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National Federation of Independent Business

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the largest small business association in the U.S. It is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a non-profit that works to defend the right of small business owners to own and operate their businesses without undue government interference.[1] Its political action committee is called Save America's Free Enterprise Trust.

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  • ✪ National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius Summary |


In 2010, Congress passed a controversial health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly known as ObamaCare, or the ACA). Shortly afterward, multiple parties, including business organizations, individuals, and 26 states, filed suit in district courts across the country to challenge the Act’s constitutionality. The results were fractured: some courts upheld some or all of the ACA, others declared part or all unconstitutional, some concluded offending provisions could be severed, and others argued that the Act couldn’t be challenged until someone was forced to pay the penalty. In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the National Federation of Independent Business, the State of Florida, and other plaintiffs sued in Florida federal court Katherine Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The ACA is a massive piece of legislation, but the litigation challenged two key provisions: (1) the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a “penalty” and (2) the Medicaid expansion provision, which conditioned continued receipt of federal Medicaid funds on states expanding their eligibility requirements for the program. The district court held that Congress had exceeded its authority in passing the individual mandate. The court concluded that the individual mandate was not severable and struck down the Act as a whole. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. However, the court of appeals determined that the individual mandate was severable; so, the rest of the Act remained intact. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case to resolve the split between the circuits. Chief Justice Roberts, writing for a divided majority, found the Act constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. Roberts first concluded that the individual mandate could not be justified as a valid exercise of commerce power, because the Commerce Clause did not empower Congress to compel individuals to engage in commercial activity. Further, Roberts concluded that the possibility that people would participate in the healthcare market at some point in the future was not enough. Roberts viewed this as a slippery slope that would open the door to congressional regulation of all sorts of activity (or inactivity) not contemplated by the Framers. To illustrate this, Roberts said that obesity was more responsible for increased healthcare costs than uninsured people, but under the government’s theory, the federal government could mandate that people buy vegetables. Next, Roberts wrote that the Necessary and Proper Clause only gave Congress the power to do things that were incidental to the valid exercise of some enumerated power, and therefore the individual mandate could not be justified on this ground either. However, Roberts reasoned the individual mandate’s penalty provision operated more like a tax imposed on those opting against purchasing coverage. Because the tax was assessed just like other taxes, based on income, and collected by the IRS, the fact that Congress had called it a penalty was irrelevant. The Court interprets legislation as constitutional if “fairly possible,” and the individual mandate could be saved by interpreting the penalty provision as a tax. With respect to the Medicaid extension, Roberts held that the federal government could not withhold existing Medicaid funding from states that chose not to participate. Roberts acknowledged that Congress could offer grants to states and condition the funds on compliance with certain requirements, as happens frequently with highway and infrastructure funding. However, Roberts found that the Act did not offer the states a genuine choice, because “they must accept a basic change in the nature of Medicaid, or risk the loss of all Medicaid funding.” Accordingly, the Medicaid provision was found unconstitutional. The majority found the provision severable from the remainder of the Act, which was left intact. Justice Ginsburg concurred in part and dissented in part, concluding that the individual mandate should be upheld under the Commerce Clause, because there was a rational basis for Congress to believe the large uninsured population substantially affected interstate commerce and the mandate bore a reasonable connection to addressing the problem. Ginsburg disagreed that the Medicaid expansion was unconstitutional. Ginsburg found that states had no “existing” rights to federal funds and that Congress could decide whether federal funds should be given to the states, and under what conditions. Justice Scalia dissented, writing that the entire Act should be struck down as unconstitutional. He argued that neither the Commerce Clause nor the power to tax and spend granted Congress the authority to require the individual mandate. Scalia further argued that the Act’s “threats” to terminate states’ Medicaid funding absent compliance with the Medicaid expansion were impermissibly coercive. The Sebelius decision, particularly the portion of the opinion upholding the ACA’s individual mandate, was hugely important in terms of federalism and national policy, and also highly controversial. If you found this video helpful, you can explore all of our content by visiting us at If you have a question or comment about this case, please post in the comments area below, and we’ll do our best to get back to you. If you think we did a good job with this video, please like, share, and favorite this video. And if you think this video might be helpful to people you know, please share on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get this video out there. If you haven’t done so already and you enjoy watching videos on this channel, click on the red subscribe button just below this video, so you can get all the latest updates.



NFIB was founded by C. Wilson Harder in 1943 and maintained its headquarters in San Mateo, California, until 1992 when it was relocated to Nashville, TN. Harder began with a home office and sold the first memberships to his neighbors. His vision was to give small and independent business a voice in governmental decision-making through political advocacy. Since its early history, NFIB's political agenda has been determined through a one-vote balloting process of its membership.

