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Advocacy Releases Annual Small Business Lending Report

Office of Advocacy - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 9:21am

Both number and value of small business loans increase for the first time in five years.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Rockefeller Highlights Key Investments Included in FY 2015 Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today highlighted major investments he helped secure as Commerce Committee Chairman in the FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

“The Commerce Committee has broad jurisdiction over several critical government agencies and programs with a wide-range of responsibilities – from making our railways and airways safer, to investing in STEM fields for our next generation,” said Rockefeller. “To achieve these goals, our agencies...

Monday Morning Mojo: Make it to 100

InteroMojo - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 6:30am

So, here is the question… If people won’t make small changes to save their life, how in the world will people make small changes to make more money, have better relationships, have a better business, or have a better life? That is the bazillion dollar question and if someone can figure out the answer you will make Mark Zuckerberg look like a chump. Here’s a thought…Maybe in order to start making more money, having better relationships, having a better business and having a better life we need to start by making the most important thing we all have better…our health.

If I told you that I could give you some tips on things you can do to live longer, maybe even live to be 100, would you do it? Would you make the changes? I hope the answer all of us would say is YES!!!!!! Well, here’s your chance. Go to www.livingto100.com and do the LivingTo100 Calculator. At the end, the “test” will tell you, based on your answers to the questions, how long you can expect to live. It will also give you some tips on things you can do to live longer.

Here’s my prediction: If you take the test and if you make the necessary changes to live to 100, you will not only live longer, but because you will feel better and will be more fired up about the fact that you are doing all the right things to give yourself a shot at making it to 100, you will make more money, have better relationships, have a better business, and just plain and simply have a better life.

Let’s start by making some changes in the most important area of our life and it will help us make some changes in the other areas of our life as well.

Here’s to making it to 100++++

Categories: Latest News

Thune Welcomes Commerce Committee Members for the 114th Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today welcomed new and returning Republican members to the committee:

“In the 114th Congress, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will work to advance solutions that help create jobs, grow the economy, and improve Americans’ daily lives, and I’m fortunate to be joined in this endeavor by a strong group of Republican members. From transportation and Internet policy to consumer protecti...

Weekend Wellness: Planning For A Storm

InteroMojo - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 8:00am

When we know a big storm is on the horizon or we plan on taking a trip “in” to a storm, we prepare for it. If our tires are bald, we consider new tires. We look at our windshield wipers, get new ones if needed, and we keep a blanket in the car.

For our homes we check any leaks which might need attending, we clean the gutters and stock up on candles.

If we know we are going to be out and about we bring our hats, gloves and umbrellas. We prepare for the storm as best we can.

What about when we wake up, expecting a sunny “emotional” day and an emotional storm hits us out of the blue. Are you prepared? Do you know how to calm yourself down to handle the chaos? Do you know how to move into “safety” mode and protect your family (i.e. how not to yell, have a breakdown, be grumpy, etc.)?

How about when you over indulge in food and even alcohol? Do you know how to ground yourself and be healthy again? Do you quickly drink more water and choose low salt, low sugar foods on quick reflex to reset your body; or do you go for the greasiest burrito you can find to keep the dark clouds brewing in your body?

We value the safety of our cars and homes in stormy fronts; do you think we should also create a plan of how to react and protect our health in times of internal winter weather?

I think it’s time for a health preparedness plan!

Categories: Latest News

A Key Ruling for Food Labeling Class Action Defendants Issued on “Reasonable Consumer” Standard

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 10:30am
Guest Commentary by James D. Smith, Bryan Cave LLP In what seems likely to become a defining case on appeal, Northern District of California Judge Lucy Koh granted summary judgment this week in a long-running food labeling class action. The plaintiff in Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, No. 12-CV-01831-LHK (N.D. Cal.), alleges that 10 […]
Categories: Latest News

Cool Apps: Ship Smarter with Slice

InteroMojo - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 8:05am

I’m sure by now, you’re feeling good about your holiday shopping. Items are are starting to pile up in a corner of your house. Your Cyber Monday purchases slowly trickling in. Can you even remember what you ordered or where it’s from? Not to mention which shipping carrier to expect it from? Well, today’s app is going to help with all of that because going through your thousands of emails to find the tracking information to make sure grandma received the gift basket you sent can be a challenge and time consuming.

