Chabot Testifies in Support of Small Business Contracting Reforms
WASHINGTON – Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) testified before the House Armed Services Committee to support the inclusion of small business contracting reform legislation to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.
Chabot spoke in favor of H.R. 1481, the Small Contractors Increase Competition Act, legislation the Committee passed in March. This bill would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to place a greater emphasis on small business subcontracting and participation rates. The bill would also make it easier for small businesses to embark on joint ventures as well as crack down on contracting abuses.
“Our nation demands a vital small business industrial base: it is fundamental to the health of our nation as a whole,” said Chabot. “I look forward to working with the House Armed Services Committee to ensure that small businesses continue to provide the Department of Defense and the federal government with innovative and competitive solutions to support critical programs.”
In addition to Chabot, fellow Small Business Committee Members Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV) also testified before the Committee in support of these small business contracting reform provisions.
Chabot’s complete statement for the record can be found here.
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold hearings this week on the five year anniversary of President Obama’s health care law and various child nutrition programs in preparation for reauthorization of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act.
On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing entitled, “Five Years of Broken Promises: How the President’s Health Care Law is Affecting America’s Workplaces.” The hearing will examine the consequences of the health care law, including higher costs, reduction in hours and jobs, and loss of existing health insurance coverage. More information about the hearing, including location, webcast, witness list, and testimony can be found here as they become available.
On Wednesday, the full committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Serving Students and Families through Child Nutrition Programs.” Federal child nutrition programs, such as the federal lunch and breakfast programs, deliver vital support to low-income students and families. In 2010, Congress expanded these programs resulting in a series of costly regulations. Schools have experienced a more than $1 billion cost increase in the lunch and breakfast programs, while the number of students and families served has decreased by 1.4 million. Wednesday’s hearing provides members an opportunity to hear from school nutrition experts about the current state of federal child nutrition programs and the role they play in the lives of students and families. More information about the hearing, including location, webcast, witness list, and testimony can be found here as they become available.
For more information on hearings, visit edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.
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Next Week at Small Business: Tax Reform
Ensuring that Main Street Isn't Left Behind
WASHINGTON -- The Small Business Committee will hold the following hearing next week:
Full Committee Hearing
Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 11:00 A.M.
2360 Rayburn House Office Building
Tax Reform: Ensuring that Main Street Isn't Left Behind
On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at 11:00 A.M., the Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing titled, "Tax Reform: Ensuring that Main Street Isn't Left Behind.” The hearing will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the need for and potential economic benefits of comprehensive tax reform. The hearing will be webstreamed live HERE.
· Mr. Scott Lipps, Owner, Sleep Tite Mattress Factory, Franklin, OH (Testifying on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business)
· Mr. Pete Sepp, President, National Taxpayers Union, Alexandria, VA
· Mr. Dan McGregor, Chairman of the Board, McGregor Metalworking Companies, Springfield, OH (Testifying on behalf of the S Corporation Association of America)
· Eric Toder, Ph.D., Institute Fellow, Urban Institute, Co-Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, Washington, DC
*Members of the press interested in covering this hearing should contact Communications Director Kelley McNabb at Kelley.McNabb@mail.house.gov.*
The availability of capital is crucial for any small business to get off the ground, weather tough times and grow to the next level. But what most women business owners today know about this key issue is very different from what our daughters or granddaughters will know when they set out to launch businesses of their own. Before H.R. 5050, the Women’s Business Ownership Act that NAWBO played a role in helping to pass more than 25 years ago, women didn’t have direct access. In fact, if they wanted to get a business loan, they needed a male co-signer—a husband, father or even son.
While discriminatory lending practices like this might be a thing of the past, access to capital consistently ranks as one of the biggest challenges for women entrepreneurs seeking to start or expand their business—one that NAWBO consistently speaks out on in the state capitals where our chapters reside as well as in our nation’s capitol where NAWBO was founded. Still, the statistics speak loud and clear: Women are starting businesses at one and a half times the national average according to the American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business Report. Yet female founders receive just 25 percent of angel investments in the U.S., and companies with a woman CEO get just 3 percent of venture capital backing, says a Babson College study on bridging the gender gap in venture capital. Additionally, an Experian report shows that most women entrepreneurs rely on personal credit when applying for a business loan to keep their businesses strong or expand their operations.
Moreover, in July 2014, then-Senate Small Business Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) released a report entitled “21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship.” The report took a wide-ranging look at some of the challenges that women face in starting a business. In particular, the report found that just “$1 of every $23 in conventional small business loans goes to a woman-owned business.”
