Heartland Entrepreneurs Share their Stories with Congress
WASHINGTON – Entrepreneurs from rural America today called for relief from overregulation as they shared their personal experiences with government red tape with a key Congressional subcommittee. Today’s hearing of the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access comes 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.
House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) co-chaired the House task force which crafted the plan using input from entrepreneurs across America that have shared their experiences with the Small Business Committee.
“The loss of community banks in this country due to regulatory challenges like Dodd-Frank have also hurt the rural communities served by these banks very hard,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) at today’s hearing. “By understanding how small businesses can be successful in rural areas like my district in Kansas, we can not only improve the economic growth of the entire country, but create the businesses and the products of the future right at home.”
Breaking the Backbone of America
“Small businesses are the backbone of America,” testified Hugh Middleton, a former Navy SEAL officer and co-founder of a small mobile technology company in Flowood, Mississippi. “We create opportunity, generate jobs, invent new technology and keep the economy going. We do all of this while being over regulated, over taxed and under supported by the Federal Government. Everything from Obama Care to mountains of paperwork are hindrances to the growth and health of a small business.”
“With lower taxes and healthcare costs, we could hire more people, increase salaries and bring better talent to Mississippi,” Middleton added.
Rural Counties Also Paying the Price
“Federal agencies have issued an increasing number of regulations in recent years,” testified Robert Boyd, the County Commissioner of Riley County, Kansas. “According to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), unfunded mandates from federal rules and regulations cost local governments, our citizens and businesses between $57 billion and $85 billion a year
“Small counties have to provide the same mandatory services and comply with the same regulations as our suburban and urban counterparts do. And we must do so with limited ability to raise revenue.” Boyd added.
Career and technical education helps students acquire the education, skills, and experience they need to compete and succeed in the workforce. That’s why Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA) introduced—and the committee unanimously approved—the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587). In an op-ed for U.S. News and World Report, Charles Sahm, director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute, writes that the bipartisan bill will “help young people place their feet on the ladder to economic prosperity.”
Rethinking Pathways to Prosperity
By Charles Sahm
September 1, 2016
Across the political spectrum, there is wide agreement that strengthening career and technical education is key to improving economic and social mobility. Still, in these polarized, hyperpartisan times, it seems far-fetched that Congress could pass a thoughtful, bipartisan piece of legislation that would help young people place their feet on the ladder to economic prosperity. But as Congress returns from recess next week just such a bill is awaiting a vote.
The legislation, titled the "Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act," modernizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Act, which has funded career and technical education programs since 1984. It emerged from the House Education Committee via a unanimous 37 to 0 vote in June.
Like the recent reauthorization of the federal government's main education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Perkins reauthorization gives more discretion to the states. It doesn't seek to micromanage policy but rather requires states to measure and report certain targeted outcomes. The new law also incentivizes stronger engagement with employers, the utilization of "work-based learning" and programs that lead to attainment of "recognized postsecondary credentials" …
The best, most secure jobs of the 21st century will require some sort of post-secondary degree or industry-recognized credential. But that doesn't mean that every student need go directly from high school to a four-year college. It's time to rethink some of our rigid views around higher education in the United States. Other nations with higher mobility rates tend to make more use of apprenticeships and technical education.
If passed, the new Perkins Act would be a small but important step toward making sure that students get on the pathway to prosperity that's right for them.
To read the full op-ed, click here.
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1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Chairman Chabot Says Congress Must Approve Changes to Program
WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) today expressed concern that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has failed to improve a federal program that aids small business development in economically distressed areas. Chairman Chabot also admonished the SBA that Congress and the Committee must approve all changes to the Historically Underutilized Business Zone or “HUBZone” program in order to ensure it is working as intended.
“The HUBZone program cannot fulfill its mission if the opportunities provided by these incentives are being taken by companies that don’t actually qualify for the program,” said Chairman Chabot in his opening statement. “The HUBZone program is intended to help these small businesses, but can only succeed if the program is run in way that actually helps the areas most in need.”
“It is crucial, however, that any efforts to alter or expand the program are made by working through Congress and with this Committee. Actions that could change how the program has been run, or how effective the program will be, must be done out in the open, with the public debate afforded by the People’s branch,” added Chabot.
After the hearing concluded, Chairman Chabot said “The SBA’s actions on the HUBZone program have left our Committee with more questions than answers. Our Committee will be evaluating all available options as we move forward in the coming weeks and months to improve this program.”
California Supreme Court Continues Its “Grasping” and “Exorbitant” Personal Jurisdiction over Nonresident Defendants
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing a new rule which would allow international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole or temporary permission to be in the United States. Entrepreneurs may be granted an initial stay of two years, and seek a subsequent request for re-parole for up to three additional years. USCIS welcomes public comment on the numbers and types of small businesses that may be impacted by this rule, the compliance costs of this rule, and any potential alternatives that may minimize the compliance costs of this rule.
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.”
Since 2012, there are 100,000 fewer small businesses are competing for federal contracts.