House Small Business Committee

Chairman Chabot Statement on Linda McMahon’s Selection to Lead the SBA

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement upon the announcement President-elect Trump will name Linda McMahon as his nominee for Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA):

“Linda McMahon is an excellent choice by President-elect Trump to lead the SBA as administrator. I look forward to working with her and the new administration to roll back burdensome regulations and increase access to capital for America’s 28 million small businesses. Our Committee will work with the new administrator to advance meaningful reforms that will make the SBA more efficient and customer-friendly for small businesses. This work should begin by fixing the ongoing problems in SBA and SBA-administered programs that were exposed through our oversight hearings in the 114th Congress.”  

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Still Overdue: Answers from OMB on Paperwork Reduction Requirements

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 12/05/2016 - 12:00am

Chairmen Ask Why Agency Failed to Issue Required Reports Two Years in a Row

WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH),  joined by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), today demanded answers from the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) about its failure to submit required annual reports to Congress on the federal government’s efforts to reduce the paperwork burden on individuals and small businesses. OMB failed to issue these required reports for both FY2015 and FY2016 and previously pledged to publish the reports this Fall.   

“The failure to produce these reports in a timely fashion demonstrates a fundamental breakdown in OIRA’s management function,” Chabot and Chaffetz wrote in their letter to the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. “Congress enacted the Paperwork Reduction Act to minimize the paperwork burden on individuals, small businesses, and others imposed by the federal government and improve the responsibility and accountability of the OMB and all other federal agencies to Congress and the public for collecting information.”

You can view the full letter HERE.

BACKGROUND:

  • In May of this year, Chairmen Chabot and Chaffetz pressed OMB for answers about why it failed to submit its required reports to Congress.
  • In a subsequent letter to Chairman Chabot, Howard Shelanski, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at OMB, stated his agency planned to publish a report covering both FY2015 and FY2016 this fall. As of December 5, 2016, no such report has been published.
  • The House Republican Better Way agenda call for eliminating government red tape, including onerous paperwork requirements, as part of its goal to provide regulatory relief to small businesses.  

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House Passes 5 Year SBIR/STTR Reauthorization

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 12/02/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement after the House passed a five-year reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs as part of the 55th National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“In an era of unfair global competition, making it easier for American small businesses to develop and commercialize new, innovative products is essential for both our economic and national security,” Chairman Chabot said. “SBIR and STTR are critical parts of this effort because their awards go to small innovators who have always been on the cutting edge of groundbreaking research and life-saving technology. The long-term reauthorization passed by the House today will provide certainty to thousands of small businesses who use these programs today and open doors for the inventors of tomorrow.”

“In the new Congress, the Small Business Committee will continue to work to find new ways to make these programs stronger and more effective,” Chairman Chabot added.

Small businesses applauded the House passage of the SBIR/STTR reauthorization saying it will provide them with much-needed certainty in the coming years.

“The Small Business Technology Council is incredibly appreciative to Congress and Chairman Chabot for ensuring that a 5-year SBIR/STTR reauthorization is included in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act,” said Jere Glover, the Executive Director of the Small Business Technology Council. “SBIR companies across the country will be relieved that these vital innovation programs will be continued, and the prompt passage of SBIR/STTR reauthorization will give them the certainty and confidence that all businesses need to grow and plan for the future.”

“Without Chairman Chabot's hard work, dedication, and leadership on this issue, this never would have been possible. Our members are deeply grateful to him for and all he has done for small business over the years,” Glover added.

“As a CEO of a small business in southwest Ohio that is focused on research supporting Federal Agencies, I am deeply appreciative of Chairman Chabot’s diligent leadership of the Small Business Committee,” said Ron Shroder, the CEO and President of Frontier Technology, Inc., a small business in Beavercreek, Ohio. “Chairman Chabot’s ability to include the 5 year SBIR/STTR Reauthorization within the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) benefits small businesses throughout the country.  With small businesses representing approximately 50% of the employment in the country, this program is very important to our future.”

