re bringing jobs to American communities. And you are fighting for the American way.
Because you know that America is a nation that thinks big, dreams even bigger, and always reaches for the stars. You’re reaching for the stars. I know so many of you. You’re reaching for the stars; you have been for a long time. And now you’re getting there.
Together, we will build great buildings, invent incredible new products, discover amazing new technologies, and blaze bold new trails in science and medicine and the arts. And we will do it all with American skill, American grit, and American pride.
This is our time. This is our moment. Go get DACA. Go push those Democrats. I’m telling you. So this is a moment for DACA, for all of us. But this is a very special moment. A lot of tremendous things can happen here. Right now, so many tremendous things can happen if people want them to happen. This is how we are taking care of our people, taking care of our country.
I just want to thank all of you for being here. Having known so many in the room and having respected all of you, I can say that I’m very proud of you. And I know you’re very proud of our country.
So thank you all very much. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)
Source: Real Clear Politics
Donald Trump is expected to visit the border wall prototypes in his first visit to the Golden State as president.
SAN DIEGO, CA -- White House officials confirmed President Donald Trump will visit California next week to inspect the border wall prototypes. The announcement comes just one day after his administration announced it was suing the state over its immigration laws, a move that symbolizes Trump's rocky relationship with California's lawmakers.
The visit to California will be Trump's first since elected president.
ABC 7 reported White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Trump's visit during Wednesday's press briefing. Sanders said he was unable to visit California in the past because "he's been busy growing the economy, creating jobs, defeating ISIS, remaking the judiciary. I'd be happy to name off some other success but I think that's enough."
Trump's proposal to build a massive border wall was at the forefront of his presidential campaign. He initially proposed a 2,000-mile wall in between the U.S. and Mexico, but has since proposed a 722-mile wall.
The wall has been estimated to cost as much as $67 billion, according to Fortune. Eight wall prototypes have been built for consideration at the San Diego border.
Trump's visit to California comes amid a rocky relationship with state leaders. The state's Democrats have been vocal in denouncing plans to build a border wall, among other moves made by the administration.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration planned to file a lawsuit against California over its laws to protect people living in the country illegally. Sessions argued the state's actions undermine the federal government's efforts to deport immigrants.
The lawsuit was announced days after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf publicly warned residents of an impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid on Feb. 24. The raid resulted in 150 arrests, but more than 800 people were outstanding.
It's unclear what Trump's agenda will be when he arrives in California next week.
--Photo: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Lation Coalition's Legislative Summit at the J.W. Marriott March 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. This was Trump's first time to address the organization of conservative Latino business owners, which is under the leadership of former George W. Bush administration Small Business Administraiton head Hector Barreto. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
12:03 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. And thank you, Hector. I’m thrilled to be here with so many of our incredible leaders in the Latino business community. And you folks are good business people. I know that. I know that for a fact. I’ve had to compete against you for a long time. (Laughter.) In fact, I said, I want to get out of that; I want to be President. It’s easier. (Laughter.)
12:22 P.M. EST
Source: The White House
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