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Thune and Nelson Statements on Five-Year Surface Transportation Bill

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation released statements on the conference committee agreement on the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act – a five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill which includes many key provisions approved by the committee earlier this summer.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC): Replace NCLB to Improve Education, Empower Parents

Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 10:30am


Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC): Replace No Child Left Behind to Improve Education, Empower Parents

As a child, my family’s home didn’t have electricity or running water. My parents, while dedicated and hardworking, were poor with little formal education.

Fortunately, I was pushed by the right people – teachers and administrators who wouldn’t let me settle for less than my best. In the mountains of North Carolina, I learned firsthand the power of education and its vital role in the success of individual Americans.

Unfortunately, today’s K-12 education system is failing our students.

Decades of Washington’s counterproductive mandates have resulted in stagnant student achievement, disappointing graduation rates and high school graduates entering college and the workforce without the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. Parents and education leaders have lost much of their decision-making authority to Washington bureaucrats, and the Secretary of Education has bullied states into adopting the Obama administration’s pet policies.

In November a House-Senate conference committee reached an agreement on a proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, bringing Congress one step closer to replacing No Child Left Behind. As a grandmother, educator and former school board member, I know students are best served when teachers, parents and administrators are the driving force behind improving education. This proposal does just that by reducing the federal footprint in the nation’s classrooms and restoring control to the people who know their students best.

The compromise between the House-passed Student Success Act and the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 gets Washington out of the business of running schools. It protects state and local autonomy by prohibiting the Secretary of Education from coercing states into adopting Common Core and by preventing the secretary from imposing requirements on states and school districts through executive fiat.

The proposal eliminates the burdensome, one-size-fits-all accountability system that has done more to tie up states and school districts in red tape than to support local efforts to educate children. It also reduces the size of the federal education bureaucracy by eliminating 49 ineffective and duplicative federal programs and requiring the Secretary of Education to reduce the department’s workforce accordingly.

The agreement also provides eligible school districts the ability to have federal, state, and local funds follow students to the schools they attend, which will encourage excellent schools to enroll students who are harder to serve.

If Congress fails to act, states will be forced to choose between the fundamentally flawed policies of No Child Left Behind, which doubled down on federal programs, mandates and spending, and the Obama administration’s controversial temporary, conditional waiver scheme, which has imposed the administration’s preferred policies and heightened the level of uncertainty shared by states and school districts. America’s students deserve better.

By reversing Washington’s one-size-fits-all micromanagement of classrooms, Congress has the opportunity to give parents, teachers and local education leaders the tools they need to repair a broken education system and help all children reach their potential. It’s time to get Washington out of the way.

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GSA to Sell Metro West Facility in Baltimore

GSA news releases - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 12:00am
GSA to Sell Metro West Facility in Baltimore, MD

Small Business Committee Hosts Roundtable on Burdensome FCC Regulations

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - Small Business Committee Members hosted a roundtable discussion on the impact of new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and reporting requirements on rural telecommunications and broadband deployment for small firms.

The discussion was led by Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology Chairwoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa).

“As we continue to work through the 114th Congress, it is my goal to ensure that we do all we can to assist telecommunications companies in their efforts to increase access in rural areas for small businesses,” said Chairwoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen. “Our nation’s small businesses make up 99.7 percent of the United States’ employer firms, and we must make sure that they have the tools and capabilities to compete on a global scale.”

“It is clear that the FCC needs to be much more responsive to the needs of small companies,” said Full Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “One-size-fits-all mandates from FCC bureaucrats in Washington simply do not account for the variety and complexity of the telecommunications challenges faced by small firms in rural America.”  

Both Chabot and Radewagen reaffirmed their support for Universal Service Fund (USF) reform, a top priority for small telecommunications providers such as those participating in the roundtable. 

Participants included representatives from the Competitive Carriers Association, the Western Telecom Alliance, the National Telephone Cooperative Association’s Rural Broadband Association, the Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance (ITTA) and the Small Company Coalition.