BACKGROUND:

  • Long-term reauthorization of the SBIR and STTR programs has been a top priority for the House Small Business Committee throughout the 114th Congress.
  • The Committee unanimously approved a bipartisan reauthorization measure for both programs earlier this year after a hearing series on the importance of these small business programs to the United States economy and national security.
  • At those hearings, witnesses told Committee members that major innovations in recent history began with small companies using SBIR and STTR programs. The witnesses cited Sonicare toothbrushes, Roomba iRobots and 70 percent of the computer chips in today’s iPhones as a few examples of ubiquitous technology made possible by SBIR and STTR awards to small companies.

Chabot to Chair Small Business Committee for 115th Congress

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 12/02/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) was elected by his House peers today to serve as Chairman of the Small Business Committee for the 115th Congress.

“I’m honored to serve a second term as Chairman of the House Small Business Committee and I’m grateful for the confidence of my colleagues as we build on the great work of all of our Committee Members from the last two years,Chairman Chabot said. “We now have an historic opportunity to bring swift and lasting regulatory relief and certainty to the 1 out of 3 Americans who work at a small business. We will keep working for greater access to capital for our entrepreneurs, more ways to save taxpayer dollars through small business contracting, and we’ll continue to break new ground in the areas of cybersecurity and exporting opportunities to protect and create small business jobs.”

Chabot added, “Working with all of our colleagues in the House, Senate and the new Administration, I know we can make America great again one new idea, small business, and community at a time.”

See highlights of the Small Business Committee’s work HERE

Chabot Statement on House Passage of NDAA Conference Report

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 12/02/2016 - 12:00am

Key Small Business Committee Provisions Included in Defense Bill

                                       Click Image to View Chairman Chabot's NDAA Floor Speech

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the conference report of the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“The FY17 NDAA recognizes that small businesses play a vital and indispensable role in providing for the common defense,” Chairman Chabot said. “Small businesses create jobs as part of the defense industrial base, innovate new technologies for our warfighters and ensure taxpayers get the most bang for their buck through competitive contracting. I am especially proud that so many of the bipartisan contracting reforms authored by members of our Committee were included in the final NDAA.”

“These common-sense contracting and acquisition reforms will open new doors for small businesses in the coming year and set the stage for additional reforms in the new Congress,” Chairman Chabot added.

For a detailed section-by-section summary of the small business provisions in the FY2017 NDAA click HERE.

BACKGROUND:

  • Chairman Chabot and Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) served as the House Small Business Committee’s conferees for this year’s NDAA.
  • Earlier this year, Chairman Chabot penned an op-ed for Defense News on the importance of small contractors to the defense supply chain and testified before the House Armed Services Committee on the Committee’s priorities for the FY17 NDAA. 

Chairman Chabot calls Overtime Rule Delay a “Victory for Small Businesses”

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 11/22/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement after a federal judge enjoined President Obama’s controversial executive order imposing costly new rules on how employers pay overtime to their workers. The nationwide preliminary injuction delays the December 1st implementation deadline, giving small employers more time to plan for and fight back against the burdensome new mandate.  

“Judge Mazzant’s injunction is a victory for America’s 28 million small businesses. As they look towards Small Business Saturday this weekend, small employers and their employees can breathe just a little bit easier knowing they have been given a reprieve from the pain caused by this disastrous new rule.  For over a year, our Committee has been warning that the overtime rule was an unlawful overreach that would lead to job losses, demotions, less flexibility, lower wages, and reduced benefits for millions of workers. Our Committee looks forward to working with the new administration to give regulatory relief to small businesses and get the government off their backs so they can focus on creating jobs. “          

BACKGROUND:

  • Last month, Chairman Chabot led a House resolution recognizing this Saturday, November 26th, as Small Business Saturday.
  • Chabot and Committee Republicans have led the opposition to the DOL overtime rule throughout the 114thCongress.
  • The Committee has held numerous hearings and roundtables and sent multiple letters documenting the damage that will be done to small businesses and other small employers as a result of the rule.
  • Chairman Chabot served as co-chairman of a special House Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens which developed the House Republican policy agenda called A Better Way to Grow our Economy.
  • Chairman Chabot and House Republicans cited the overtime rule as an example of overregulation at a June press conference in front of the Department of Labor headquarters unveiling the #BetterWay agenda. 

