House Small Business Committee

Chabot: Obama Administration’s Final Blacklisting Rule As Bad as We Thought

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 08/24/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement on the Obama administration’s final rule and guidance on the blacklisting of small contractors.  

“President Obama’s latest regulatory power grab should send a chill down the spine of every small contractor who does business with the federal government.  At a time when we should be doing all we can to encourage small businesses to compete for federal contracts, this new red tape will discourage competition resulting in delayed procurement and higher costs shouldered by the American taxpayer. Rather than work with Congress to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in federal contracting, the Obama administration chose to implement a backwards policy of  ‘guilty until proven innocent’ for small businesses. This outrageous new rule is as bad as we thought and underscores the need for common sense regulatory reforms like those included in the ‘Better Way’ agenda’ put forth by House Republicans this spring.”   

BACKGROUND:

Since 2012, there are 100,000 fewer small businesses are competing for federal contracts.

The House Small Business Committee has repeatedly warned the Obama administration about the negative consequences of this rule for small businesses through letters, hearings and roundtables.  

Chabot in Cincinnati Enquirer: Abilities shine in small businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 12:00am

Abilities shine in small businesses
By Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
The Cincinnati Enquirer
August 16, 2016

Small businesses are more than just the backbone of the American economy. They are also the heart and soul of our communities in Ohio and across the nation.

As chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I have seen first-hand how small businesses are leading the way in expanding employment opportunities for Americans with intellectual or developmental disabilities and disorders.

For adults with autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities or disorders, finding sustaining employment can be a real challenge. These individuals can be overlooked when job opportunities arise, and too often they are shut out of the workplace altogether.

Yet every day we see examples of how small businesses, with their ability to adapt and accommodate, are able to provide employment opportunities to those who might not otherwise get a chance.

At a recent hearing, Terri Hogan, the owner of Contemporary Cabinetry East in Cincinnati, told our committee her personal story about hiring Mike Ames, a young man with Down syndrome and how it was, in her words, “the best business decision she ever made.”

“We need to educate others so they begin to take the 'dis' out of disabilities and replace it with ‘abilities,’" testified Hogan, noting that 62 percent of individuals with disabilities remain in the same job for three or more years, much lower than the turnover rate for individuals without disabilities.

“We also need to make small businesses aware of the huge untapped resource that is people with diverse abilities,” Hogan said. “Hiring people who are physically, genetically or cognitively diverse is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.”

She was joined by Ames when she came to Washington. It was a great pleasure to meet and talk at length with both of them in our nation’s capital about this important issue and to have the benefit of their experience.

“Mike has raised morale, brought community awareness, caused others to have broader perspectives and has developed many friends at CCE,” Hogan said.

She went on to say that Ames helped to develop a healthier "bottom line" at her business; everyone works harder because of the example he sets.

I have heard from small business owners like Hogan across Ohio and the country about how hiring employees with special needs has not only boosted morale at their businesses but also productivity.

Sadly, only 30 percent of Americans with disabilities are employed.

This fall, we will mark National Disability Employment Assistance Month, an opportunity to refocus our efforts and reaffirm our commitment to help all Americans find the dignity and purpose that comes with having a job.

This commitment is why I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation, the ABLE to Work Act, a followup to the ABLE Act that will help adults with special needs save the money they earn from work without jeopardizing their Medicaid and Social Security benefits. I will continue to urge my colleagues to pass this important measure and get it to the president’s desk as soon as possible.

Thousands of young adults who graduated in the Class of 2016 will be joining the workforce this fall. This new chapter in life can present challenges for everyone, but for those with intellectual or developmental disorders or disabilities, it is especially daunting. These men and women might face a future where the prospect of finding employment is unknown, and options for the future are limited.

Thankfully, America’s 28 million small businesses are working to expand opportunities to help individuals with disabilities enter the workforce, and grow their quality of life.

Ready for Liftoff: The Importance of Small Businesses in the NASA Supply Chain

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 2:00pm
Chairman Carlos Curbelo has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade titled, “Ready for Liftoff:  The Importance of Small Businesses in the NASA Supply Chain.” The hearing will begin at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 in Room 2360 in the Rayburn House Office Building.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witness List 

Mr. Chris Carberry
CEOand Co-Founder
Explore Mars, Inc.
Beverly, MA
Testimony

George Davis, Ph.D.
President and Founder
Emergent Space Technologies
Greenbelt, MD
Testimony

Ms. Carol Craig
President and CEO
Craig Technologies
Cape Canaveral, FL
Testimony

Mr. Stephen Gorevan
Chairman
Honeybee Robotics, Ltd.
Brooklyn, NY
Testimony

Small Biz is Out of This World

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

Curbelo Hearing Spotlights Importance of Small Companies to NASA

WASHINGTON – Today small business owners told a key Congressional subcommittee that their companies and others like them play a vital role in meeting the needs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).Witnesses and lawmakers also discussed ways to strengthen and improve the critical partnership between small companies and NASA as the agency prepares to celebrate its 58th anniversary later this month.

