Every Small Business Started As An Idea
By Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
May 6, 2016
Every small business started as an idea.
Each year, National Small Business Week gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the invaluable contribution America’s small businesses make to our economy and the ideas that made them possible.
It is also an opportunity for Washington to refocus its efforts to help them thrive so they can do what they do best: create jobs and help grow our economy.
As our Committee noted in a bipartisan House resolution we introduced recognizing this week as National Small Business Week, the most recent statistics show there is nothing “small” about small business in America.
For instance, many people are surprised to learn that 99.7 percent of businesses with employees are small businesses and that 98 percent of American exporters are small businesses.
Sixty three percent of new jobs created are by small businesses and 46 percent of private sector output is produced by these engines of economic growth.
This huge economic footprint means that nearly everything Washington does - from taxes to regulations to health care to international trade - affects millions of families because they impact our small businesses.
As Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I hear from small business owners from across the country about how they feel hamstrung by excessive regulation and complicated taxes.
This Congress, we’ve made some meaningful progress by easing some of these burdens that will help our small businesses prosper.
We’ve begun the hard work of getting the tax code to work for small businesses instead of against them. Specifically, we have made both the research and development tax credit and Section 179 expensing permanent. We also expanded bonus depreciation through 2019.
To help lower energy costs for small businesses and individuals, we also ended the decades-old ban on crude oil exports. We have also opened new doors for economic development by strengthening local Certified Development Companies (CDCs) and the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program.
To honor our American heroes and encourage veteran entrepreneurship, we waived upfront 7(a) loan fees for veterans and their spouses who want to start a small business. This bipartisan law helps veterans build on the leadership skills they have learned while serving our country which translates well into success as entrepreneurs.
We’ve also passed The Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act, to help startup companies access early capital through “angel investors” by a vote of 325 to 89.
When entrepreneurs look for ways to get their business off the ground and keep it off the ground, they look at every avenue available to them. I firmly believe that Congress must take the same approach as we look for new ways to help them succeed.
There is no effort too big or too small when it comes to empowering America’s entrepreneurs. Their efforts exemplify the American dream each and every day.
As Walt Disney, himself a great entrepreneur, once remarked, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
We must do all we can to encourage America’s innovators who dare to dream and put their shoulders to the wheel to turn those dreams into realities.
I urge all Americans to support their local small businesses this #SmallBizWeek2016.
Congressman Steve Chabot represents Ohio's First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives where he is chairman of the House Committee on Small Business. He is also a senior member of the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. You can follow the committee on Twitter @HouseSmallBiz.
From the Office of the Speaker:
Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot to Deliver Weekly Republican Address
WASHINGTON — Marking National Small Business Week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced today that House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) will deliver the Weekly Republican Address on Saturday, May 7. In the address, Chairman Chabot will discuss how House Republicans are working to relieve small businesses of excessive regulations and complicated taxes imposed under the current tax system.
“Small business owners, employees, and entrepreneurs everywhere should be energized by our reform agenda for the future,” said Chairman Chabot. “I’m excited to deliver this address to discuss the bold new ideas House Republicans are bringing to the table that will challenge the way Washington does business for years to come.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy,” Speaker Ryan said in an op-ed for the The Journal Times. “Right now, the deck is stacked against our workers and small businesses. Let’s lower their tax rates, level the playing field, and watch our small businesses thrive.”
Chairman Steve Chabot has proudly served on the House Small Business Committee since first being elected to Congress in 1994. During his time in Congress, he has made small business growth and job creation a top priority. Chairman Chabot served as ranking member on the Small Business Committee from 2007-2008. During the 113th Congress, he also served as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, where he focused on opening new markets and expanding trade opportunities for American businesses.
Learn more about Chairman Chabot by following him on Twitter, liking his Facebook page, or visiting his website. Learn more about the House Small Business Committee by following it on Twitter, liking its Facebook page, or visiting its website.
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address will be available starting Saturday, May 7, at 6:00 a.m. ET on speaker.gov.
GSA Administrator Roth Highlights New Initiatives to Bolster Business and Tech Opportunities in Government
Kudos to Colorado Supreme Court for Protecting Private-Property Rights from Special-Interest Enviro Groups
WASHINGTON – The Honorable Peg Gustafson will provide testimony at a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation confirmation hearing at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 10. On April 25, 2016, President Obama nominated Ms. Gustafson to serve as inspector general for the Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce has been without a Senate confirmed inspector general since June 3, 2015. Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), a member of the Commerce Committee and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, wrote to President Obama on August 5, 2015, requesting a nomination.
Ms. Gustafson’s nomination questionnaire is available here.
The Honorable Peg Gustafson, Small Business Administration Inspector General (current position)
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Full Committee hearing
This hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.
