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Mark Up: H.R. 4341: “Defending America’s Small Contractors Act of 2016

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 10:00am
Chairman Steve Chabot has scheduled a markup on legislation to strengthen the small business industrial base. The Committee will mark up: H.R. 4341, “Defending America’s Small Contractors Act of 2016.” The markup is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building

Markup Notice
H.R. 4341, “Defending America’s Small Contractors Act of 2016"

Small Business Committee Approves Defending America’s Small Contractors Act

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 12:00am

First Committee Markup of 2016

Bipartisan Legislation Advances to U.S. House

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Committee on Small Business today approved bipartisan legislation to expand and improve opportunties for America’s small firms to compete for federal contracts. The measure, H.R. 4341, the Defending America’s Small Contractors Act of 2016, was approved unanimously by the panel and now advances to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

“As a Committee, we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that federal contracts are awarded appropriately to small businesses in order to maximize competition, create jobs and foster innovation,” said Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “This bipartisan, common-sense legislation will allow America’s small businesses new and improved opportunities to provide value and quality to the taxpayer.”

Specifically, the Defending America’s Small Contractors Act of 2016:

  • Modernizes the Small Business Act, and the SBA’s reporting requirements, to ensure that the language used is clear and consistent across federal procurement programs.
  • Strengthens the small business advocates within SBA and other federal agencies so they can promote competition and compliance.
  • Improves opportunities for small businesses to compete for subcontracts, and then to capitalize on that experience to compete as prime contractors, thereby strengthening the industrial base.
  • Improves coordination and data sharing between the SBA’s government-wide mentor-protégé program, civilian agency mentor-protégé programs, and the mentor-protégé program at the Department of Defense.
  • Implements common sense reforms to ensuring integrity in small business programs, such as the agricultural size standards, veterans contracting programs, SBA operations and contracting officer training programs.

The measure was informed by the Committee’s ongoing efforts to improve contracting opportunities for small businesses across all federal agencies. Chairman Chabot noted that the first Committee markup of 2015 was also on contracting reform legislation and almost all of those provisions have since become law.

You can view the full Committee markup HERE

Oversight of the Office of Innovation and Investment at the SBA

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 3:00pm
Subcommittee Hearing

The Subcommittee on Health and Technology will meet for a hearing titled, “Oversight of the Office of Investment and Innovation at the SBA.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Witnesses

Mr. Mark Walsh
Associate Administrator Office of Investment and Innovation
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC

Accompanied by:

Mr. John Williams
Director,Innovation and Technology
Office of Investment and Innovation
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC

Ms. Carol Fendler
Director Licensing and Programming Standards
Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program Office of Investment and Innovation
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC

Hearing Materials
Hearing Memo
Hearing Notice
Witness List

SBA Management Review: Oversight of SBA’s Access to Capital Offices

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 10:00am
Full Committee Hearing

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “SBA Management Review: Oversight of SBA’s Access to Capital Offices.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 A.M. on January 12, 2016, in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Witnesses
Ms. Ann Marie Mehlum
Associate Administrator of Capital Access
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC

Ms.Linda Rusche
Director of Office of Credit Risk Management
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC


Hearing Materials
Notice
Witness List

Chairman Chabot Reacts to President Obama's State of the Union Address

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement after President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address: 

“President Obama used his last ever State of the Union address to try to divide the American people and those they have chosen to represent them. Tonight, I hoped to hear President Obama reach out to the elected representatives of the people and commit to working with us. Instead, he talked about the ways he plans to work around us. He may not want to listen to us, but the American people should rest assured that we’re listening to them. That’s why we’re going to work harder than ever for meaningful tax reform, responsible and responsive government, and a safer America. Our families, small businesses, and leaders of the future depend on it.”

Chairman Chabot Talks #LastSOTU with WKRC in Cincinnati

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON -  House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) discussed President Obama's last State of the Union address and what it means for the economy and small businesses with WKRC TV in Cincinnati today.

Watch the Interview HERE

 

Chabot on the economy: "We ought to be a lot further along than we are right now and unfortunately because the tax code is far too complicated and because the government continues to over-regulate both individuals and small businesses in this country, we're still lagging behind."

Chairman Chabot Previews President Obama’s FINAL State of the Union

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:00am

Under Obama, Small Businesses Get Hit Worst and First

WASHINGTON
- House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement about what he expects from President Obama’s final State of the Union address tonight:

“Small business owners tell me a very different story than the one I expect President Obama to tell tonight. When President Obama circumvents Congress and takes executive action, small businesses get hit worst and they get hit first. From the unworkable, unaffordable ObamaCare law to an avalanche of new taxation, regulation and litigation, small businesses have been squeezed by this administration for eight years. I hope the President will put partisanship aside and work with Congress to relieve the burden on our entrepreneurs so they can focus on creating jobs and growing this economy.”