“Designing next generation spacecraft takes time and in recent years, thankfully, there has been bipartisan consensus on the path forward for human exploration of deep space,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), the Chairman of the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade which convened today’s hearing. “With a new Administration taking office in January, we must build upon that commitment and provide the certainty the industry needs to continue growing, innovating, and building our economy to ensure our nation continues its preeminence in human space flight.”

SPACE, THE FINAL FRONTIER

“One thing is clear: We must not allow the uncertainties of the past to prevail again. We must advance – and accelerate – into the next administration,” said Chris Carberry, the Co-Founder of Explore Mars, Inc.“There is strong bi-partisan support for the goal of sending humans to Mars, and there is clear excitement about that goal from the general public. We must harness that strong consensus.”

“We are approaching another major hurdle, and that is the uncertainty that traditionally accompanies a change in Administrations. Will we once again shift directions and throw our space program – and the small business community upon which its success depends - into turmoil, or will we fully embrace our current policy of sending humans to Mars? We have come so far in recent years, and it benefits no one if we radically change course again,” added Carberry.

ISSUES PERSIST

“I am today – at a crossroads of how to keep the manufacturing side afloat while waiting for delayed payments, extended NASA contract decisions and lack of access to working capital because of stringent banking regulations imposed by the Federal Government. I’ve effectively robbed Peter to grow Paul,” explained Carol Craig, President and CEO of Craig Technologies, a small business based in Cape Canaveral, FL. “I did so because it was the right thing to do – for our business, for our employees and for our community. I believe in our free market system and always strive to offer the very best product and/or service for the price agreed upon. Unfortunately, the cards remain stacked against a small business entrepreneur - even one who overcomes the odds and makes it to the next level.”

“Creating valuable employment opportunities in my community remains my number one goal and priority. But money has to come in the front door on a logical and planned timeline in order to properly budget and ensure the books remain solvent,” added Craig.

NASA OVER THE MOON FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

“I want to emphasize that for small businesses, NASA remains one of the Federal government’s most supportive organizations, testified Stephen Gorevan of Honeybee Robotics, Ltd, a small business based in Brooklyn, NY. “I believe NASA understands the ways in which the small business community can help it succeed with its mission, and it takes seriously its mandate to provide opportunities for small businesses such as Honeybee Robotics to thrive. We are excited for what the future holds and, along with our small business colleagues, look forward to the exciting and important missions ahead.”

CREATING JOBS, SPURRING INNOVATION

“Another challenge Small Businesses face in supporting NASA is the long-term stability of the SBIR-STTRprogram,” added George Davis, Ph.D, the president and founder of Emergent Space Technologies, noting that the program is budget-neutral. “Many U.S. Small Businesses rely on the SBIR-STTRprogram for seed funding in developing a unique product. Others, like Emergent, rely on it to perform strategic R&D for NASA, Air Force and DARPA. Ultimately this funding translates into jobs, both now and in the future.”

“As Albert Einstein once said, 'if we knew what we were doing, we would not call it research.' Congress can help Small Businesses by continuing its strong support of the SBIR-STTR program, especially when it comes to reauthorization in FY2020. Any delay or disruption in this vital program could result in the loss of thousands of job across the country,” concluded Davis.

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Committee Probes Foreign Cyber Attacks on U.S. Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 12:00am

Chabot: “Impacts both our national security and our economic security”

WASHINGTON – Leading cybersecurity experts warned members of the House Small Business Committee today that American small businesses are at great and growing risk of cyberattacks from foreign hackers. Today’s hearing was part of the Committee’s ongoing effort to spotlight the cyber security threats faced by America’s 28 million small businesses and develop solutions to combat the threat.

“Small business cyber security has been a top priority for our Committee throughout this Congress,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “In our previous hearings, we have heard stories from small business owners who have been the victims of cyber attacks. We have also heard dire warnings from cyber security experts about the new and varied cyber threats facing America’s 28 million small businesses.”

“Small businesses play an indispensable role in providing the federal government with products and services. They are integral links in the government supply chain but are often ill-equipped to combat against sophisticated foreign cyber attacks. This makes them a prime target for state sponsors of cyber terrorism who wish to undermine America’s commerce and security,” explained Chabot, who is also a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“This is an important dimension of the cyber security threat that impacts both our national security and our economic security and I believe it demands much more attention than it has received so far,”concluded Chairman Chabot.