OVERSIGHT UPDATE: Committee Continues Probe of Wells Fargo Scandal

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 12:00am

 

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) has demanded regular updates from Wells Fargo after the company admitted that thousands of accounts owned by small businesses were harmed by the improper sales practices of Wells Fargo employees.

Chairman Chabot’s letter is a follow-up to official inquiries the Committee made last month to both Wells Fargo and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to determine the scandal’s impact on any Wells Fargo accounts associated with small businesses.

“In Wells Fargo’s response to my letter, it admitted that thousands of the deposit and credit card accounts that were harmed by the improper sales practices of Wells Fargo employees were accounts owned by small businesses.” Chairman Chabot wrote in his letter to Wells Fargo.

“The response also indicated that Wells Fargo plans to work with a third party to review all accounts dating back to 2009 in order to identify those that may have been affected,” Chabot added. “I believe that a more in-depth review is important to ensure that any individual or small business that may have been harmed is made whole. Because Wells Fargo will be implementing this additional review, it is possible that the information that you provided in response to my letter will change. Accordingly, I request that Wells Fargo provide the Committee with updates throughout its review and keep the Committee informed.”

You can view Chairman Chabot’s full letter HERE.

BACKGROUND:

  • After John G. Stumpf stepped down as CEO of Wells Fargo, Chabot stated that the resignation would have absolutely no bearing on the seriousness and urgency of the Committee’s probe into the scandal. Chabot provided an update on his requests for information in a guest op-ed for CNBC.

In their response to Chairman Chabot’s initial request for information, the SBA informed the Committee of the following:

  • “SBA’s Office of Credit Risk Management (OCRM) has conducted several risk-based, in depth reviews of Wells Fargo’s SBA lending operations (in 2011, 2014, and 2016). Each resulted in an acceptable assessment and no enforcement or disciplinary actions were taken.”
  • “OCRM is currently conducting an additional targeted review of Wells Fargo including a sample of Wells Fargo 7(a) loans to identify any unusual activity which may indicate abusive activities by Wells Fargo employees, and will follow-up as appropriate.”

Chairman Chabot Hails House Passage of Midnight Rules Relief Act

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) today praised House passage of H.R. 5982, the Midnight Rules Relief Act, bipartisan legislation to give Congress the power to stop, with one vote, all last minute regulations issued by the Obama administration.

"Over the last eight years, the Obama administration has gone on a regulatory rampage," Chairman Chabot said in his speech on the House floor. "For each year, the administration’s major rules have cost over $100 billion annually. A disproportionate share of those enormous costs have fallen on America’s 28 million small businesses."

"As Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I have heard firsthand from the owners and employees of these small businesses in our hearing room and back home in Ohio how these new regulations have harmed them personally," Chabot added. "The last thing they need right now is a new flood of regulations from the President’s army of bureaucrats as they beat a hasty retreat out of Washington."

"This common-sense, bipartisan legislation will give Congress the power to stop all midnight rules with one vote. Next weekend, we will celebrate Small Business Saturday – an opportunity to celebrate small businesses and recognize they are the key to making our economy succeed. Midnight regulations are an imminent threat to their success," Chabot concluded.

BACKGROUND: Earlier this week, Chairman Chabot, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other House Committee Chairmen sent a letter to the heads of all Cabinet departments and federal agencies warning them against moving forward with Midnight Regulations.

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House Republican Leaders Warn Administration Against “Midnight Regulations”

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 11/15/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and all Chairmen of the standing committees of the U.S. House of Representatives this evening warned the Obama Administration against enacting any last-minute rules and regulations in their final days in office. In their letter, addressed to the heads of all Cabinet departments and federal agencies, the House Republican leaders wrote:

“Earlier this year, President Obama’s Chief of Staff stated that the Administration will “do audacious executive action throughout the course of the rest of the year.” As you are aware, such action often involves the exercise of substantial policymaking discretion and could have far-reaching impacts on the American people and economy.  Considering these potential consequences, we write to caution you against finalizing pending rules or regulations in the Administration’s last days.  By refraining from acting with undue haste, you will ensure that agency staff may fully assess the costs and benefits of rules, making it less likely that unintended consequences will harm consumers and businesses.  Moreover, such forbearance is necessary to afford the recently elected Administration and Congress the opportunity to review and give direction concerning pending rulemakings. Should you ignore this counsel, please be aware that we will work with our colleagues to ensure that Congress scrutinizes your actions – and, if appropriate, overturns them – pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.”