Slice works seamlessly with your email inbox to find and store the e-receipts from the stuff you buy storing all of the information in one simple app. It will track your packages from shipment to delivery sending you automatic alerts on the status of your purchases.

To make life even easier, the app doesn’t stop there. For retailers that honor price adjustments, Slice will send you push notifications when the price drops for one of your purchases so you can recoup the difference! It will also alert you if one of your products has a recall associated with it.

To take advantage of Slice, all you have to do is sign up and link your account to your Google, Yahoo, Hotmail or other email system. Slice will automatically find your receipts and track your packages. It really is just that easy. It takes less than 2 minutes! To check on your purchases, just go to the app and click on the item you want to view or set up automatic notifications so the app tells you when there’s an update with your order. What a great way to keep organized this holiday season and throughout the year. You’ll wonder how you managed without it!

Watch how it works in the below video.

Click here to play video

Categories: Latest News

Rockefeller, Thune Statement on Passage of Commerce Cybersecurity Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD) today applauded the passage of their bipartisan cyber legislation that will help strengthen and protect the nation’s economic and national security. The passage of the Rockefeller-Thune bill last night follows years of work to reach a bipartisan consensus on cybersecurity legislation.

“For years, I have said that cyber attacks pose one of the gravest threats to our national and economic security. Now, wi...

Committee Leaders Respond To NLRB Ambush Election Rule

Education & the Workforce Committee - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 12:00am
 House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chair Phil Roe (R-TN) issued the following joint statement after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) implemented a new rule speeding up the union election process: 

After more than three years of public outcry, the Obama board is still determined to impose an ambush election scheme on our nation’s workplaces. This administrative overreach will stifle employers’ free speech, cripple workers’ free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of workers and their families. It will completely upend an election process that has worked well for decades, one that is fair and designed to foster agreement.

The American people want policies that will set us on the path to a stronger economy, more jobs, and higher wages for working families. This misguided ambush election rule will pull our country in the opposite direction. Congress cannot stand by and let that happen. The committee has been leading the fight against the president’s radical labor board, and rest assured, we will continue to do so.

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Update: Federal Liability Immunity Thankfully Conferred for Some Ebola Vaccines

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 3:03pm
Per Washington Legal Foundation’s suggestion earlier this fall, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a formal declaration this week that those who manufacture, distribute, and administer certain yet-to-be-approved vaccines for the Ebola virus qualify for federal liability protection under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act). […]
Categories: Latest News

Rockefeller Commends FCC Vote to Raise E-Rate Funding Cap

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today released the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to invest an additional $1.5 billion into E-Rate, the next-generation high-speed Internet program he co-authored for students across West Virginia and the country. Rockefeller has, in recent years, encouraged the FCC to strengthen and expand the program to keep up with the evolving technology demands of today’s classrooms and lib...

House Passes Bipartisan Multiemployer Pension Reform

Education & the Workforce Committee - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 12:00am

After a bipartisan agreement to reform the multiemployer pension plan system and protect millions of workers from financial catastrophe was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today, Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Senior Democratic Member George Miller (D-CA) issued the following joint statement:

Tonight a bipartisan Congress put workers and businesses one step closer toward having the tools they need to come together and save pension plans that are facing imminent bankruptcy. Our bipartisan agreement should become the law of the land to help prevent the collapse of failing plans and better protect workers’ retirement security. It’s time to trust our nation’s workers, employers, and union leaders to do the right thing by enacting this important bipartisan agreement.

Learn more about the multiemployer pension plan reform here

Read letters of support from labor and business leaders here

Full text of the legislation can be found here.