Since building financial capability and improving access to credit is not just essential to the success of our current and future NAWBO members, but to the continued growth of the U.S. economy, we decided to dedicate an entire issue of NAWBO ONE to accessing capital. In this month’s issue, you’ll hear advice from one of our past National Board Chairs, whose company provides CFO advice, support and even interim or part-time CFOs, about the must-have financial tools for women entrepreneurs to successfully run their businesses. You’ll also hear from a banking partner about why it’s so important to have a history with your business lender, as well as read spotlights on women-owned businesses who have gained access their way.
Additionally, we’re excited to share with you details of a new partnership between NAWBO and Portfolia, a network designed to bring together trending private companies with emerging yet sophisticated investors, as well as experienced angels and angel networks for women entrepreneurs. The partnership will result in NAWBO-Portfolia Investment Circles, beginning in six NAWBO chapters.
We hope you enjoy this issue of NAWBO ONE and gain some valuable insight to help you launch something new, get through a business challenge, expand your products or services or step into a new market.
—Darla Beggs, NAWBO National Board Chair
Jane Hilboldt, CEO of Hilboldt Curtainwall in St. Louis, MO, was awarded the Mobius Legacy Achievement Award at the WCOE Gala dinner held at the National Press Club during the 2015 Leadership Conference held in Washington DC on March 30. Jane has served on the National Board of Directors for many years.
Other awards presented at the event included Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Mobius Advocates of the Year, Nancy Novak of Balfour Beatty and Karen A. Sweeney of Turner Construction, Mobius Influential Women in Business and Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Deputy Secretary, the Department of Energy was awarded the Mobius Influential Woman in Government. The Mobius Influential Woman in Government Award was also presented posthumously to Tracey Pinson and was accepted by her husband, Darryl Dennis.
Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall Awarded the Mobius Award for Influential Woman in Government
The WCOE National Leadership Conference was held in Washington DC March 29 to 31. One of the highlights of the conference was the Gala held at the National Press Club on Monday, March 30, where The WCOE Mobius Awards were presented.
Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall was presented with the Mobius Award for Influential Woman in Government. Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall thanked the members of WCOE for being strong role models for women and encouraged attendees to inspire and motivate the next generation of girls entering a male-dominated industry.
Speaking about the role of the Department of Energy as the nation’s technology powerhouse to meet the challenges of energy security, nuclear security and climate change. The innovations developed by the Department provide new energy sources, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the nation’s economy.
The Agency is the second largest procurement agency in the Federal government and operates 17 national laboratories and production facilities throughout the nation where many of the innovations are developed.
Finally, the Deputy Secretary encouraged attendees to get involved with mentoring programs and to reach out to girls in their communities to promote STEM programs and education.
Broad Support for Legislation to Provide Certainty to Employers Offering Innovative Employee Wellness Programs
The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, introduced by Senate and House leaders last month to provide legal certainty for employers offering innovative employee wellness programs, is receiving broad support from business leaders and health care industry experts.
The bill was introduced last month by Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) with Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) and aims to eliminate confusion caused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for employers offering wellness programs that lower employees’ health insurance premiums to reward healthy lifestyle choices.
“The National Business Group on Health writes in strongsupport of S. 620/H.R. 1189, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act. We applaud your leadership to align government policy and provide legal clarity to support employers’ wellness programs and financial incentives that reward healthy lifestyles….Your proposed legislation would clear up this confusion for employers and the employees who value these programs and aligns the federal government’s policy to consistently support wellness programs.”—Brian J. Marcotte, National Business Group on Health
“To maintain global competitiveness and help achieve good health in our communities, American companies must encourage healthy behavior with every tool in our toolkit. In other words, a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and a productive workforce makes for a healthier American economy. We thank you for your sponsorship of S. 620.”—James A. Klein, American Benefits Council
“We urge the Senate to pass this legislation this year. It is important for Congress to eliminate the legal confusion surrounding wellness program financial incentives that has been caused by the recent legal actions taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and restore certainty for employers who want to reward their employees for leading healthy lifestyles.”—Daniel V. Yager, HR Policy Association
“ERIC applauds you for developing and introducing this legislation, as it would provide legal certainty and eliminate confusion caused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for employers offering wellness programs to their employees. This issue is significant for ERIC members as their wellness plans are part of the comprehensive health benefits they provide to millions of active and retired employees and their families.”—Annette Guarisco Fildes, The ERISA Industry Committee
“NAHU has long been a proponent of group wellness programs and we appreciate your leadership on this important issue for employers and employees alike to be able to participate in wellness programs that will help to both improve overall health and reduce the cost of care. With an ever increasing cost of medical care and health insurance coverage, wellness programs have a demonstrated ability to improve health and save money. Efforts to increase the use of wellness programs and encourage all employees to live a healthy lifestyle will only further these results.”—Janet Trautwein, National Association of Health Underwriters