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

AS FBI DIRECTOR JIM COMEY SAID YESTERDAY…

“As we know from FBI Director Jim Comey’s statement yesterday, the FBI has recently “developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government,” testified Jamil N. Jaffer, the Director of the Homeland and National Law Program at the George Mason University School of Law.

“This is troubling news indeed, given the important role that the State Department plays in our relations with other nations, the type of sensitive information it receives from our allies, and the critical nature of the negotiations it conducts on behalf our people,” added Jaffer, who also praised Chairman Chabot’s successful effort to include an amendment to a State Department Authorization measure thatrequires a cybersecurity investigation into the State Department’s possible use of equipment and services purchased from suppliers linked to key cyber threat nations.

“The potential use of such equipment and services by the U.S. government is a key issue for congressional oversight, particularly given the threat environment that our nation—in both the public and private sectors—faces from nation-state actors and their proxies,” stressed Jaffer. “The innovative small businesses that are key engines of job growth and investment in our economy… must confront the very real threats we face in cyberspace.”

CYBER SECURITY EXPERTS SOUND THE ALARM

“As small businesses increase their connectivity to the Internet, they face significant challenges and additional costs, not just in infrastructure and the ‘nuts and bolts’ of establishing businesses’ connectivity, but also security-related costs,” testified Nova Daly, a Senior Public Policy Advisor at Wiley Rein LLP and former Director of International Trade at the National Security Council (NSC). “Both domestic and foreign criminals, as well as foreign governments, have been known to exploit and are actively targeting internet based vulnerabilities in order to gain access to financial information, customer data, and intellectual property.”

“In fact, according to McAfee, the well-renown security company, if cybercrime was a country, its GDP would rank 27th in the world,” testified Justin Zeefe, the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of the Nisos Group, a cybersecurity consulting firm. “How would we collectively react if we knew that the 27th largest economy was absolutely dedicated to attacking our value? What if they were overwhelmingly directing their actions against small businesses? In fact, both of these statements are accurate.”

“Symantec found in June 2015 that 75% of cyberattacks were directed at organizations with fewer than 2,500 employees – a dramatic increase from years prior. Not a week goes by that we don’t read of a major data breach in the paper, with mention of what the attackers stole, and often how they managed to gain access.” Zeefe added.

BACKGROUND:

  • Today’s hearing comes after Chairman Chabot led several members of Congress in sending a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker about disturbing reports that Chinese telecommunications vendors may have been used to subvert U.S. sanctions against rogue regimes.
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in a 2012 report that the FBI has determined that foreign state actors pose a serious cyber threat to the telecommunications supply chain.
  • The Office of the National Counter Intelligence Executive released a report in 2011 stating that tens of billions of dollars in trade secrets, intellectual property, and technology are being stolen each year from computer systems in the federal government, corporations, and academic institutions.They identified China and Russia as the two largest participants in cyber espionage.
  • According to a report from Verizon, 71 percent of cyber-attacks occurred in businesses with fewer than 100 employees in 2012.
  • Chairman Chabot has strongly supported key pieces of legislation aimed at improving cyber security for small businesses and the federal government this Congress including H.R. 5064, the Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act of 2016, and H.R. 1731, the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015.

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Foreign Cyber Threats: Small Business, Big Target

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 12:00am
Chairman Steve Chabot has scheduled a full committee hearing of the Committee on Small Business titled "Foreign Cyber Threats: Small Business, Big Target" The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2 PM on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Hearing Materials
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witness List

One Size Does Not Fit All

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 12:00am

Layoffs, Benefit Cuts Coming Soon Due to Obama Overtime Rule

WASHINGTON – As the December 1, 2016 compliance deadline for the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule rapidly approaches, traditional small businesses, technology start-ups, and other small employers told the House Small Business Committee today that they may soon be forced to layoff workers, reduce benefits and lower wages to cover the costs of the new federally-mandated requirements.

“The DOL has heralded this rule as a long-overdue action that will provide tremendous benefits to workers,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “However, like so many of this Administration’s policies, this one-size-fits-all mandate will do far more harm than good.”

“Numerous small employers weighed in on this proposal and told the Department of Labor that the unprecedented salary level increase would have very negative repercussions,” Chairman Chabot noted. “They asked for a common sense rule that recognized that not all employers have the same resources or utilize the same compensation structures. Unfortunately, their pleas fell on deaf ears.”

“I want to assure the small employers here today, and those tuning in from across this great country, that while DOL didn’t listen to you, we are,” Chairman Chabot added.

Painful Choices Looming for Small Businesses

“From a personal perspective, this rule is likely to have negative consequences - not only to my company, but to my employees as well,” testified Albert F. Macre, a general partner at Payroll+ Services in Steubenville, OH.