You can view the letter HERE.

Later this week, the House will consider H.R. 5982, The Midnight Rules Relief Act, bipartisan legislation to give Congress the power to stop all of the “midnight rules” with one vote.

Small Business Committee Leaders Fight for Medicare Payments to Small Laboratories

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in asking Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell to review new Medicare regulations that may harm small medical laboratories and the senior citizens they serve. The letter was signed by several members of the Small Business Committee in response to concerns over the Department of Health and Human Services implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA).  

“We are concerned that under the process outlined in final regulations issued on June 17, 2016, many laboratories, especially small community and regional laboratories, may not have the necessary reporting capabilities in place,” the bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote in their letter. “These laboratories could struggle to properly report data and comply with the regulations, which could result in significant problems for CMS’ implementation efforts, as highlighted in a recent report issued by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In addition, the impact of these regulations could ultimately threaten the ability of small laboratories to provide needed services to Medicare beneficiaries.”

In their letter, Chabot and Velázquez emphasized the importance of small medical laboratories to small and rural communities across America. By jeopardizing Medicare payments for these small businesses and subjecting them to new penalties, the Committee leaders expressed concern that the facilities will be unable to continue to serve senior citizens who depend on them.  

You can read the full bipartisan letter HERE

Chabot, Velázquez Challenge OMB on Procurement Policy

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Ranking Member Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), wrote to the Office of Management and Budget criticizing the implementation of Category Management, a procurement policy that has been shown to negatively harm small businesses. 

“By moving ahead with its Category Management scam, OMB has decided to deny small businesses the ability to fully and fairly compete for federal contracts,” Chairman Chabot said. “I will continue to work with Ranking Member Velázquez and members of our Committee in a bipartisan manner to fight back against this destructive policy on behalf of American taxpayers and small businesses.” 

“Not only does Category Management lock entrepreneurs out of the federal marketplace, but it means agencies are paying more for goods and services, wasting taxpayer dollars,” Ranking Member Velázquez said. “I am proud to stand with small business contractors and join with Chairman Chabot in calling for an end to this harmful policy.”


The full text of the letter is below.

November 7, 2016

Ms. Darbi Dillion
Office of Federal Procurement Policy
Office of Management and Budget
1800 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear Ms. Dillion:

We are writing this comment letter in our capacities as Ranking Member and Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, which has jurisdiction over federal procurement matters that impact small companies.  We are alarmed that the Office of Federal Procurement Policy continues to move forward with Category Management despite its negative impact on not only small businesses but the agencies which use its contracting vehicles.

Earlier this year, we wrote a letter to Administrator Denise Turner Roth at the General Services Administration detailing the impact this strategy has had on small businesses.  In numerous hearings conducted by the Committee, we have found that though Category Management has been billed as the strategy that can get agencies the lowest price, all evidence points to the contrary.   Vendors on the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) continually provide agencies with lower prices than those offered by Category Management contract holders.  Yet, agencies and contracting officers cannot take advantage of lower prices due to the fact that some Category Management vehicles have become mandatory by their agency. Ultimately, this results in wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars by agencies, forcing them to pay more than necessary for goods and services.  The proposed Circular will exacerbate this problem as it plans for mandatory vehicles government-wide.

Additionally, the contracting vehicles that have resulted from Category Management have reduced the overall number of businesses that have been able to compete for contracting opportunities.  Many of these vehicles have bundled so many goods together in one contract that previously qualified small businesses can no longer fulfill the requirements, despite having previously provided some of the goods or services under the MAS contracts. As a result, the number of small firms serving as suppliers to the government in certain areas has been reduced from hundreds to just a few handfuls.