Brenda RadmacherWCOE congratulates Brenda Radmacher, Partner at Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP in Glendale CA and WCOE CA Chapter President, on being named the 2016 Outside Counsel of the Year. This is a prestigious award given each year to one lawyer nationally by CLM at its annual conference.
Brenda was one of only three lawyers nominated nationwide, which alone is a huge honor given the fact that CLM is one of the largest organizations of defense lawyers in the nation.
CLM Professionals of the Year Award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:
Demonstrated a passion for the industry and a willingness to work hard for the greater claims or litigation management community.
- Developed a transformative or innovative process.
- Contributed to the success of their company or client through strong claims or litigation management practices.
- Active within the greater claims or litigation management community (involved in organizations outside their own company or firm).
- Exemplifies CLM's mission statement—looks to further the discipline through collaboration, education, communication, inclusion, dedication and the identification and development of professionals with expertise in litigation management.
An industry leader for more than 80 years, Balfour Beatty Construction US provides general contracting, at-risk construction management, and design-build services for a wide variety of markets, serving clients in both the public and private sectors. The company is the U.S. subsidiary of London-based Balfour Beatty plc (LSE: BBY), a leading international infrastructure group that finances, develops, builds and maintains complex building programs focused on social and commercial buildings, power and utility systems, and transportation. Consistently ranked among the nation's largest building contractors, Balfour Beatty Construction Services US has been cited as a Top 10 Domestic Building Contractor and Top 10 Green Builder by Engineering News-Record. Balfour Beatty Construction is proud to support women-owned businesses and WCOE.
The recently-enacted FAST Act included provisions to improve our nation’s infrastructure and establish a strategic national freight policy. The field hearing will focus on implementation of the FAST Act, the impact of freight transportation to rural economies, and ways to strengthen local and regional transportation networks.
· Mr. Kyle Schneweis, Director, Nebraska Department of Roads
· Mr. Don Overman, Chairman, Western Nebraska Regional Airport Authority Board
· Ms. Deb Cottier, Executive Director, Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation
· Mr. David Freeman, Senior Vice President of Transportation, BNSF Railway
· Mr. Kevin Kelley, President, Kelley Bean Company
· Mr. Brent Holliday, Chief Executive Officer, Nebraska Transport Company
Monday, May 2, 2016, 10:00 a.m. MT/12:00 p.m. ET.
Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee Field Hearing
Plex Room, The Harms Advanced Technology Center
Western Nebraska Community College
Witness testimony and opening statements will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.
In passing the Every Student Succeeds Act last year, we took important steps to support and encourage greater school choice for students and their families. These reforms empower parents to do what’s best for their child’s education, and help ensure that all children are able to receive the excellent education they deserve—regardless of their family’s background, income, or zip code.
Helping students escape failing schools so they can pursue a brighter future is an important priority, and that’s exactly what the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program does for children in our nation’s capital.
For more than 10 years, the program has enabled thousands of students to pursue the quality education necessary to excel both in the classroom and later in life. And excel they do. In fact, last year, 90 percent of 12th graders who received a scholarship through the program graduated from high school, and nearly 90 percent of those students went on to pursue a college degree.
These are impressive results that speak volumes about the importance of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. They’re also a big reason this program has long enjoyed bipartisan support. Sure, there are critics who argue these vulnerable children shouldn’t have the opportunity to pursue a better education. But, fortunately, a strong majority in Congress remains committed to supporting this program. This bill will renew that commitment to the students and families the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program serves.
The legislation also authorizes support for D.C. public schools and will provide critical resources for D.C. public charter schools. In my home state of Minnesota—the birthplace of charter schools—we have seen the many benefits of providing parents an alternative public school option that better meets their child’s needs. The bill will help the District of Columbia continue to do the same for its students.
Together, these measures will make a positive impact in the lives of students across the District and create much-needed education opportunities for children who might not otherwise have them. I’d say that is a very worthwhile investment. I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.
Kline Statement: Markup of H.R. 4843, the Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act
Today, the committee will take an important step in preventing the abuse and neglect of infants born with opioid addiction. As we all know, an opioid epidemic has swept across the country. This epidemic is destroying communities; it is destroying families; it is destroying lives; and perhaps most tragically, it is destroying the lives of the most vulnerable among us.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act has long provided grants to states to help prevent child abuse and neglect, as well as identify, assess, and treat the victims. In order to receive federal funding, states have to provide some basic assurances about their child welfare policies. For example, states have to assure there are policies in place to notify child protective services when a newborn is identified with the symptoms of illegal substance abuse, as well as policies for the development of a safe care plan for the newborn. Sadly, an unwillingness to follow and enforce the law is leading to tragic consequences.