Protecting small businesses from the FCC’s regulatory overreach has been a key priority of the Small Business Committee this Congress. Last week, all Republican Committee Members signed a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging the FCC to permanently exempt small businesses from onerous requirements under the Net Neutrality regulations issued earlier this year.  

Chabot Backs U.S. House Action to Protect Small Business from Outrageous EPA Power Grab

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement after the U.S. House passed two joint resolutions disapproving of the Environmental Protection Agency’s unprecedented new rules to regulate carbon dioxide from U.S. power plants.  The measures were passed by the U.S. Senate last month with bipartisan support and now go to President Obama’s desk for his signature or veto. 

“At a time when small businesses are being crushed by burdensome regulations and high taxes, the last thing they need is a sudden spike in their electric bill courtesy of the EPA,” Chabot said. “Unfortunately, this latest EPA trick is part of a pattern of regulatory overreach by the Obama administration. When Congress refuses to give them new authority, they try to implement their objectives through executive fiat and America’s small businesses pay the price. While the President might be happy to see electricity rates ‘necessarily skyrocket,’ I am not. I join my colleagues in urging the President to abandon this costly cap-and-trade scheme. “  

Under the Congressional Review Act, which was enacted in 1996 as part of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, Congress has expedited authority to stop federal regulations by passing a joint resolution of disapproval.

More than two dozen states, including Chabot’s home state of Ohio, have filed federal lawsuits challenging the EPA’s new regulations for power plants. The resolutions have been endorsed by numerous national and state organizations representing a cross-section of stakeholders including the Ohio Cast Metals Association, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Coal Association, Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

Last year, then-EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe was pressed by Members of the Small Business Committee on the impact of the EPA’s new power plant rules on small power plants and small businesses at a full Committee hearing. Members raised serious concerns about the EPA’s failure to comply with statutory requirements to assess the impact of the new regulations on small entities. 

WSJ: No Child Left Behind’s Successor

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 11/30/2015 - 2:50pm
After nearly a year of legislative work, Congress is poised to replace No Child Left Behind and improve K-12 education. Both the House and Senate passed separate proposals to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this summer, and now a bicameral conference committee has put forward a final proposal that will reduce the federal role in education, restore local control, and empower parents. The Wall Street Journal writes today that the conference agreement may not be perfect, but it would “represent the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century.”


Review & Outlook: No Child Left Behind’s Successor

Conservative reformers have had major successes, notably on welfare in 1996. But when a reform doesn’t turn out as hoped, they need to adapt. A case in point is No Child Left Behind, which the GOP Congress is now preparing to leave behind.

This week the House plans to debate the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which lapsed in 2007 and needs revision. A bipartisan compromise has emerged from the Senate and House that isn’t perfect but would represent the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century. It’s far better than the status quo that would continue if nothing passes.

No Child Left Behind, signed by George W. Bush in 2002, was the product of an imperfect union between Republicans who wanted more school accountability and Democrats who wanted more spending. In return for more federal funds, states were required to test students annually and report the results. One hundred percent of students were supposed to rate proficient by 2014, and failing schools were required to restructure under federal guidelines.

Yet few of the law’s goals have been achieved. Some states dumbed down standards so more students would pass the tests. Then the Obama Administration issued blanket waivers from the law’s mandates—but only if states adopted Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s prescriptions for teacher evaluations and common academic standards.

Washington’s heavy hand has produced a political backlash that crosses ideological lines, uniting teachers unions who want less accountability with Republicans who want less federal control. The ESEA compromise tries to accommodate this revolt by balancing federalism and accountability.

Gone are No Child Left Behind’s proficiency benchmarks and mandated federal interventions. The Education Department wouldn’t be able to prescribe accountability systems and standards.

To read more, click here.