This is worrisome for a number of reasons. First, it reduces competition between firms holding Category Management contracts, providing relatively little incentive to lower prices. Furthermore, the Category Management may reduce the industrial base as it is unclear whether firms not awarded a contract under Category Management vehicles will be able to keep their doors open.  With contracting officers and agencies forced to use Category Management contracts, many small firms will be excluded from the federal marketplace entirely, thus preventing robust competition that is needed to ensure agencies receive the best value for goods and services.

The issues of Category Management and strategic sourcing have been raised in numerous hearings before the Committee.  During these meetings, we have heard small businesses recount the severe and sometimes devastating impact these strategies have had not only on their bottom line and their employees but also their federal agency customers.  We have attached the transcripts of these hearings so that you may see the full impact these policies have on the small firms. 

Lastly, we would like to express our frustration at the process the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has used in soliciting comments for the proposed Circular.  Though this policy document will have far-reaching effects on businesses large and small as well as all federal agencies, your office decided to forego the customary 60-day comment period.  When Committee staff reached out your office to determine whether this period would be extended, they were told your office was working on a deadline and, as such, the November 7th deadline would stand.  This is simply unacceptable as many small businesses have not had opportunity to comment.  The process chosen has also not allowed for substantial analysis on the impact this policy could have on small business as no Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis occurred due to the nature of the change.  Furthermore, your office has not engaged in meaningful discussions with stakeholders as there has been no outreach done to either agencies or industry associations.

Therefore, we request that the Office of Federal Procurement Policy suspend any issuing of this proposed Circular until the office can evaluate the impact on small businesses.  Additionally, we request that the comment period be re-opened, allowing for more input from agencies as well as relevant industry stakeholders to be taken into consideration so as to ensure all businesses have access to contracting opportunities throughout the federal marketplace.

Sincerely,

Steve Chabot
Chairman

Nydia M. Velázquez                       
Ranking Member                                            

 

Chabot on CNBC: Wells Fargo CEO Resignation Not Enough

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 12:00am
Wells Fargo CEO Resignation Not Enough
By Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
CNBC Opinion

If Wells Fargo truly considers the resignation of CEO John Stumpf to be a first step towards regaining the trust of America's entrepreneurs, then there are countless more steps they must take to correct the damage their employees did to millions of Americans by creating fraudulent accounts in their names.

As chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I have no higher priority than making sure that America's 28 million small businesses are treated fairly and respectfully and have every opportunity to succeed.

Forty-eight percent of all employees in the private sector are employed by a small business, according to the Small Business Administration. In fact, 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses with employees are small businesses, according to the Census Bureau. They are the keystone of our economy.

When small businesses succeed, the American economy succeeds and America succeeds.

This success is threatened by the egregious actions of the Wells Fargo employees who set up accounts for their customers without their permission — many of these customers use their personal accounts for their small businesses.

The harmful ripple effects of this deception cannot be overstated. It affected not just small business owners but also their employees, customers, vendors and the communities they serve. Imagine the shock and anguish of a mom-and-pop store owner who banked with Wells Fargo when they discovered they had been penalized and their credit diminished for an account they never opened.

When Americans deposit their hard-earned paychecks into their bank, they deserve nothing less than the peace of mind of knowing that their deposits will not be fraudulently manipulated solely for the financial gain of the bank or its employees. By allowing these actions to go on, Wells Fargo failed its customers.

Congressional committees like ours have an oversight responsibility to see that the customers who were victimized are made whole and the Wells Fargo employees who approved and executed this dastardly scheme are held fully accountable.

Moreover, we need to know to what extent federal agencies like the Small Business Administration (SBA) were aware of this scam, which appears to have preyed on vulnerable Americans including small business owners.

Wells Fargo is the single largest participant in SBA's 7(a) Guarantee Loan Program, including the SBA Express Program, which enables many small businesses to access the capital they need to start and grow their businesses. Additionally, the company provides lending as a part of SBA's Certified Development Company/504 Loan Program, and even serves as the Central Servicing Agent for the SBA 504 Loan Program. As a partner with SBA in these programs, Wells Fargo has the ability to help small business owners access needed capital to start and grow their businesses. This cannot happen, however, if customers are not able to trust their bank to properly manage their accounts.