Harder was succeeded in 1969 by his son John, who was replaced just six months later by Wilson S. Johnson. Under Johnson, member Action Councils were created, which still exist today, known as Leadership Councils. Through this time, NFIB also began to gain greater recognition in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals.

John Sloan became President of NFIB in 1983. He was the first chief executive to be brought in from outside the organization. Sloan installed a business structure with a sales manager, finance and administration directed by the CFO (both in San Mateo), and expanded the organization's presence with a public policy operation in Washington, DC.

In 1983, the organization established the NFIB Member Services Corporation. The Corporation is wholly owned by NFIB. Its purpose is to offer preferred-provider member benefit programs to assist members in reducing operating costs. Programs include worker's compensation insurance, commercial and personal health insurance, credit card processing, operational supplies, and discounts on commonly used business products and services.

In 1992, following the death of John Sloan, Jack Faris assumed the role of President and clearly defined NFIB's role in affecting public policy at the state and federal levels through political and grassroots activism, and lobbying with lawmakers in an integrated manner. In 1992, NFIB headquarters were officially relocated to Nashville, TN.

Jack Faris announced his retirement in early 2005. The board formed a search committee and selected Todd A. Stottlemyer as the fifth President of NFIB. Stottlemyer took the reins of NFIB on February 15, 2006, with a goal of improving NFIB's non-partisan reach and technology infrastructure.

In February 2009, Dan Danner became the sixth president of NFIB and served until February 2016. Under Danner's leadership, NFIB proved to be a driving force in opposing major governmental regulations; in 2012 it gained historical recognition as the only business association to challenge President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as a party to the Supreme Court case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

Following Danner's retirement, Juanita Duggan was named President and CEO in February 2016. Duggan has taken the lead in establishing NFIB as the source for definitive information on prospective Supreme Court Justices, with regard to their stance on business issues. Recognizing the enduring impact judges can have on the business environment for independent business.

NFIB has grown from Harder's for-profit entrepreneurial vision in 1943 to the non-profit national association of more than 325,000 members it is today.


On its website, the National Federation of Independent Business states that it is a "nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1943" and "represents the consensus views of its members in Washington and all 50 state capitals."[2] Its PAC is called Save America's Free Enterprise Trust (SAFE).[3][4]

In 2010, 25 of its members, all Republican, were elected to the 112th Congress.[5] A number of them, such as Rand Paul, Jeff Duncan, Paul Gosar and Kristi Noem, are affiliated with or endorsed by the Tea Party movement.

Also in 2010, the NFIB became the lead plaintiff opposing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health care reform legislation. The organization joined 26 states in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the act. The case was picked up by the Supreme Court, which issued its ruling on National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius on June 28, 2012, upholding most provisions of the act. Karl Rove's conservative Crossroads GPS PAC gave NFIB $3.7 million to help fund the court fight.[6] Meanwhile, many other small business advocates supported PPACA.[7]

The NFIB supported the America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014 (H.R. 4457; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code, which mostly affects small- to medium-sized businesses, to retroactively and permanently extend from January 1, 2014, increased limitations on the amount of investment that can be immediately deducted from taxable income.[8] The bill would return the tax code to its 2013 status and make the change permanent.[9] Dan Danner, the president and CEO at that time, argued that Congress could help small business by passing the bill as it would enable small businesses to "plan for the future, invest in the economy and hire new workers."[10]

In 2017, NFIB endorsed confirmation of SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch.[11]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "About NFIB". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  3. ^ "National Federation of Independent Business/ Save Americas Free Enterprise Trust - 2012 FEC PAC - Qualified Committee". 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  4. ^ "National Fedn of Independent Business". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  5. ^ "25 NFIB Members Join the 112th Congress". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  6. ^ Slack, Donovan (2012-04-13). "Crossroads GPS gave $3.7 million to plaintiff in health care suit". Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  7. ^ Pinckney, Barbara (2010-03-22). "Business groups split on health care bill". The Business Review. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  8. ^ "CBO - H.R. 4457". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  9. ^ Pomerleau, Kyle (22 April 2014). "Tiberi Bill on permanent Extension of Small Business Expensing". Tax Foundation. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  10. ^ Danner, Dan (15 May 2014). "5 ways Washington can help small business". CNBC. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  11. ^

External links

This page was last edited on 15 January 2020, at 21:33
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