Chairman Chabot stopped by the nationally-syndicated Fox News Radio program “Kilmeade and Friends” this morning to discuss with host Brian Kilmeade what the President’s address will mean for the nation’s 28 million small businesses. The interview will be made available here

Committee Continues SBA Management Probe with Access to Capital Offices

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:00am

VIEW HEARING HERE

WASHINGTON -
House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) continued the Committee's ongoing probe of management at the Small Business Administration (SBA) today with a hearing focused on the SBA's Access to Capital Offices. 

Today's panel examined the SBA's Office of Capital Access (OCA) and Office of Credit Risk Management (OCRM) and whether improvements within these Offices are necessary to ensure sufficient lender oversight and effectiveness in helping small firms obtain capital.

"As the SBA’s lending portfolio continues to grow, it will become even more vital that these two offices work together to establish clear guidance and ensure the integrity of the lending programs,” Chairman Chabot said.“I remain concerned that mismanagement at SBA could well be detracting from the integrity of these key financing programs.”

“We must keep these programs relevant and cost effective for lenders who make loans to small businesses. For 2016 both the 7(a) and 504 programs have returned to zero subsidy.” said Ann Marie Mehlum, the Associate Administrator of Capital Access for SBA. She noted that SBA loans to women have increased by twenty percent over the previous year and loans to veterans increased by 103 percent.

“SBA is particularly interested in balancing the growing credit needs of America’s small businesses with prudent lending, always ensuring that we are meeting the requirements of our mission as defined in the Small Business Act,”said Linda Rusche, Director of Office of Credit Risk Management at SBA. “My mission, and that of the entire Office of Credit Risk Management, is to effectively manage program credit risk, monitor lender performance, and enforce lending program requirements. In short, our mission is to maintain the integrity and viability of the 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs.”

The hearing comes after a blistering report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailing widespread mismanagement at the agency that may affect the ability of small businesses to access capital vital to their success in a timely and efficient manner. SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet responded to the report and concerns from Committee members about SBA mismanagement last week. 

Supreme Court’s First 2016 Conference Yields Positive Results for Free-Enterprise Advocates—and Reason to Hope for More

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 5:50pm
The U.S. Supreme Court held its first Conference of 2016 on Friday, January 8, where it considered cert petitions in several high-profile cases impacting free enterprise. The Court issued an orders list on January 11 from that Conference, which, while it did not include any cert grants in these cases, potentially offers positive results for free-market […]
Categories: Latest News

SBA’s Office of International Trade: Good for Business?

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 4:00pm
Subcommittee Hearing

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade will meet for a hearing titled, “SBA’s Office of International Trade: Good for Business?” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 4:00 P.M. on Monday, January 11, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

Witness

Ms. Eileen Sanchez
Associate Administrator
Office of International Trade
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC

Hearing Materials
Notice
Witness List

USCIS Proposes Amendments to High-Skilled Visa Regulations for Permanent and Temporary Workers

Office of Advocacy - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 9:01am

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is amending regulations related to certain employment-based high-skilled permanent (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3) and temporary (H-1B) visa programs.  The proposed amendments codify provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21), the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA), and related guidance documents.  Many of these changes are aimed at improving the ability of U.S.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

GSA Administrator to Lead Economic Development Conversation in Atlanta

GSA news releases - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 12:00am
GSA Administrator to Lead Economic Development Conversation in Atlanta

Huelskamp Named Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee Chairman

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 01/08/2016 - 1:00pm

WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) today announced that Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) will serve as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access.

“Congressman Huelskamp listens to his constituents first and foremost,” said Chairman Chabot. “That’s what small businesses need from their representatives in Washington, and that is what will make him a great leader for the Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee.”

Huelskamp said of his new Chairmanship: "From family farms, to small manufacturers and our community banks, small businesses are the lifeblood of Kansas. It will be an honor to serve as Chairman of this Subcommittee and focus on issues so important to Kansans' and Americans’ way of life. As Chairman, I will invite small business owners, employees, farmers, bankers, and others to give their insight how the federal government can work better for them, or simply just get out of their way.”

Kline Statement on December Jobs Report

Education & the Workforce Committee - Fri, 01/08/2016 - 12:00am

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor released unemployment data for December 2015:

It is always good to hear that more Americans are back to work, but we cannot forget the very real challenges countless men and women continue to face. Millions of workers are unemployed or unable to find full-time jobs, and at the same time, stagnant wages have left many families falling further behind. The status quo isn’t good enough. We can do better and must do better. Next week, the president has an opportunity to show he agrees by outlining a unifying agenda that will deliver the opportunity and prosperity every American deserves.