“In addition to these negative impacts, the implementation window is very short. This rule will become effective on December 1, 2016, just over five months from now. Given that many small businesses are still struggling with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act five years after the enactment, this window of compliance seems barely cracked open,” Macre explained.

“As a small business owner with several salaried employees positioned between the current exempt overtime earnings threshold and that created by the Department of Labor’s new rule, I now find myself standing with countless other small business owners forced to swallow more government 'medication' prescribed before an accurate attempt at diagnosis has been completed,”Macre added.

Stunting the Growth of Tech Start-ups

“Looking back on when I started my company in 2010, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I would have not been able to hire my first employee had this rule been in place,” said Adam Robinson, the Co-founder of Hireology, a human resources technology business, in Chicago, IL.

“My company now has 100 employees with a median annual compensation that exceeds $70,000 a year - well above the US average. How many “Hireology’s” won’t get started as a result of this rule making that 1st employee unaffordable for an entrepreneur? Are fewer good-paying jobs created and fewer businesses launched the outcomes that are desired here?” asked Robinson.

“Like most federal regulations, the overtime rule is a one-size-fits-all policy that doesn’t distinguish among firm size, sector, location, or compensation structure. This means that companies that don’t fit the Department of Labor’s outdated model will be disproportionately hurt by the rule,” explained Robinson.

“At a time when the middle-class in this country is already being squeezed, the tech sector, sales jobs, and middle-management positions are a few areas that still provide relief. The overtime rule threatens to close those career pathways that have been paved by hard work,” he added.

Small Local Governments and Non-Profits Also Affected

“Mineral County is the very definition of a small governmental entity and we are very concerned about the potential impact of the new overtime rule on our ability to fulfill our fundamental responsibilities — many of which are mandated by the state and federal government,” testified Jerrie Tipton, the Chairman of the Mineral County Board of Commissioners in Nevada.

“Unfortunately, the new overtime rule does not adequately address the wide variations in local labor markets in counties across the country. And ultimately, please remember that the new rule will have broad consequences for taxpayers — and county services,” observed Commissioner Tipton.

“[T]he rule will drastically impact the budget and operations of nonprofits, as well as colleges and universities, health care providers, small businesses and local governments. These employers may be unable to absorb such costs without adverse impact to employee relations or fiscal operations,” testified Christine V. Walters, the Sole-Proprietor of FiveL Company in Westminster, MD.

“One of my clients provides rehabilitation services to a disadvantaged population, of which 85 percent of their clients meet the current poverty threshold. Unlike other employers, this organization cannot transfer increased costs to their lower-income consumers,” explained Walters.

You can read full testimony from today’s hearing here and watch full video of the hearing here.

BACKGROUND

  • Chairman Chabot served as co-chairman of the special House Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens. Last week, Speaker Ryan, Chairman Chabot and House Republicans unveiled the work of the task force in front of the Department of Labor’s Washington DC headquarters and spoke at length about the overtime rule.
  • You can read the task force’s full report titled “A Better Way to Grow the Economy”hereand view video of Chabot’s remarkshere.
  • Chairman Chabot is a co-sponsor of H.R. 4773, the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, which would nullify the rule and require the DOL do a thorough economic impact analysis of any substantially similar rule.
  • The Small Business Committee has vigorously opposed the DOL overtime rule for months. The Committee has held numerous hearings and roundtables and sent multiple letters explaining to the administration the damage that will be done to America’s 28 million small businesses and other small employers as a result of the rule.

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Damaging Repercussions: DOL’s Overtime Rule, Small Employers, and their Employees

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 12:00am
Chairman Steve Chabot has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business titled, “Damaging Repercussions: DOL’s Overtime Rule, Small Employers, and their Employees.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, June 23, 2016, in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses
Mr. Adam Robinson
Co-founder/CEO Hireology
Chicago, IL
*Testifying on behalf of the Job Creators Network
Testimony

The Honorable Jerrie Tipton
Commission Chair Mineral County
Hawthorne, NV
*Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Counties
Testimony

Mr. Ross Eisenbrey
Vice President
Economic Policy Institute
Washington, DC
Testimony

“FEAR FACTORS" : IRS Audits Used to Intimidate Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:00am

 

WASHINGTON – Today small business owners and advocates told a key Congressional subcommittee that increasingly aggressive audit tactics by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have been used to intimidate small companies, creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the small business community.

“In the administration of the tax code, the IRS has dual roles: collection and enforcement,” said Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Chairman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) in his opening remarks. “Small businesses have a right to be treated fairly on both counts. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.”

“The Small Business Committee has heard from a number of small businesses that have been harmed in one way or another by the IRS. In at least two cases, aggressive audits have resulted in these companies closing their doors.” Subcommittee Chairman Huelskamp added.