Accountability begins and ends with transparency. This is why I have formally requested complete and detailed answers from both Wells Fargo and the SBA to specific questions on how this scandal has affected small businesses.

To be clear, Mr. Stumpf's resignation will have no bearing on the urgency of our committee's request or our oversight of this very serious matter.

Since becoming Small Business Committee chairman last year, I have made access to capital one of our top priorities so that small businesses can have the resources they need to get off the ground and stay off the ground. Part of this goal is ensuring that the SBA programs are properly administered and protected against fraudulent activity, and we are eager to work with SBA to this end.

As we await responses from Wells Fargo and the SBA, I can assure small business owners that this matter will have our committee's full attention and commitment.

Commentary by Congressman Steve Chabot, who represents Ohio's First Congressional District and is chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business. He is also a senior member of the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Follow the committee on Twitter@HouseSmallBiz.



Chairman Chabot Statement on Wells Fargo CEO Resignation

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement on the resignation of Wells Fargo CEO John G. Stumpf:

“Mr. Stumpf’s resignation is a first step but there are countless more steps Wells Fargo must take to correct the damage their employees did to millions of Americans by creating fraudulent accounts in their names without their permission. The egregious nature of these actions cannot be overstated. The next step should be for Wells Fargo to fully respond to our Committee’s formal request for detailed information about how this scandal impacted their small business customers.” 

BACKGROUND: Earlier this month, Chairman Chabot sent letters to Wells Fargo and the Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting detailed information about the scandal’s impact on small businesses. You can read the Chairman’s letters HERE.

Davidson Named to Two Small Business Subcommittees

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/06/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON —Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) today announced that the Committee’s newest Member, Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) has been named to the Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access and the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations.

Chairman Chabot said, “Ohio has one of the most remarkable small business stories in the country, and Congressman Davidson and his family have been a part of that story. I’m proud to have my neighbor from the Eighth District on the Small Business Committee, and I know he’ll make invaluable contributions to these two subcommittees.

Congressman Davidson said, “There is probably no clearer way to achieving the American Dream than starting your own small business. After over 15 years building and growing small businesses, I’m excited about the opportunity to take what I learned and apply it to helping more Americans and Ohioans realize their own American Dream. America’s best days are ahead.  I have no doubt that small businesses will be a major driver as we achieve this brighter future.” 

Chabot Demands Answers from Wells Fargo, SBA on Fake Account Scandal

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 10/05/2016 - 12:00am

 

Small Businesses May Have Been Penalized for Accounts They Never Opened

WASHINGTON –Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent letters to Maria Contreras-Sweet, the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and John G. Stumpf, the Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo, pressing for information about how small businesses may have been harmed by fraudulent accounts created by Wells Fargo employees.

Wells Fargo is the single largest participant in SBA’s 7(a) Guarantee Loan Program, including the SBA Express Program, which enables many small businesses to access the capital they need to start and grow their businesses. Additionally, the banking company provides lending as a part of SBA’s Certified Development Company/504 Loan Program, and even serves as the Central Servicing Agent for the SBA 504 Loan Program.

“The egregious nature of these actions cannot be overstated,” said Chairman Chabot in his letter to Stumpf. “When Americans deposit their hard-earned paychecks into their bank, they deserve nothing less than the peace of mind of knowing that their deposits will not be fraudulently manipulated solely for the financial gain of the bank or its employees. By allowing these actions to go on, Wells Fargo failed its customers.”

“As a partner with SBA in these programs, Wells Fargo has the ability to help small business owners access needed capital to start and grow their businesses. This cannot happen, however, if customers are not able to trust their bank to properly manage their accounts,” Chabot noted.

“The Committee is committed to ensuring that small businesses are given the opportunity to grow and thrive through access to capital,” Chairman Chabot wrote in his letter to Administrator Contreras-Sweet. “Part of this goal is ensuring that the SBA programs are properly administered and protected against fraudulent activity, and we are eager to work with SBA to this end. As we await response from Wells Fargo, we request that you provide the Committee any information regarding Wells Fargo’s participation in SBA programs.”