Chairman Chabot Lays out Vision for Small Business Committee in 2016

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 01/08/2016 - 12:00am

Policymakers Must Match Resolve of Entrepreneurs in 2016

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship
By Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

2015 was a testament to the strength and resilience of America’s entrepreneurs.

2016 will be a challenge to policymakers to match their resolve with bold leadership, creative solutions and meaningful reforms.


Chairman Chabot

As Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I have worked with Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to find new ways to empower America’s entrepreneurs and remove obstacles in the way of their success.

We must do all we can to help America’s entrepreneurs who dare to dream and put their shoulders to the wheel to turn those dreams into a reality. When they succeed, they create jobs and jump-start economic growth, benefitting our communities, our states and our country.

That’s why the Kauffman Foundation’s Main Street Entrepreneurship Indexfor 2015 could not have come at a better time. These reports contain a number of useful data points that help us better understand what we hear from our small business owners at home. This invaluable input from a variety of sources will better inform the conversation surrounding entrepreneurship in our nation’s capital this coming year.

Small business activity is on the rise despite the strong headwinds of high taxation and overregulation. Our goal as policymakers must be to harness that momentum, build on past successes and unleash the full might of the American entrepreneurial spirit.

This has been an exciting year for our Committee, and I firmly believe that our work can serve as an excellent example of what Washington can accomplish when both sides come together to help small businesses.

Of particular note were two bipartisan bills crafted by our Committee, passed by Congress and signed by the President that can serve as a model for pro-entrepreneur legislative initiatives in 2016.

The first is The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 (H.R. 2499), which makes it easier for a veteran or spouse of a veteran to obtain the private capital they need to start a business. The legislation achieves this by waiving the upfront guarantee fee for a Small Business Administration 7(a) express loan at no cost to the taxpayer.

I was proud to introduce this legislation, because veterans have invaluable skills and experience that often translate into success as entrepreneurs and small business owners.This law eliminates an obstacle to that success and will help ensure that the valuable skills of our service members are put to good use post deployment. The second bill is theRecovery Improvements for Small Entities (RISE) After Disaster Act of 2015(H.R. 208), which allows small business owners to re-apply for disaster loans in states affected by natural disasters, including Superstorm Sandy.

The Government Accountability Office and the Office of the Inspector General uncovered significant delays in the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s processing times for disaster recovery assistance loans and serious operational problems within the program. As a result, disaster relief funds were needlessly delayed, arriving so late that families and businesses suffered additional, unnecessary financial losses.

Our legislation provides a remedy for small businesses that were victimized twice, first by a disaster and then by bureaucratic incompetence. And I am pleased to report that SBA disaster centers began reopening this month to help entrepreneurs get back on track in pursuing their dreams.

Progress made in 2015 will set the stage for broader, more comprehensive reform in the coming year.

For example, we must extend and make permanent the temporary provisions in the tax code that are vital to the success of our entrepreneurs. Step by step, Congress is moving closer to providing more tax certainty in these key areas. Just last month, the House passed the PATH (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes) Act of 2015, which makes permanent the increased limits for the Section 179 expensing, and indexes those limits to inflation starting in 2016. The PATH Act also makes permanent the Research and Development tax credit and extends the bonus depreciation rules through 2019.

I look forward to continuing the conversation in 2016 and translating ideas into actionable policy solutions that will enable America’s entrepreneurs to thrive. I have no doubt the Kauffman Foundation will continue to make invaluable contributions to that conversation.

Despite SCOTUS’s Daimler v. Bauman, Results Still Vary for One Defendant on General Jurisdiction

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 12:26pm
The battle over general jurisdiction in a post-Daimler AG v. Bauman world continued as 2015 drew to a close, with lingering inconsistency. Two recent trial court decisions, Cahen v. Toyota Motor Corp. and Jeffs v. Anco Insulations, demonstrate how judges in different jurisdictions with different interests apply general jurisdiction differently, and in these cases, to […]
Categories: Latest News

Full Committee Hearing

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 11:00am
Full Committee Hearing 

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Attention Needed: Mismanagement at the SBA – The Administrator Responds.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11 A.M. on January 7, 2016 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Witness

The Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet
Administrator
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC

Hearing Materials

Notice
Witness List

Lawmakers Press SBA Administrator on Mismanagement, IT Security

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 12:00am

Chabot: “What we have here is a failure of confidence in the SBA”

Agency Only Implemented 7 of 69 GAO Recommendations 

You can view today’s hearing with SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet here

Today, members of the House Committee on Small Business pressed Maria Contreras-Sweet, the Administrator of United States Small Business Administration (SBA), on a recent GAO report detailing widespread mismanagement at the agency.