National Taxpayers Union Speaks Out

“To this day, taxpayers and advisers continue to report on troublesome developments in IRS audits that range from isolated cases to broader policies,” testified Pete Sepp, the President of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU).

“From the view of the small business person immersed in an audit, such matters of policy seem academic. What, therefore, are the more palpable “fear factors” foremost in business owners’ minds when undergoing this process?” asked Sepp.

“Based on NTU’s review of research literature, statistical analysis, oversight reports, and hundreds of anecdotes over the past several decades, we believe the following are most pertinent,” said Sepp pointing to “uncertainty” and “intimidation tactics.”

“A September 2014 report for the National Association of Manufacturers calculated that the regulatory cost per worker for all tax compliance activities in firms of any size was a whopping $960 (using 2012 data and expressing in 2014 dollars). For companies with fewer than 50 employees, the tab was much worse – over 50 percent more, at $1,518 per worker. Unfortunately, these considerable outlays and resources do not buy peace of mind for small business owners who, as Ranking Member Velázquez stated, often operate in fear of vague laws being used against them,” Sepp added.

“Time Consuming,” “Expensive” and “Devastating”

“If Federal Express can manage millions of packages all over the world, it seems that the IRS could come up with some sort of bar code or other tracking system that would allow both the IRS and the taxpayers to track correspondence responding to notices and the status of their cases," testified Roger Harris, a franchise owner based in Athens, Georgia.

“The vast majority of small business audits are correspondence audits. While they are intended to cover only simple issues, because of the IRS’s focus on efficiency, they can be frightening to small business taxpayers, as well as being time consuming and expensive. In some circumstances when things go wrong, they can be devastating to a business,” Harris added.

A Lack of Transparency

“Aligned with this issue is a lack of transparency with the IRS,” said Lee Davenport, a Member of the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC). “For most taxpayers, the information the IRS has about them is a mystery. It’s not easy for taxpayers to access and understand their tax information on file with the IRS, their previous tax-related interactions or their tax compliance obligations.”

“For small-business taxpayers, this issue is even more critical, because small businesses are more likely to complete multiple year-round transactions with the IRS. In many cases, when there is a compliance issue, small-business taxpayers find out with a surprising IRS notice after they file, or – even more stressful – an audit that can take months or years to resolve. For all types of taxpayers, accessing and using their tax information to proactively comply is almost entirely out of the question in the current system,” Davenport noted.

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

BACKGROUND:

  • Today’s hearing represents the latest part of the House Small Business Committee’s ongoing oversight of mistreatment of small businesses by the IRS.
  • Last month, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson told the full Committee that the failure of the IRS to help answer basic questions from taxpayers was “beyond unacceptable” and “absurd.”
  • In April, Full Committee Chairman Chabot and Members pressed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on a myriad of problems with his agency’s treatment of small businesses ranging from lax cybersecurity to complying with the complexities of the tax code.

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Audits and Attitudes: Is the IRS Helping or Hurting Small Businesses?

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:00am
Chairman Tim Huelskamp has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access titled "Audits and Attitudes: Is the IRS Helping or Hurting Small Businesses?" The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:30 A.M. on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Hearing Materials
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witness List
Mr. Pete Sepp
President National Taxpayers Union
Washington, DC
Testimony

Mr. Lee Davenport
Member Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC)
Washington, DC
Testimony

Mr. Roger Harris
President & COO
Padgett Business Services
Athens, GA
Testimony

Committee Holds Small Business Owners Roundtable on Cutting Government Red Tape

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 12:00am

Job Creators Tell Committee Members: DOL Overtime Rule Bad for Their Businesses

WASHINGTON – Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) held a roundtable discussion with small business owners from across the country on how their businesses and workers will be harmed by the new overtime rule issued by theDepartment of Labor last month. Committee members and entrepreneurs discussed how the Obama Administration’s pattern of regulatory overreach has created an atmosphere of uncertainty for America’s small businesses and hurt the very employees they claim to help.

“For months now, our Committee has been warning the Obama administration that the proposed DOL overtime rule will be a disaster for America’s 28 million small businesses and their workers,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH). With the December 1st compliance deadline approaching, small employers and their employees are now dealing with the consequences of this terrible policy in the form of job losses, demotions, less flexibility, lower wages, and reduced benefits.Today’s discussion highlighted just how devastating this rule will be for the millions of Americans who go to work every day at a small business. During these difficult times, small businesses need to know we have their back and will continue to do all we can to slash the government red tape that is harming them.”