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Senate and House Leaders Seek GAO Review of Political Appointee Conversions to Federal Civil Service Positions

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a review of political appointee conversions to career federal civil service positions.

The possibility of “burrowing in,” especially at the end of a presidential administration, may affect the integrity of the federal workforce by allowing political appointees to assume career positions through favoritism as opposed to a merit-based selection process. In past administrations, GAO has identified examples where administration officials failed to follow laws and regulations intended to ensure that political appointees seeking career positions do not receive unfair advantages. GAO released its last report on conversions in June 2010 covering the last transition of presidential administrations from May 2005 to May 2009.
The text of the letter follows below:

Dear Mr. Dodaro:
Political appointees at Executive Branch departments and agencies sometimes seek positions as career government employees.  Unlike political appointments, these positions do not end at the conclusion of a presidential administration.  Such changes in employment status – whereby an individual transfers from a non-career, political position to a career position within the Executive Branch – are known as “conversions.”  Conversions are permissible when agencies follow laws and regulations governing career appointments and political appointees do not receive unfair competitive advantages.  Nevertheless, it is important for Congress to conduct periodic oversight to ensure that departments, agencies, and commissions are adhering to applicable laws and regulations.
Although the Government Accountability Office has “regularly reported on conversions from non-career to career positions in the past,” GAO issued its most recent report on conversions of federal employees from political to career positions on June 28, 2010, more than five years ago.  That report reviewed agency personnel actions from May 1, 2005, through May 30, 2009.  Since that time, GAO has not conducted a review to determine the extent to which these conversions have occurred.
Title 5 of the U.S. Code and Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations govern appointments to career federal civil service positions.  Each agency and commission head is responsible for preventing prohibited personnel practices and adhering to the applicable merit principles.  The relevant statutes and regulations are designed to ensure that the process for selecting career employees is fair, open, and free from political influence.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is responsible for making sure that departments and agencies use fair practices with respect to personnel.  According to OPM policy, effective January 1, 2010, “agencies must seek prior approval from OPM before they can appoint a current or recent political appointee to a competitive or non-political excepted service position at any level under the provisions of title 5, United States Code.” OPM requires written authorization in order to appoint “a former political Schedule A or Schedule C Executive Branch employee who held the position within the last five years to a competitive or non-political excepted service position under title 5 of the U.S. Code” or “a former Non-career SES Executive Branch employee who held the position within the last five years to a competitive or non-political excepted service position under title 5 of the U.S. Code.” Since this policy went into effect more than five years ago, it is important to review its effectiveness to determine if any changes are warranted.
The possibility that political appointees are “burrowing in” – through favoritism in the selection process, effectively taking civil positions that would otherwise be open to the public and awarded based on merit – may affect the integrity of the merit-based federal workforce.  Therefore, we are writing to request that GAO conduct a study to ensure that federal agencies and full-time commissions are following appropriate authorities and proper procedures in making conversions of non-career to career positions.
We ask that GAO review conversions in federal agencies and commissions, to be selected in consultation with our Committees, for the period from June 1, 2009 to October 1, 2015, as well as the implementation and effectiveness of the OPM policy that went into effect in 2010.  This review should include, but not be limited to, the following information:
1.    The number and type of conversions of political appointees to competitive service, non-political excepted service, senior executive service (SES), senior level (SL), or scientific or professional (ST) positions that have occurred, including the agency, office, titles, grades, dates of conversion, and salaries of the political and career positions.
2.    An explanation of the outcome of each pre-employment review and an explanation for each case not approved.
3.    The status of any corrective action requested by OPM of an appointing agency as a result of the pre-employment review process.
4.    A list of each political appointee converted to a competitive service, non-political excepted service, SES, SL, or ST position for which the appointing agency did not provide sufficient information to justify the employment action, by agency, office, title, grade, date of conversion, and salary.
5.    For each conversion for which it appears that an agency may not have followed appropriate procedures or used appropriate authorities, a detailed explanation of the issue, and OPM’s analysis regarding the appropriateness of the conversion.
We further suggest that the GAO continue to conduct periodic reviews in the future to ensure consistent application of these rules.  Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  We look forward to your prompt response to our request.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)

Chabot in Cincinnati Enquirer: Celebrate, Support our Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 11/27/2015 - 12:00am

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, a Westwood Republican, is chairman of the House Committee on Small Business.