“The ongoing problems at SBA, as GAO identified, span the entire breadth of your Agency,” said Full Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “From information technology and security to staff management issues, from disaster response to fraud in your lending and contracting programs, it’s a safe bet that the small businesses in our districts are paying the price for the Agency’s failures.”

Highlights from today’s hearing:

“If I were you, I’d start with these IT and cybersecurity deficiencies. That’s what worries me the most, and I’ll tell you why,” Chairman Chabot suggested, noting that SBA had failed to implement 30 GAO recommendations related to IT security.  “We’ve seen the IRS hit, the State Department, OPM, and even the White House hacked. Small businesses trust the SBA with information they don’t want a rival business, their neighbors, or the Chinese Government to have access to. Yesterday, GAO told us this information isn’t adequately secured. That cannot continue.”

“When you say you’re doing this according to all these protocols and you have a GAO study that says you’re way behind in getting these things done with regards to their assessment, when you have Standard Operating Procedures that are being called into question, I’m not sure that citizens can have great faith in what you’re saying. It certainly concerns me but I do appreciate your willingness to work on it,’ observed Small Business Committee Vice Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO).

“One of the complaints we here most frequently about government is that it’s dysfunctional, incompetent and unaccountable,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). “One of the things that struck me the most is that the GAO perceives a breakdown of communications at the SBA that employees don’t have forums in which they can’t express their frustration, perhaps their views on how things can be done differently.”

“From my very first days in office, I have prioritized the need to modernize SBA’s operations, enterprise-wide, to respond to the technological, demographic and globalization changes that are transforming our small business economy,” said Administrator Contreras-Sweet. “To that end, I agree with many of the GAO’s recommendations and appreciate this opportunity to update you on our efforts to bring SBA fully into the 21st century.”

In her testimony, Administrator Contreras-Sweet committed to providing the Committee with monthly updates on the progress the SBA is making to address the problems identified by the GAO report, including IT security.

You can read the full GAO report here and view GAO official William Shear’s testimony at yesterday’s hearing here

Full Committee Hearing

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 11:00am
Full Committee Hearing 

Attention Needed: Mismanagement at the SBA – The GAO Findings 

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Attention Needed: Mismanagement at the SBA – The GAO Findings.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11 A.M. on January 6, 2016, in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Witness

William B. Shear
Director
Financial Markets and Community Investment
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC

Hearing Materials

Notice
Witness List

Government Accountability Report Criticizes SBA Mismanagement

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 12:00am

Agency Only Implemented 7 out of 69 GAO Recommendations

Administrator Contreras-Sweet to Testify TOMORROW

You can view video of the full hearing here

Today an official from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) told the House Committee on Small Business that widespread mismanagement at the Small Business Administration (SBA) is affecting the agency’s ability to provide key services to America’s entrepreneurs.  You can read the GAO’s full report here.

Key quotes from today’s hearing below:

“The SBA plays a significant role in providing assistance to America’s entrepreneurs.  The problems that have festered far too long must end so that small businesses and taxpayers can rely on an effective and efficient SBA,” said Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).

“It is very disturbing to us that these challenges still remain and they go down to some very basic functions,” GAO Director Financial Markets and Community Investment William Shear told lawmakers. “We saw that certain recurring themes happen over and over again all across the agency that affect all aspects of its operations and its programs and we’re looking for some commitment to deal with these issues.”

“In your review of the SBA, you’ve listed a whole range of deficiencies where the SBA has fallen short and is just not cutting it. The one that worries me the most is in the area of IT security,” Committee Chairman Chabot noted. “The information that they keep on individuals and on small businesses can be pretty sensitive – information that you might not want a rival business or your neighbors or the Chinese government to have access to…. Despite the logical concerns that individuals or small businesses who deal with the SBA might have, the SBA has failed to implement more than 30 of the Office of Inspector General’s recommendations related to IT security.”

“Your report is quite damning and quite concerning from the standpoint that it looks like we have an agency that is mismanaged from top to bottom,” said Committee Vice Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) pointing to the SBA’s mismanagement of disaster relief programs. “This is an example of government run amok. We’ve got one agency that can’t do the job so we can create a second agency that can’t do the job and now we’ve got a third agency that can’t do the job.”

Noting that SBA had only implemented 7 of the GAO’s  69 recommendations to address mismanagement, Chairman Chabot observed:

“If you had a teenager and told them to clean up their room and they had 69 things sitting around the room and they cleaned up 7 of them, that might be a positive direction but I don’t think most parents would be satisfied with that and I certainly wouldn’t be inclined to give them an increase in their allowance.”

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