Replacing Dodd-Frank: The Financial CHOICE Act

Background: In response to the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the Great Recession, Congress rushed through Dodd-Frank under the guise of “consumer protection.” This law imposes 3,500-plus pages of new rules and regulations on the financial industry. Dodd-Frank codified “too big to fail” policies, destroyed local community banks, restricted access to credit for investors and homebuyers, raised lending costs, reduced access to capital for businesses, and created one of the most powerful and unaccountable federal agencies in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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Stop the Department of Labor’s New Overtime Rule

Background: In March 2014, President Obama directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to significantly reform overtime regulations affecting salary exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires most employers to pay their hourly employees one and a half times their usual pay for time worked above 40 hours a week. The current overtime rule also requires most employers to pay their salary exempt employees making under $23,660 a year one and a half times their usual pay for time worked above 40 hours a week.

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Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act

Background: Enacted in 1931, the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) requires contractors to pay no less than the local prevailing wage to on-site workers working on federally funded construction projects costing over $2,000. Originally passed during the Great Recession to prevent the federal government from driving down construction wages, the DBA has long outlived its purpose. The DBA wastes taxpayer dollars and decreases construction jobs.

Inaccurate Wage Rates: The prevailing wage is determined based upon the wages earned by workers on non-federal construction projects in the same locality.

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Government Regulation: Restricting Access to Capital

Background: The lifeline of any business is access to capital. Without the necessary funds, entrepreneurs cannot turn their innovative ideas into startup companies, small businesses cannot grow their existing companies, and large companies cannot become Fortune 500 companies. The health of an economy is in large part determined by how dynamic or entrepreneurial it is. Business creation means economic growth, higher wages and better products at lower prices. Regrettably, the U.S. economy today is less entrepreneurial than it has been in the past three decades.

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No Federal Minimum-Wage Hike

Background: President Obama and some members of Congress have proposed raising the federal minimum-wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want an even higher increase to $15 an hour. Proponents of raising the minimum-wage argue that doing so will increase wages for low-income workers and ultimately stimulate the economy as those workers spend more money. While individuals supporting a minimum-wage increase may have good intentions, economics tells us that raising the minimum-wage harms the very people it is attempting to help.

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