“We’ve come a long way in less than a decade and one thing’s for sure, Ohio is flyover country no more.”

When local tech entrepreneur Chris Ostoich said those words to the House Small Business Committee last week, it certainly wasn’t news to me. Since I became chairman of the Small Business Committee earlier this year, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe Cincinnati has one of the best small-business stories of any city in the United States.

For the past several years, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been celebrated across the country as “Small Business Saturday.” So this Saturday, when we’re all encouraged to get out there and shop small, let’s celebrate what that really means for Cincinnati.

Just a few days ago, I read in The Enquirer that more than 40 new small businesses in Over-the-Rhine have given Cincinnatians about 640 new jobs from which they can choose to make their living. I check in on this neighborhood as often as I can, bringing anyone from Washington who will come with me to show them what ingenuity, courage, and smart investment can mean to some of our oldest and still most promising city neighborhoods.

I’ve been honored over the past 11 months by the entrepreneurs all over Southwest Ohio who don’t just invite me to come see the work they do, but, like Chris Ostoich, make the 500-mile trip to Washington to tell Congress what it takes to get started and survive as one of America’s 28 million small businesses today.

When Ostoich told the committee what his experience as an entrepreneur looked like, he said he found three elements had to be in place for a new small business to survive: entrepreneurs with ideas, investors willing to back those ideas, and customers willing to buy the product.

Ostoich didn’t offer a single idea for a new regulation or mandate that we can put on paper in Washington and impose on people at home. Come to think of it, no one I’ve ever spoken with at a small business has.

Earlier this year local inventor Zach Green, founder of a company that pioneers glow-in-the-dark technology for first responders, testified before the committee about how new, less-cumbersome lending partners helped him fulfill his dream of becoming an entrepreneur here in his hometown.

Green’s story is fascinating, but like Ostoich, his message is simple and clear: The free market keeps the American Dream alive. Small businesses can fulfill those dreams if we let them.

That’s why this year I’ve made sure that anything we’re doing in Congress to try to help small businesses is aimed at removing burdens instead of adding them, opening doors to capital instead of closing them, and asking small businesses what they need instead of telling them.

Whether they’re favorite family dining establishments where everyone’s a familiar face or now global enterprises, all of the great brands Cincinnati is famous for started with an idea. On Small Business Saturday, we get out in our communities and shop small to encourage our local businesses to keep going. Keep taking risks. Keep trying new products and new sales and keep customers coming back year after year.

This year, let’s celebrate Small Business Saturday not just to encourage our current small businesses but to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. In Cincinnati, their foundation is already incredibly strong.

Chairman Chabot on FoxNews.com: When small businesses succeed, America succeeds

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 11/27/2015 - 12:00am

Chairman Chabot on FoxNews.com: When small businesses succeed, America succeeds

November 27, 2015

Three guys walk into a Small Business Administration regional office – a shopkeeper, a rancher and an app developer.

No, that’s not the set-up for a bad joke.

It’s a useful way of thinking about how policymakers must expand our understanding of small business in the 21st Century.

Only by clearly understanding and appreciating the changing face of small business in America can we enact meaningful reforms that will help them prosper.  

Nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, an opportunity to refocus our efforts and reaffirm our commitment to helping the 28 million small businesses in America thrive. 

Last week, I led a group of lawmakers in introducing a House resolution recognizing this Saturday as Small Business Saturday. Our goal is to remind our fellow citizens that by shopping small this holiday weekend, they are fueling the engine of American job creation and innovation.

