Washington Report: Trump Moves Into the White House — How Will This Move the Restaurant Industry?

On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump was sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States. On this episode of "On Foodable Weekly: Washington Report," we discuss the political dissent that has blanketed the country since election day, and how some policies may affect those in foodservice.

Repealing and Replacing the Affordable Care Act

A major platform of the Trump campaign has been to "repeal and replace Obamacare." Also known as the Affordable Care Act, this piece of legislation is most well-known for prohibiting insurance companies from charging more or denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions. The proposal to "repeal and replace" has caused demonstrations across the U.S. These have included marches and protests like the “cough-in” staged at Trump Tower’s Jean-Georges restaurant.

Last week, a budget narrowly passed in the Senate instructing teams to start coming up with plans to wipe out much of the ACA has caused concerns over whether pre-existing conditions will continue to be covered. The vote was met with much debate from Democrats, citing their reasoning for opposition, in spite of the fact that debate is not allowed during votes.

Controversial Cabinet Picks

Since the November election, Trump has seen a bit of a backlash in response to his cabinet picks. With nominees like Betsy Devos as Secretary of Education and Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, hearings for nominees have also been a hot topic. In a letter to Senate Democrats, the United States Office of Government Ethics warned that the hearing schedule for the president's nominees did not give the office a sufficient amount of time to properly review the picks. In the letter, ethics office director wrote, “For as long as I remain director of OGE’s staff and agency ethics, officials will not succumb to pressure to  cut corners and ignore conflicts of interest.” As of this afternoon, only two of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees are set to be confirmed.

NRA and the Trump Administration

The National Restaurant Association has been working with the administration since before the election to ensure the industry is well represented.

“We’ve been working with the Trump campaign all summer to talk about the restaurant industry. So we're prepared to be engaged as we have been, on behalf of the industry to continue to make sure that state and local lawmakers understand the benefit of restaurants and the value that we bring to each and every community across the country.”

As this new administration settles in, we will continue to keep you up to date on legislation affecting your business, here with On Foodable Weekly’s Washington Report. Be sure to watch and share!

Washington Report: 30 Days Post-Election, Restaurants React

Video Produced by Denise Toledo

This week marks one month since Donald Trump was voted as the next President of the United States. On this week’s "On Foodable Weekly: Washington Report," we discuss how restaurants are responding to the incoming administration, as well as what they can expect from some of the new legislation that passed. 

Since November 8, we have seen high-profile recount requests from opposing candidates, and controversial cabinet picks from the president-elect. We have also seen job-saving business deals, such as the agreement made between Trump and Carrier and the DOW has surged to new heights. We took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to talk to restaurant operators about their reaction to the election and what they expect in the coming years. 

Shaun Sharkey, Partner at Pow Pow: Greens, Bowl, and Rolls said, “Just the overall impression of their take on environmental issues.... We’re concerned that that’s going to affect a lot of our fresh produce and raise costs on food, or affect just the environment in general. I think that will affect a restaurant like ourselves, where we base a lot of our foods on organic products. It’s a very big deal to us.”

Aside from the presidential race, the fight for $15 hour-wage campaign had also been a major topic this election cycle. Five states voted on new minimum wage laws with four states passing those legislations, such as proposition 206 in Arizona. We spoke to David Wells, the research Director of the Grand Canyon Institute in Arizona which released a study outlining the effects of Proposition 206. 

“The fast food restaurants especially rely a lot more on lower-wage workers who are currently right near the minimum wage. And [of] those establishments, about 25 percent of their total costs are labor. We estimated that the ultimate effect by 2020 is that this might lead to restaurants needing to increase their prices by up to 6 percent on average for fast food,” Wells said. 

Keep up with the Washington Report for updates on policies affecting the restaurant industry.