"The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act will provide employers with more certainty that evidenced-based employee wellness programs designed to meet existing regulatory guidelines will not face unnecessary litigation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Passage of this bill will protect crucial tools for employer wellness programs, biometric screenings, health risk assessments, and premium incentives, which help employees receive interventions best suited to their health needs and goals.”—Mary R. Grealy, Healthcare Leadership Council
“This legislation provides legal certainty and eliminates confusion arising from action by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for employers offering employee wellness programs that lower health insurance premiums to reward healthy lifestyle choices. The legislation provides support for those employers, who may be hesitant to provide wellness programs for fear of violating EEOC requirements.”—Kathryn Mueller, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
“On behalf of the undersigned organizations, which represent millions of employers who employ tens of millions of employees, we write to express our support for S. 620, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, and to thank you for sponsoring this important legislation. S. 620 will provide much needed clarification over the legality of voluntary workplace wellness programs and employers’ use of financial incentives to encourage participation in such programs.”—Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, Food Marketing Institute, HR Policy Association, Independent Electrical Contractors, International Foodservice Distributors Association, International Franchise Association, International Public Management Association for Human Resources, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Federation of Independent Business, National Grocers Association, National Public Employer Labor Relations Association, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Society for Human Resource Management, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce link
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House, Senate Leaders Denounce President’s Veto of Joint Resolution to Stop NLRB Ambush Election Rule
Under the Congressional Review Act, the House and Senate can vote on a joint resolution of disapproval to stop, with the full force of law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or regulation or issuing a substantially similar regulation without congressional authorization. The resolution passed the House on March 19 by a vote of 232 to 186, after passing the Senate last month by a vote of 53-46.
“The NLRB’s ambush election rule is an assault on the rights and privacy protections of American workers," said Speaker of the House John Boehner. "With his veto, the president has once again put the interests of his political allies ahead of the small business owners and hardworking Americans who create jobs and build a stronger economy.”
“The President’s partisan veto will further empower powerful political bosses at the expense of the rights of middle-class workers,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Republicans believe workers have the right to make their own, informed choices when casting a ballot in the workplace; we don’t think powerful political bosses should rush or force that decision on them, as the ambush rule proposes. We’ll continue to stand strong against Obama Administration attempts to weaken workers’ rights in order to enrich its powerful political friends.”
“President Obama has decided to stand with his powerful friends in Big Labor, rather than America’s workers and job creators,” said Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “With his veto, the president has endorsed an ambush election rule that will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of working families. This fight isn’t over. Congress will continue to oppose this radical assault on workers and employers, and we will continue to demand a fair union election process.”
“The NLRB’s new ambush election rule forces a union election in as little as 11 days—before an employer and most employees even have a chance to figure out what is going on,” said Alexander, chairman of the Senate labor committee. “I’m disappointed the president wasted this opportunity to prevent the board’s rule from infringing on every employee’s right to privacy and every employer’s right to free speech.”
“With this veto, President Obama has further proved his administration is more concerned with supporting union bosses than ensuring a fair and impartial process that respects workers’ privacy and right to make decisions that are best for them,” said Roe, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. “For far too long, we’ve seen the Obama administration’s activist NLRB – which should ensure fair and transparent union elections – put the interests of labor unions before those of job creators and American workers. This latest rule is nothing more than an attempt to speed up union elections, violating the rights of workers to make an informed decision and employers to communicate openly with their employees during a union organizing campaign.”
"It’s disappointing that President Obama chose to side with big labor over the rights of employees and employers,” said Enzi, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “With this rule the National Labor Relations Board has taken it upon itself to impose new regulations that would hurt businesses and undermine a process that is already providing fair and timely elections. The NLRB needs to know that this rule is out of bounds.”
BACKGROUND: The NLRB’s rule was finalized in December and would shorten the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held to as little as 11 days. In 2014, more than 95 percent of union certification elections occurred within 56 days. In addition, the median number of days from petition to election was 38 days. These numbers surpass the performance goals set by the NLRB itself. The rule gives employers no time to communicate with their employees before a union election and undermines the ability of workers to make an informed decision. In addition, it forces employers to provide employees’ personal information to union organizers without employees’ consent. The ambush election rule will go into effect April 14, 2015.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate last night, under unanimous consent, approved an amendment offered by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) stating the need for Congress to “protect the open Internet in a manner that provides clear and certain rules and does not jeopardize public safety, universal service, privacy, accessibility, consumer protection, competition, innovation, or investment.”
Thune, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, tonight issued the following statement on the amendment v...