Shoppers might be surprised to learn that 99.7 percent of all employers in the United States are small businesses.  They may also be surprised by the fact that small businesses employ nearly half of the employees in the private sector.

These firms have been consistently responsible for 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs in each year of the past decade, making them one of the few bright spots in a volatile period in recent economic history. They represent 98 percent of all goods-exporting firms, establishing America’s role as the world’s leader in international trade.

When you reflect on these numbers, there is nothing ‘small’ about small business.

I have served on the House Small Business Committee for as long as I have had the privilege of serving as a member of Congress. At the beginning of this year, I was honored to be chosen by my colleagues to serve as the Committee’s Chairman for the 114th Congress.

My work as Chairman is informed by the countless conversations I have had with small business owners in my home state of Ohio and across the nation over the years.These job creators have consistently told me that burdensome regulation along with high taxes and fees represent the two biggest barriers to their success.

These twin roadblocks are exactly why I am committed to common-sense reform measures that will make life easier for our nation’s innovators. In Washington, reform is easy to talk about, but it is often difficult to actually bring about.  

Two examples of this reality can be found in legislation I introduced this year - H.R. 527, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act and H.R. 2499, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act.

H.R. 527 requires federal agencies to assess the impact of the rules and regulations they propose on small business and consider less burdensome alternatives.  The measure passed the U.S.  House earlier this year and awaits action in the U.S. Senate.  

One-size-fits-all mandates handed down from DC bureaucrats in granite office buildings are no longer compatible with the complexity and diversity of the challenges faced by today’s small businesses. 

Federal rules that may have made sense for a brick-and-mortar shop in 1980 should not be allowed to deter a tech start-up in 2015.

H.R. 2499 makes it easier for a veteran or spouse of a veteran to obtain the private capital they need to start a business. The legislation does this by waiving the upfront guarantee fee for a Small Business Administration 7(a) express loan at no cost to the taxpayer. I am pleased that the President signed this important reform into law this summer. Veterans have invaluable skills and experience that often translate into success as an entrepreneur.  This law eliminates an obstacle to that success and pays tribute to our national heroes.

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 small businesses succeed, America succeeds. It’s just that simple.  #ShopSmall.

Republican Steve Chabot represents Ohio's 1st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives where he serves as chairman of the Small Business Committee

Chairman Chabot on Signing of 2016 NDAA: America’s small businesses can bring quality to the warfighter and value to the taxpayer

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 12:00am

Chairman Chabot on Signing of 2016 NDAA:  America’s small businesses can bring quality to the warfighter and value to the taxpayer

WASHINGTON –Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after President Obama signed the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law.

“While I was disappointed in the President’s initial decision to veto the NDAA, I am pleased that he has now approved this vitally important national security measure.  The NDAA has been signed into law 54 years in a row, making it one of the few areas of bipartisan cooperation in an increasingly divided Congress. This NDAA gives our troops the resources they need to defend the United States while providing meaningful contracting reforms that help our small businesses. It cuts down on red tape and streamlines processes that will make it easier for small businesses to work with the Department of Defense to provide quality to the warfighter and value to the taxpayer.” 

For a detailed look at the small business contracting reforms in the FY2016 NDAA, click here.

“A Major Transfer of Power and Authority over Public Schools”

Education & the Workforce Committee - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 12:00am
Last week, a House-Senate conference committee reached agreement on a proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, bringing Congress one step closer to replacing No Child Left Behind. As news reports highlight, the framework approved by the joint committee reduces the federal footprint in the nation’s classrooms and provides parents and state and school leaders with the certainty and flexibility they need to deliver a quality education:
  • The final agreement … would mark a major transfer of power and authority over public schools from the federal government to states and local school districts. It would also mean a significant reduction in the legal authority of the U.S. education secretary. The deal would largely dismantle the federal accountability system created in 2002 by No Child Left Behind … It would also extinguish the system of waivers given by the Obama administration, in which states that wanted to escape the demands of No Child Left Behind agreed to embrace the preferred policies of the administration. — Washington Post