Participants in the roundtable included Committee members Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS) and Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), as well as Ms. Rudaina Hamade of Renaissance Property Management Solutions, LLC in Dearborn, MI, Mr. Ron Collins, of JCM Industries in Nash, TX, Mr. Harold Jackson of Buffalo Supply in Lafayette, CO, Ms. Ciara Stockeland, the Founder and COO of Mama Mia Inc. / MODE in Fargo, ND, Dr. Herb Sohn, the Owner of Strauss Surgical Group in Chicago, IL, Ms. Maxine Turner, President of Cuisine Unlimited Inc. in Salt Lake City, UT, Mr. Ian MacLean, of Highland Landscaping, LLC in Southlake, TX, and Mr. Jeffrey G. Tucker of Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc. in Haddonfield, NJ.

BACKGROUND:

  • Chairman Chabot has served as co-chairman of the special House Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens. Yesterday, Speaker Ryan, Chairman Chabot and House Republicans unveiled the work of the task force in front of the Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, DC.
  • You can read the full report titled “A Better Way to Grow the Economy” here and view video of Chabot’s remarks yesterday here.
  • Chairman Chabot is a co-sponsor of H.R. 4773, the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act, which would nullify the rule and require the DOL do a thorough economic impact analysis of any substantially similar rule.

Chabot, Committee Members talk cutting government red tape with a diverse roundtable of small business owners from across the United States

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A Better Way to Grow Our Economy

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 12:00am

 

Third Plank of Bold Agenda Includes More Than 100 Ideas to Tackle Excessive Regulations, Develop American Energy, and Promote Financial Independence

From the Office of the Speaker:

WASHINGTON—Today, House Republicans unveiled a plan to grow our economy by tackling excessive regulations, developing American energy, and promoting financial independence for people who work hard and do the right thing. It is our vision for a Confident America that is the best place in the world to live, work, build things, start a business, and raise a family.

Lawmakers will talk about this plan later today at a press conference near the Capitol.

This is the third plank of A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges. Last week, Republicans unveiled initiatives aimed atlifting people out of poverty andkeeping the American people safe.

Our plan—available now at better.gop—is comprised of at least 101 ideas, including:

· Fewer and smarter regulations. Cut down on needless regulations and make the rules we do need more efficient and effective.

· More affordable and reliable energy. Connect our energy boom to consumers, responsibly produce more of our own resources, and end needless delays that hold up jobs and projects.

· More financial independence and no more bailouts. Reward people who work hard and do the right thing, and put an end to Wall Street bailouts.

· More choices for workers and students. Make it easier for people to excel in schools and workplaces, and rip up the red tape that gets in their way.

· Real Internet innovation. Establish clear and consumer-friendly rules that prevent the FCC from making up regulations as it goes along.

· A crack down on lawsuit abuse. Keep trial lawyers in check, and improve protections for consumers and small businesses.

These ideas were developed by the Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens, which includes: Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA).

About A Better Way. A Better Way is a bold policy agenda to address some of the country’s biggest challenges. It takes our timeless principles—liberty, free enterprise, consent of the governed—and applies them to the problems of our time. Developed with input from around the country, it starts the debate now on what we can achieve in 2017 and beyond. It is our vision for a Confident America, at home and abroad. Now we are taking these ideas to the people, so you have a clear choice about the direction of the country. To learn more, visit better.gop.

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Bearing the Burden: Over-regulation’s Impact on Small Banks and Rural Communities

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 10:00am
Chairman Tim Huelskamp has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access titled, "Bearing the Burden: Over-regulation’s Impact on Small Banks and Rural Communities." The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, June 9, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Hearing Materials

1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo
4. Hearing Video

Witnesses

Mr. Shan Hanes
President/CEO
First National Bank of Elkhart
Elkhart, KS
Testimony

Mr. Roger M. Beverage
President & CEO
Oklahoma Bankers Association
Oklahoma City, OK *
Testifying on behalf of the American Bankers Association 
Testimony

REGULATION NATION: Rural Communities Paying the Price

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 12:00am

Dodd-Frank Destroying Jobs, Communities in America’s Heartland

WASHINGTON –
Today representatives from community banks in America’s heartland told a key Congressional subcommittee how government regulations like the Dodd-Frank Act are killing small businesses in rural communities. The witnesses shared their stories with the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access about how new red tape like Dodd-Frank has killed jobs and devastated communities in rural America over the past six years. 

“Across the country community banks are seeing the costs of complying with regulations soar, and the result has been less capital available for the main street shop looking to expand, for the entrepreneur looking to start a business, or for our neighbor hoping to purchase a new home,” explained Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) in his opening remarks. “The impact of regulation on community banks is felt especially hard in our country’s rural areas, like my district in Kansas.”

“The rising cost of regulation is causing many small banks to merge with large entities that may not understand the local community, or causing some to shut their doors entirely,” Huelskamp added. “In rural towns without many other alternatives for access to capital, the results of top-down regulation can be devastating and impact the whole town. Home mortgage lending, small business lending, agricultural lending‒ all areas where community banks play a lead in providing capital‒ become much more difficult, and much more costly to consumers.”