In 2015, Reuters spent a year investigating cases of infants born to parents struggling with opioid addiction. As is often the case with addiction, the parents’ struggle had repercussions for those around them, including their newborns. According to Reuters, more than 130,000 babies born in the United States in the last decade entered the world addicted to drugs. That is a startling statistic on its own, but even more startling are the stories of those infants who, after suffering through the pain of withdrawal, later suffered deaths that should have been prevented.
Of the fatalities the report examined, more than 40 children died of suffocation. Thirteen others died after swallowing toxic doses of opioids. Some of the stories are simply too painful and disturbing to mention, and again, the saddest part of this all is that these tragedies should have been prevented.
Needless to say, this report raised a number of red flags. It prompted us to write to the Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to better understand the process for reviewing and approving state applications for federal funds. It’s fair to say that the response we received was disappointing, suggesting that changes to the law somehow absolve the department from its enforcement responsibilities. Regardless of any changes to the law in recent years, it was never Congress’s intent to cut a blank check to states who fail to follow the law.
These parents and their children deserve better. Fortunately, efforts are underway to provide real help and hope to these families. Programs like Lily’s Place, an infant recovery center in West Virginia, are not only helping to wean children off of the drugs they are born addicted to, but also teaching mothers how to care for infants suffering through withdrawal. This is just one of a handful of similar programs across the country and an excellent example of the work being done to address the country’s growing opioid epidemic.
While these community efforts are vitally important, there are also steps we in Congress can take to help ensure these vulnerable women and children no longer slip through the cracks. The Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act is part of that effort.
This commonsense measure will require the Department of Health and Human Services to better ensure states are meeting current child welfare requirements. It makes clear the department’s responsibilities in confirming states have policies in place to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect, particularly infants exposed to illegal substances before birth. The bill also includes provisions that will improve accountability and help states develop plans to keep infants and their families healthy and safe. In short, it strengthens the current system and helps address a real, immediate need.
I want to thank Representatives Barletta and Clark for their leadership on this issue and for working together to deliver the bipartisan proposal under consideration today. I’m confident their work will be an important part of the House’s larger effort to combat the country’s growing opioid epidemic. Too many American families are struggling with the consequences of this national crisis, and it’s time we, as policymakers and as a nation, said, “Enough.”
Barletta Statement: Markup of H.R. 4843, Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act
Substance abuse is a problem that afflicts millions of Americans, and it is something that I consistently hear about when I am back home in Pennsylvania. While its damaging effects are felt across our society, the most tragic cases are those involving newborns. Children who are exposed to illegal substances before they’re born are helpless in avoiding the pain and suffering caused by addiction, and so many infants enter this world without even a fighting chance.In fact, every 25 minutes in this country, a baby is born having already been exposed to drugs and suffering from opioid withdrawal. These children will pay the price for something they had absolutely no control over—something they were defenseless against. That’s why it’s so important we do everything we can to prevent these heartbreaking situations and ensure all children have the protection and care they need. This priority is one that reaches across party lines, and it’s the reason we are here today.
Federal policies have long supported state efforts to identify, assess, and treat children who are victims of abuse and neglect. One of those policies is the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, or CAPTA. Enacted in 1974, CAPTA provides states with resources to improve their child protective services systems—provided they assure the Department of Health and Human Services that they have put in place certain child welfare policies. Those policies include requiring health care providers to notify state child protective services agencies when a child is born with prenatal illegal substance exposure, as well as requiring the development of a “safe care plan” to protect these newborns and keep them and their caregivers healthy.
That’s unacceptable, and it’s why Representative Clark and I—along with a number of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle—introduced the bill before us today, the Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act. This proposal demands that HHS do better when it comes to enforcing policies meant to protect children from abuse and neglect. It requires the department to review and confirm states have put in place policies required by CAPTA; it strengthens protections for infants born with illegal substance exposure; and it improves accountability related to the care of those infants and their families. It also includes provisions to provide states with best practices for developing plans to keep infants and their caregivers healthy and safe and to encourage the use of information made available through other child welfare laws in verifying CAPTA compliance. Finally, the bill will prevent HHS from adding new requirements to state assurances and plans.
The substitute amendment I am offering today is the product of discussions with lawmakers and stakeholders to provide additional clarification and make technical changes to the underlying bill. These changes would clarify that the HHS secretary should provide states information on safe care plan requirements, that substance use disorder treatment needs should be considered as part of those plans, and that states should monitor their use. The amendment would also make it clear that the secretary cannot create new requirements for states under CAPTA and change the title of the bill to the Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act. I urge my colleagues to support the substitute, as well as the underlying legislation.