  • The compromise sharply reduces the federal role in education, giving the states the authority to determine a school's performance … The Education Department also would be barred from mandating or giving states incentives to adopt or maintain any particular set of standards, such as the college and career-ready curriculum guidelines known as Common Core. — Associated Press

  • Notably, the new legislation will go to great lengths to tie the hands of the secretary of the Department of Education by putting strict language where NCLB had left discretion to the department.Desert News

  • This will turn decisions about accountability back to the local level, [school district officials] say. "Some people might try to portray this as a free-for-all, or the wild, wild west, but that's not the case," said David Schuler, the superintendent of High School District 214 in the Chicago suburbs, and the president of the AASA, the School Administrators Association. "This would allow those conversations to move from D.C., in most cases, to our state capitol, and that's where they should be.Education Week   

  • There would be less federally mandated testing in schools, and the remaining tests would not be tied to any federal consequences. The bill also prohibits the Department of Education from giving states special positive or negative incentives to adopt specific academic standards, as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been doing with Common Core using waivers from No Child Left Behind. Washington Examiner

  • This new ESEA gives power back to the states, which would now be in charge of fixing their most embattled schools, evaluating their teachers, deciding which tests to administer, determining how to use those tests to rank schools, how to educate dual-language learners, and on and on and on. In other words, we might finally be turning the corner on the era of federal micromanagement of K–12 education and leaving No Child Left Behind behind. Slate

  • It cuts down on the number of education programs in what they see as a bloated department and prevents a future secretary from overstepping his or her bounds the way they say Duncan did. States and districts, they say, will do a better job than Washington responding to the needs of poor and minority kids.Politico

  • Under the new K-12 law, school districts identified by their states as under-performing would be eligible for federal grants to make improvements, but the federal government wouldn't prescribe which reforms are necessary. The deal also would bar the U.S. Education Department from requiring states to adopt Common Core academic standards in exchange for federal grants. USA Today

  • The greatest change in the proposed law is a dismantling of the federal accountability system that defined whether K-12 schools were successful, prescribed actions to improve struggling schools, and imposed penalties on states and schools that failed to make progress. It also prevents the federal government from requiring states to evaluate teachers and principals and adopt specific academic standards. Washington Post

Conservatives are also recognizing the stark difference between NCLB and the House-Senate proposal. Frederick Hess, director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, recently wrote in The Hill,

The new bill contains unprecedented language restricting the secretary of Education's discretion and eliminating his or her ability to use the law to shape state policy. It ends the invasive and problematic Race to the Top and School Improvement Grant programs. It contains strong language prohibiting federal officials from seeking to influence state academic standards (think of this as the "no more federal support for the Common Core" provision). It puts an end to the federal government telling states how to improve teacher quality or evaluate teachers. 

This AEI scholar has also described the bicameral framework as striking a “ringing blow for the principle of limited government” and “a notable conservative victory.” Congress is expected to review and consider a final bill in the coming weeks. Before the end of the year, the American people should have a new K-12 education law that will help ensure every child receives an excellent education.

For more information on the framework, click here

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New Jersey High Court Should Do Away with Plaintiffs’ Lawyers’ “Want-Ad” Closing Arguments

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 10:00am
The Schindler Elevator Corporation recently petitioned the Supreme Court of New Jersey to rebuke the plaintiffs’ bar’s most recent attempt to circumvent the longstanding prohibition on “Golden Rule” arguments. During closing arguments in Tufaro v. Headquarters Plaza, et al., a personal-injury trial, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jurors to think of awarding compensation “in terms of […]
Categories: Latest News

WLF Overcriminalization Timeline: EPA Criminal Enforcement Policies

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 9:00am
Guest Commentary Barry M. Hartman, K&L Gates LLP* Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of guest commentary posts that address the six distinct topic areas covered in Washington Legal Foundation’s recently released Timeline: Federal Erosion of Business Civil Liberties. To read the other posts in this series, click here. The WLF Timeline […]
Categories: Latest News

Chabot & SBC Republicans to FCC: Leave Small Business Alone!