COMMUNITY BANKS: VIEWS FROM THE HEARTLAND

“Rural banks will continue to serve their customers to the best of their abilities despite the many obstacles that have hurt their business models,” testified Shan Hanes of the First National Bank of Elkhart, Kansas. “Rural banks will compete with anyone on a level playing field and they have not backed down from such competition in the past. But when there is a combination of an unfair playing field and over burdensome regulations, all banks have great difficulty in surviving, not just competing. Banks are drivers of the economy, and this is especially true for rural banks.”

“Due to these factors in banks similar to mine, banks are exiting the mortgage lending market not due to credit decisions, but due to compliance and regulatory decisions,” Hanes stated.  “The mortgage lending rules were intended to address the credit risk side; however the compliance risk has become greater than the credit risk.”

“America’s hometown banks are resilient, and have found ways of meeting our customers’ needs in spite of the ups and downs of the economy,” said Roger Beverage of the Oklahoma Bankers Association. “But it is a job that has become much more difficult because of the avalanche of new rules, guidances and seemingly ever-changing expectations of the regulators. This new regulatory atmosphere—not the local economic conditions—is often the tipping point that drives small banks to merge. The fact remains that there are nearly 1,500 fewer banks today than there were 5 years ago—a trend that will continue until some rational changes are made that will provide some relief to America’s hometown banks.”

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

BACKGROUND:

  • According to research by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, community banks provide over 48 percent of small business loans and 44 percent of all farmland lending and all farm lending.

 

  • According to a study by the American Action Forum,  new rules under the Dodd-Frank Act have created over $20 billion in compliance costs, and over 60 million paperwork burden hours, with the promise of more still to come.

 

  • Regulatory burdens and compliance costs are generally greater for small businesses that have less revenue and a small employee base to spread over costs. Given this, small financial institutions such as community banks have been forced to bear a severe regulatory burden.

Chabot Hails House Passage of Ozone Standards Implementations Act

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 12:00am

Chabot Hails House Passage of Ozone Standards Implementations Act

Bipartisan Measure Protects Jobs and Public Health

WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement after H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016, was passed by the U.S. House:

“Over the last seven years, we have seen a disturbing pattern of regulatory overreach by President Obama’s EPA. To make matters worse, this dangerous pattern has been accompanied by an alarming lack of candor and clarity from the EPA about what exactly their new standards entail. This has left state governments and small businesses at a serious disadvantage as they try to navigate this maze of costly new environmental regulations and fight back against the EPA. With this bipartisan, common sense legislation, the House has restored important powers back to the states that will enable them to better protect the small businesses in their states against the EPA’s overreach.”

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Chabot, Connolly Introduce Bill to Help More Small Businesses Export

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 12:00am

Chabot, Connolly Introduce Bill to Help More Small Businesses Export

WASHINGTON – Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) have introduced H.R. 2586, the Export Coordination Act of 2015, a bill to improve the coordination of federal export promotion resources and to streamline the export process so that more small businesses can sell goods overseas.

“When it comes to exporting, most small businesses don’t know where to start,” said Chabot. “The process can be incredibly complex and the federal resources that are supposed to help them navigate the process are just as intimidating. The Export Coordination Act would streamline these resources and take steps to make the process easier for businesses.

Chabot added, “It is my hope that this bill – and other solutions that the Small Business Committee is currently working on – will open the door for more small businesses to sell their goods overseas, which ultimately provides more opportunities for working families.”

Congressman Connolly said, “The federal government stands ready to help small businesses access foreign markets and create jobs through exports. This bill will ensure that federal trade promotion agencies are reaching out to state and local partners and making access to these resources as straightforward as possible.

U.S. exports support more than 38 million American jobs – including 1 in 3 manufacturing jobs.  Despite the fact that 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, only 2 percent of all small businesses export their goods.

H.R. 2586 would require the United States Department of Commerce’s Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) to clearly define each federal agency’s role in the export process, establish a central listing of all trade events, give state trade agencies a voice in setting our national export strategy, and reduce overlap of current export resources. 

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The Sharing Economy: A Taxing Experience for New Entrepreneurs, Part II

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 10:00am
Chairman Steve Chabot has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business titled, “The Sharing Economy:  A Taxing Experience for New Entrepreneurs, Part II.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, May 26, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Hearing Materials
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo

Witness List

"Beyond unacceptable, it is absurd”

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 12:00am

National Taxpayer Advocate: IRS Not Helping Entrepreneurs in the Sharing Economy


WASHINGTON
– The National Taxpayer Advocate told members of the House Small Business Committee today that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not been helping Americans navigate tax rules and regulations in the new sharing economy. Today’s hearing was the second in a two-part series held by the Committee examining tax compliance challenges for entrepreneurs in the sharing economy.