Chabot requested responses from both Wells Fargo and the SBA no later than October 19, 2016

You can see the full letters here and here.

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Small Business Committee Continues to Press FCC for Answers on Small Business Broadband

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 10/03/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON –House Small Business Committee leaders followed up today after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failed to respond to their bipartisan concerns about the impact of new proposed broadband regulations on America’s small businesses.

The Committee wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in August requesting answers about the negative economic impact of new FCC privacy proposals on small Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) providers.  

As noted in the letter, the FCC has failed to fully or adequately comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This lack of compliance has left many small businesses confused and frustrated as they try to understand how the FCC’s proposed regulations will affect their businesses.

The Committee requested a response from Wheeler and the FCC no later than September 8, 2016 and as of October 3, 2016, they have received no such reply.

You can view the original letter HERE.

You can view today’s follow-up letter HERE

Small Business Committee Introduces Small Business Saturday Resolution

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 10/03/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Members of the House Small Business Committee have joined together to lead the introduction of a bipartisan House resolution to recognize the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26th, as “Small Business Saturday.”

“America’s small businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators need to be assured that we are fighting on their behalf, and that they have a voice in Washington.” Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) said. “Support for America’s small businesses reaches beyond partisan lines and consistently reaches across the aisle. I thank Ranking Member Velázquez for her support for this bipartisan resolution to inspire all Americans to ‘shop small’ on November 26th." 

“Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of the American economy and it is critical we work together to help our small businesses succeed," Small Business Committee Ranking Member Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) said. "I am proud to work with Chairman Chabot in introducing this legislation that recognizes Small Business Saturday and encourages Americans to shop at the Main Street businesses that make this nation great.” 

The resolution, H. Res. 886, notes that there are over 28 million small businesses in the United States which:

-         Represent 99.7 percent of all businesses with employees

-         Employ over 48 percent of private sector employees

-         Pay over 42 percent of the total private sector payroll

-         Constitute 98 percent of firms exporting goods

-         Created 63 percent of net new jobs over the past two decades

House Votes to Delay Obama Administration’s Overtime Rule

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 12:00am

Bipartisan Measure Gives Small Businesses Six Months to Plan, Fight

Click Image to Watch Chairman Chabot Speak on the House Floor

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) hailed House passage of a bipartisan measure to delay the Obama administration’s new overtime rule for six months. This additional time will enable small businesses and other small employers to plan for and fight back against these costly, burdensome new rules. H.R. 6094, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, passed the House by a vote of 246 to 177 and now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

“Over the past year, the Committee on Small Business has heard from countless small businesses that shared their concerns about the overtime rule,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH). “Small businesses give their employees flexible schedules, pay increases when they can afford it, and career advancement opportunities because employees are key to their success.  This rule will limit the ability of small businesses to provide these benefits, which will have a devastating impact on employee morale.  Our Committee Members, and other officials including the Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the Small Business Administration, joined small businesses in urging the Department of Labor to change course.”

Background:

  • Chairman Chabot discussed the damage that will be done to America’s 28 million small businesses and efforts to delay the overtime rule on MSNBC this weekend on “Your Business.”
  • Chabot and Committee Republicans have vigorously opposed the DOL overtime rule throughout the 114th Congress.
  • The Committee has held numerous hearings and roundtables and sent multiple letters explaining to the administration the damage that will be done to small businesses and other small employers as a result of the rule.
  • Today’s legislation passed as House Republicans are offering a policy agenda to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses as part of A Better Way to Grow our Economy.