Send It Back: Small Biz Committee Urges OMB to Reject Harmful DOL Overtime Rule
WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Republican Committee Members today urged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to reject a new Department of Labor (DOL) rule that will destroy jobs, lower wages, and reduce benefits for the millions of Americans who work for small businesses and other small employers.
In a letter to Howard Shelanski, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at OMB, Committee members cited significant problems with adequacy and accuracy of DOL’s analysis of the impacts of the new “overtime rule” and concerns they have heard from small businesses about the harm DOL’s one-size-fits-all rule will do to them and their employees.
OIRA has the authority to return a draft final rule to DOL for reconsideration if DOL’s analysis is inadequate or the rule is inconsistent with Executive Order 12,866 or statutes. In their letter, the Committee members urged them to use this authority to help small employers.
Chabot, who is also co-chairing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s task force on reducing regulatory burdens, has pushed back hard against the overtime rule. The Committee has held numerous hearings and roundtables and sent multiple letters explaining to the Obama administration the damage that will be done to America’s 28 million small businesses as a result of the overtime rule.
You can view the signed letter HERE.
Full text of the letter below.
April 28, 2016
The Honorable Howard Shelanski
Dear Administrator Shelanski:
We are writing to urge the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to return the rule revising the existing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or Act)regulations that implement the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales or computer employees (the “overtime rule”) to the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) for reconsideration. The DOL received nearly 300,000 comments on the proposed overtime rule, many of which describe the profound negative consequences for American workers and small employers. In addition, serious concerns have been raised about the adequacy and accuracy of DOL’s analysis of the overtime rule’s impacts on small employers.
When promulgating regulations, the DOL must comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 601-12 (RFA), Executive Order (E.O.) 12,866,and President Obama’s Memorandum on Regulatory Flexibility, Small Business, and Job Creation (President’s Memorandum). The RFA requires the DOL to determine whether a proposed rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses. If DOL determines that the proposed rule will have the aforementioned impact, it must perform an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) that describes the impact of the proposed rule on small businesses, small non-profits, and small governmental jurisdiction and any significant alternatives that would minimize any significant economic impact on them. A similar assessment, a final regulatory flexibility analysis, is required at the final rule stage. Simply stated, these analyses require DOL to take the commonsense steps of assessing the effects of the rule on small employers and evaluating options to reduce significant economic impacts.
The DOL also must comply with E.O. 12,866 and the President’s Memorandum. E.O. 12,866 requires the DOL to assess the costs and benefits of the regulation, including the “costs and benefits of potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives to the planned regulation.” Furthermore, it requires DOL to “design its regulations in the most cost-effective manner to achieve the regulatory objective” and “tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, including individuals, businesses of differing sizes, and other entities (including small communities and governmental entities).”The President reiterated that point in his Memorandum issued on January 21, 2011 directing agencies to “give serious consideration to whether and how it is appropriate . . . to reduce regulatory burdens on small businesses, through increased flexibility.”
Unfortunately, DOL has not fully met its obligations under the aforementioned statute and presidential directives, and the negative ramifications will be felt most acutely by small employers and their employees. While the DOL correctly determined that the overtime rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small employers and performed an IRFA, the analysis has serious flaws. Furthermore, the overtime rule is poised to cause significant disruptions in American workplaces that are likely to harm small employers and their employees.
The Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the Small Business Administration sent a comment letter to DOL that described serious problems with its analysis of the overtime rule’s impacts on small employers. DOL relied on numerous unsupported assumptions that obscure the number of affected small businesses, did not examine the effects on different types of small businesses by industry sub-sectors, regions, and revenue sizes, did not assess the effects on small governmental jurisdictions or small non-profits, significantly underestimated the compliance costs, did not account for non-financial effects, and failed to consider alternatives that would reduce impacts on small employers. The Chief Counsel for Advocacy recommended that DOL published a supplemental IRFA to reanalyze the impacts on small employers.
The concerns with DOL’s analysis and the overtime rule’s effects on small employers were echoed by three small businesses – a restaurant owner, a home builder, and a retail store owner – that testified before the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations last October. Small employers, particularly those in rural areas, will be unable to increase their workers’ salaries to the proposed salary threshold, which will increase 113 percent under the overtime rule, and remain economically viable. As a result, small employers will have no choice but to move salaried workers to hourly status, reduce hours, and trim benefits, which will hurt their employees.
Serious concerns have been raised about the negative repercussions for small employers and their employees. Moreover, the rule must be adequately assessed, as required by the RFA, so that the true consequences of the overtime rule are understood and considered before the DOL proceeds. Thus, we respectfully request that OIRA return the draft final rule to the DOL for reconsideration.