“When the IRS is behind the times, it puts small businesses behind the eight ball,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “This failure has left on-demand platform companies and their workers confused and frustrated as they try to do the right thing and pay the taxes they owe.”

“Here’s the real kicker: many on-demand companies say they would gladly provide tax compliance training but they don’t because they are afraid the IRS will reclassify their relationship and subject them to whole new host of regulations and obligations,” Chairman Chabot observed. 

“Congressional committees like ours have a duty to provide robust oversight of the IRS and ensure they are providing small businesses with clarity and treating them fairly,” Chabot added.

THE NATIONAL TAXPAYER ADVOCATE’S VIEW

“If a person working in the sharing economy called the IRS toll free line today, he or she would hear a recording saying the IRS is not answering any tax law questions after April 15th, so please check IRS dot gov,” testified Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS. “The same message is given to people asking questions at IRS walk-in sites. For a tax agency to not answer questions from taxpayers trying to learn what they need to do to comply is beyond unacceptable, it’s absurd.” 

Under current IRS rules, Olson explained, “An Airbnb host would have to sift through a 24 page publication 527 residential rental property and an Uber driver would have to navigate through the 50 page publication 463 travel, entertainment, gift and car expenses and they still might not understand how these rules apply to themselves as service providers in the sharing economy.”

You can read full testimony from today’s hearing here and watch full video of the hearing here

Overdue: Chabot, Chaffetz Press OMB on Paperwork Reduction Requirements

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), joined by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) today asked the Office and Management and Budget for a long overdue status update on the federal paperwork burden.

Chairmen Chabot and Chaffetz, whose Committees have jurisdiction over the Paperwork Reduction Act, pointed out to OMB Director Shaun Donovan that “the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is required to annually submit a report to Congress on the paperwork burden imposed on individuals, small businesses and others by federal agencies and efforts to reduce those burdens.”

As Chabot and Chaffetz noted, “OMB’s report, which it calls the Information Collection Budget, is long overdue. Congress did not receive a report in 2015.” 

Read full text of the letter here.

May 26, 2016

The Honorable Shaun Donovan
Director
Office of Management and Budget
Washington, D.C. 20503

Dear Director Donovan:

            As Chairmen of the Committees with jurisdiction over the Paperwork Reduction Act,

5 U.S.C. §§ 3501-21 (PRA), we write to inquire about the Office of Management and Budget’s annual report on the federal paperwork burden.  Pursuant to the PRA, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is required to annually submit a report to Congress on the paperwork burden imposed on individuals, small businesses, and others by federal agencies and efforts to reduce those burdens. OMB’s report, which it calls the Information Collection Budget, is long overdue. 

Congress did not receive a report in 2015.  The last report that OMB issued was in 2014 and covered the paperwork burden imposed on the public in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. We are concerned that OMB is not fulfilling its obligations under the PRA.  Congress needs the Information Collection Budget to evaluate the overall federal paperwork burden and determine whether legislative changes are necessary to ensure the PRA operates as Congress intended.  Therefore, we request that OMB provide the following information:

1.      Why did OMB fail to issue a report to Congress on the federal paperwork burden in 2015?

2.      On what date will OMB publish the Information Collection Budget that covers the federal paperwork burdens for FY 2014?

3.      On what date will OMB publish the Information Collection Budget that covers the federal paperwork burdens for FY 2015?

4.      Please explain how OMB will ensure that it provides Congress with an annual report on the federal paperwork burden as required by 5 U.S.C. § 3514 from now on. 

5.      Please provide all policies and guidance documents explaining how OMB approves information collection requests.

Please provide your responses no later than June 23, 2016


Sincerely,

Steve Chabot                                                                          
Chairman                                                                                
Committee on Small Business

Jason Chaffetz
Chairman
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform                                              

cc:  The Honorable Howard Shelanski, Administrator
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget

The Sharing Economy: A Taxing Experience for New Entrepreneurs, Part I

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 05/24/2016 - 11:00am
Chairman Steve Chabot has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business titled, “The Sharing Economy:  A Taxing Experience for New Entrepreneurs, Part I.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Hearing Materials
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo

Witness List

Ms. Caroline Bruckner
Executive-in-Residence, Accounting and Taxation
Managing Director, Kogod Tax Policy Center
Washington, DC
Testimony

Mr. Rob Willey
VP Marketing
TaskRabbit
San Francisco, CA
Testimony

Mr. Morgan Reed
Executive Director
ACT  The App Association
Washington, DC
Testimony

Mr. Joe Kennedy
Senior Fellow
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Washington, DC
Testimony

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