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What They're Saying: Business and Union Leaders Support Bipartisan Agreement to Reform Multiemployer Pensions

Education & the Workforce Committee - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 12:00am

Letters of support are pouring in for the bipartisan agreement to reform multiemployer pensions. Released by House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA), the proposal includes reforms to provide trustees with new tools to save troubled plans, while protecting taxpayers. See what business and union leaders are saying in support of this bipartisan agreement:

"The bi-partisan proposal developed by the Education and Workforce Committee will modify the expiring Pension Protection Act (PPA) and give plan trustees the tools they need to strengthen their plans. This proposal helps troubled plans avoid insolvency, puts the plans recovering from the economic downturn on firmer ground, and helps those plans – and retirees – that are most in trouble avoid losing everything." – North America’s Building Trades Unions

"I urge you to support the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 as it follows the “Solutions Not Bailouts” proposal that was a private sector, joint labor-management proposal to solve the multiemployer pension system failures and avoid a federal bailout. The legislation will provide modifications to the PPA that will strengthen plans’ funding positions and ensure long-term retirement security." – Associated General Contractors of America

"The Kline-Miller legislation protects pensions, retirees, and taxpayers. It is the only reform that accomplishes all of these important objectives." – The Association of Food and Dairy Retailers, Wholesalers and Manufacturers, Aramark, Bimbo Bakeries, ConAgra Foods, Dairy Farmers of America, Dean Foods, Kellog’s, Kroger

'Workers and their employers have used and exhausted all the tools at their disposal to strengthen their plans on their own. Some have even increased worker and employer contributions and accepted reduced benefits to preserve these pensions … We are simply asking Congress to give multiemployer pension plans the tools they need to modernize, continue to provide benefits, and in some cases, avoid insolvency." – United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

"This bipartisan agreement follows three years of hard work, hearings, events and negotiations between employers and unions, and members of Congress. It is absolutely essential legislation to allow the private sector to resolve the multiemployer pension crisis without government involvement." – The Kroger Co. 

"While imperfect, SEIU supports this legislation because it will help preserve and protect the multiemployer defined benefit pension system for our members and all of the system’s participants for years to come. Failure to pass this legislation now will jeopardize the future of this system, and will increase the eventual cost for our members, our employers, and potentially for taxpayers." – Service Employees International Union 

"If Congress enacts the bipartisan Kline-Miller legislation, it will allow critically underfunded multiemployer pension plans to engage in self-help to save themselves from insolvency, at no cost to taxpayers. It will protect plan participants from larger benefit cuts in the future; avert large contribution increases that will result in employer bankruptcies; prevent the loss of thousands of jobs; and greatly minimize inevitable calls for a PBGC bailout." – ArcBest Corporation

"Our seniors are looking to Congress for common sense, bipartisan pension reform that protects as many multiemployer plans as possible. The Kline-Miller compromise, while not perfect, achieves that goal. The UFCW strongly urges you to include these reforms in the year-end spending bill without further delay." – United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

"It is absolutely critical that we move forward with legislation to address the challenges facing these plans so that we can continue to provide the hardworking men and women who make America strong with benefits that allow them to retire with dignity." – United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada

"Pension trustees have run out of options. They have used and exhausted the policy tools at their disposal. Many have increased worker and employer contributions. A large number have reduced pension accrual rates, in addition to other painful policy steps. The International Union of Operating Engineers strongly believes that Congress must take these essential steps to strengthen the multiemployer pension system." -  International  Union of Operating Engineers

"The bipartisan proposal developed by the Education and the Workforce Committee will modify the expiring Pension Protection Act (PPA) and give plan trustees the tools they need to strengthen their plans." – International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

"The National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) strongly supports the bipartisan agreement between Chairman John Kline and Ranking Member George Miller of the House Education and Workforce Committee to reform the multiemployer pension system and implement key provisions of the Solutions Not Bailouts proposal." – National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans.

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