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 12:00am

Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and all twelve Republican Committee Members have sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler urging him to permanently exempt small businesses from the FCC’s burdensome Open Internet Order regulations.  

The letter was co-signed by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and every Republican member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

 You can read the full text of the letter HERE.

“During the Open Internet proceeding, the FCC heard from small businesses regarding the impact of the FCC’s enhanced transparency requirements. In its Order, the Commission rightly recognized that small businesses are uniquely situated and granted small businesses a temporary exemption from the requirements. We applaud the Commission’s action in granting this temporary exemption and urge you to make it permanent,” wrote the lawmakers.

“Small businesses serve as the backbone of the United States economy. In fact, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employers in the United States, create 63 percent of net new private-sector jobs, and create more than half of private, non-farm gross domestic product,” they noted. “These companies are the true ‘job creators,’ consistently responsible for 60% to 80% of net new jobs in each of the past 10 years. … Given the stakes for America’s small businesses, the FCC was right to exercise caution and grant the temporary exemption.  Now is the time to recognize the disproportionate impact that the requirements would have on these ISPs and their customers and make the exemption permanent. Additionally, the commission should grant the exemption to all small businesses that meet the definitions previously set by the [Small Business Administration].”

Advocacy Study Analyzes Veteran Business Owner Recovery from 2007-2013

Office of Advocacy - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 2:27pm

For Release: November 9, 2015                                                                                                                  

SBA Number: 15-06 ADV                                                                               


Contact: Elle Patout



Advocacy Study Analyzes Veteran Business Owner Recovery from 2007-2013


Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

SBA Environmental Roundtable Meeting

Office of Advocacy - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 1:49pm

***SBA Environmental Roundtable Meeting***

FRIDAY, December 4, 2015 10 a.m. – noon


TO:                         Interested Persons


FROM:                  Kevin Bromberg, Assistant Chief Counsel

David Rostker, Assistant Chief Counsel

Tabby Waqar, Assistant Chief Counsel


Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Improving Size Standards for Small Farmers and Ranchers

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 10:00am

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade will meet for a hearing titled, “Improving Size Standards for Small Farmers and Ranchers.”  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, November 19, 2015 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building

The Subcommittee will examine H.R. 3714, the “Small Agriculture Producer Size Standards Improvements Act of 2015.”  The bill would amend the Small Business Act and require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish small business size standards for agricultural producers through the notice and comment rulemaking process.  In contrast to the size standards established for all other industries by the SBA, the size standard for agriculture enterprises is established by statute and has not been updated in 15 years.


Panel I
The Honorable Mike Bost, (IL-12)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC

Panel II
Nicholas D. Paulson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Agricultural and Consumer Economics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL

Mr. Jeff Beasley
Beasley & Sons Livestock
Creal Springs, IL
*Testifying on behalf of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Mr. Larry Burgin
Mushkoday Farm
Delhi, NY
*Testifying on behalf of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Hearing Materials:
Witness List

In the Ninth Circuit, Not All Litigants Are Created Equal

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 9:40am
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week denied Uber Technologies’s petition for Rule 23(f) interlocutory review of an order granting class certification in a major challenge to the manner in which Uber operates its ride-sharing business. The four named plaintiffs assert that every Uber driver should be classified as an employee, […]
Categories: Latest News

WLF Overcriminalization Timeline: Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Doctrine

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 9:00am
Guest Commentary by Larson Frisby, American Bar Association* Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of six guest commentary posts that will address the six distinct topic areas covered in Washington Legal Foundation’s recently released Timeline: Federal Erosion of Business Civil Liberties. To read the other posts in this series, click here. For more […]
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