Opportunity Rising: the FAA’s New Regulatory Framework for Commercial Drone Operations

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 09/27/2016 - 11:00am
Chairman Cresent Hardy has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations titled, Opportunity Rising: the FAA’s New Regulatory Framework for Commercial Drone Operations. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witness List

Mr. Gabriel Dobbs
Vice President, Business Development and Policy
Kespry Inc.
Menlo Park, CA
*Testifying on behalf of the Small UAV Coalition

Mr. Brian Wynne
President & CEO
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
Arlington, VA

Mr. Jonathan H. Daniels
President
Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc
Henderson, NV

Opportunity Rising: Effects of New Regulations on the Commercial Drone Industry

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:00am

FAA: 90 percent of drone owners will be small businesses

WASHINGTON
– Small business owners told a key Congressional subcommittee today that new federal regulation that allows commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems, otherwise known as drones or UAS, are opening up the skies and opportunities for new jobs and economic growth.  However, effective and efficient implementation of the rule and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) next steps to fully and safely integrate UAS into the national airspace system are critical to the industry’s success.  The FAA projects that 90 percent of drone owners will be small businesses making clear and sensible regulation essential as these entrepreneurs try to get startups off the ground and improve existing small businesses day-to-day operations through the use of this technology.

“We are bearing witness to the next great aviation renaissance,” said Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-NV, Chairman of the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. “Advances in technology have cleared the way for a reality that, only a short time ago, was merely a dream.” 

“From the delivery of goods to the surveying of land, unmanned aircraft systems, otherwise known as UAS or drones, are poised to change how we do business.  And with an initial report indicating that an overwhelming majority of companies operating UAS for commercial purposes have 10 employees or less, this industry will truly be a small business industry,” Subcommittee Chairman Hardy added.

Commercial Drones Save Time, Money and Lives

“Unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, increase human potential, allowing us to execute dangerous or difficult tasks safely and efficiently,” testified Brian Wynne on behalf of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). “From inspecting pipelines to surveying bridges to filming movies, UAS help save time, save money and, most importantly, save lives. It is no wonder why thousands of businesses—small and large—have already embraced this technology, and many more are considering integrating it into their future operations.”

What it Means for Nevada Ranchers, North Carolina Farmers and other Small Businesses

“While we appreciate that Part 107 allows for waivers to operate beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) and over people, the FAA’s next phase of regulations must provide for even more efficient approval of these types of operations or the United States will fail to develop the robust commercial drone industry that other countries are actively pursuing,” added Gabriel Dobbs, the Vice President of Business Development and Policy at Kespry Inc., who testified on behalf of the Small UAV Coalition. A rancher in Nevada or a farmer in North Carolina cannot fully benefit from drone technology if he must follow his drone in his truck to maintain the visual line of sight while inspecting his property.”

Need for Regulatory Improvement

“PACI has been involved in the development of the Eldorado Droneport in Boulder City, Nevada since the summer of 2015. I want to state that we are thankful for the positive support and assistance we are getting from UAS Office and Airports Division. However, during this process, we have encountered some issues as the regulatory structure does not address UAS activity on airports.  There is a need for additional regulatory improvements,” observed Jonathan H. Daniels of Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc.  “Airports are categorized by the number of passenger boardings or by tonnage of cargo- this metric does not work with the current limitations of UAS operation. UAS do not count towards the number of based aircraft, and there are no acceptable standards for traffic patterns for any size UAS.”

Background:

  • The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (2012 Act) provided the FAA with new authority and new mandates to accelerate the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace system.
  • Section 333 of the 2012 Act authorized certain commercial drone operations on a case-by-case-basis. From September 2014-August 2016, FAA granted 5,552 exemptions, indicating a tremendous amount of early adoption.
  • The final rule that allows civil operations of small UAS was issued on June 28, 2016 and went into effect on August 29, 2016.  Small UAS are those that weigh 55 pounds or less.  The rule establishes Part 107, the new regulatory framework for small UAS operations which includes pilot requirements, operational restrictions, and aircraft requirements for commercial purposes.
  • As of September 20, 2016, the FAA reported that: 6,768 people have taken the test to become a “remote pilot in command” and the test’s passage rate is 88 percent; 14,909 remote pilot certificate applications have been submitted through the FAA’s website and 10,966 of those certificates have been processed; 552 waiver requests from Part 107 operational requirements have been submitted and 79 approved (those approved since the new rule went into effect were submitted under the old case-by-case process), and zero airspace authorizations have been approved.

You can read full testimony from today’s hearing here and view full video here.

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