Chairman Steve Knight has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce titled, "Learning from History: Ideas to Strengthen and Modernize the HUBZone Program" The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 2, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Mr. William Shear
Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Mr. Hannibal “Mike” Ware
Acting Inspector General
U.S. Small Business Administration
Ms. Shirley Bailey
Co-Owner-Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
GCC Technologies, LLC
*Testifying on behalf of the HUBZone Contractors National Council
Pursuant to House Rules and the Congressional Budget Act, the Committee must report its views and estimates on the President’s budget within six weeks of its submission to Congress. In the absence of this submission, which was statutorily required by February 6, 2017, the Committee on Budget has requested that House committees proceed and provide their views and estimates by March 3, 2017.
The meeting will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The Committee’s views and estimates letter is attached. It is also available on the Committee website.
Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
- Meeting Notice
- Views and Estimates
DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Seeks Comments on Its Proposed Rule on Energy Conservation Standards for Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pumps
On January 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy published concurrent and identical proposed and direct final rules amending energy conservation standards for dedicated-purpose pool pumps. On January 25, 2016 DOE published a Test Procedure final rule establishing new test procedures for the pumps. This rule became effective on February 24, 2016. DOE is now seeking comments on its identical direct final and proposed rules for conservation standards.
DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Seeks Comments on Its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Central Air Conditioners and Heaters
On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy published concurrent and identical proposed and direct final rules amending energy conservation standards for consumer central air conditioners and heat pumps. On January 5, 2017 DOE published a Test Procedure final rule establishing new test procedures for the air conditioners and heaters. This final rule has been delayed and will take effect on March 21, 2017. DOE is now seeking comments on its identical direct final and proposed rules for conservation standards.
By Christopher Beach
With control of all three branches of government, Republicans are set on unraveling President Obama's education legacy and pushing an unprecedented amount of funding and authority back to states.
Leading this charge is Rep. Virginia Foxx, the newly appointed chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Her mission, as she told RealClearPolitics in an interview for the new episode of the “First 100 Days” podcast series, is to make the federal government “as minimal as possible.”
In fact, the North Carolina Republican has no qualms about abolishing the entire Department of Education. “If the Lord put me in charge, I would do it,” Foxx said. But she admitted, “I do not think it's politically feasible.”
Instead, the GOP is busy chipping away at specific Obama-era regulations related to the nation's new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). And the Trump administration just took an axe to Obama's controversial Title IX transgender restroom rules. Foxx approved of the decision and added that Obama had circumvented the legislative process and tried to “interpret into the law something that was never intended.” (At the time of her interview with RCP, the administration's decision was imminent but had not yet been issued.)
You might describe Foxx as a strict constitutionalist. The seven-term congresswoman is a staunch believer that powers not specifically granted to Congress or the executive branch by the Constitution should be delegated to the states, and that includes decisions involving education. Furthermore, she asserts that the federal government's intervention in education has not been effective.
Foxx pointed to the fact that the U.S. has spent over $3 trillion on Title I funding directed at improving outcomes for low-income students, yet “reading levels have not changed one bit since 1965.” “Something is wrong with this scenario,” she added.
(According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card, reading scores for fourth- and eighth-graders have ticked up marginally over the past several decades, but scores for 12th-graders have remained stagnant and, in recent years, actually decreased.)
In interviews and in person, the committee chairwoman is not known to hedge or mince words. Her moxie and direct style are partly shaped by her remarkable personal journey from abject poverty to unlikely success. Growing up in Appalachia, her family didn't have electric power or running water until she was 14. At age 12, she took a job as a weaver to help provide for her family. She worked her way through high school as a janitor and became the first member of her family to graduate.
She talks openly about being raised in one of the poorest areas of the country, but stresses that it didn't stop her from succeeding. “That's what this country is about,” Foxx stated. Now, her personal goal is to protect the opportunity for anybody who grew up in similar circumstances to succeed also.
That's one reason she is an avid supporter of school choice. While Foxx did not specifically address how Republicans in Congress will go about it, she voiced support for Trump’s and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ desire to dramatically expand school choice. She also pushed back against critics, saying they’re trying to deny children in failing schools the opportunity at a better education.
After completing high school, Foxx graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later earned both a master’s degree in college teaching and a PhD in education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She worked as a research assistant and English instructor in higher education and later became the president of Mayland Community College.
As you might expect, she's well-versed in the issues of higher education and is a vocal advocate for expanding college opportunities, whether it be through industry certification programs, two-year college or four-year degree programs. In her opinion, the United States needs to elevate the status of people who chose not to get a four-year degree. She stressed that states should develop better career and vocational training programs for students who don't want to go on to college.
To listen to the full interview, click here.
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Fourth Circuit Reaffirms “Daubert”’s Scope and Reliability Requirement in Important Products-Liability Case
The rules and regulations implementing federal wage and hour standards are overly complex, burdensome, and outdated, creating significant challenges for workers and small business owners. For Rhea Lana Riner, the confusing maze of rules and red tape forced her to confront costly litigation that could put her out of business and jeopardize valuable opportunities for families in need. She recently testified before the committee to share her story.
Arkansas Entrepreneur Tells U.S. House Panel That Regulations Threaten Survival of Company
By Frank E. Lockwood
An Arkansas woman who built a consignment sale empire told congressmen Thursday that federal regulations threaten the survival of her company.
Rhea Lana Riner told members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce that she's been locked in a legal battle with the U.S. Department of Labor since 2013.
"If we lose, Rhea Lana's will no longer be able to provide its valuable service to families in need," she said.
Thursday's hearing focused on "Federal Wage and Hour Policies in the Twenty-First Century Economy." The entrepreneur from Faulkner County was the first of four people who addressed the subcommittee on workforce protections.
Riner started her children's clothing consignment company in 1997, holding the first sale in her Conway living room. A few friends gathered, buying and selling items. Since then, her business has mushroomed, with 80 franchises that operate in 23 states.
Many of the mothers who buy or sell gently used kids apparel also volunteered their time and helped run the consignment sales. In exchange, they're allowed to shop before the sale opens to the general public.
But in 2013, the Department of Labor said that Rhea Lana's Inc. was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act because she was using volunteer labor.
Since then, the government agency and Riner have been fighting each other in federal court.
If Rhea Lana's loses, it faces penalties as high as $3.6 million, she said.
Riner portrayed the battle as a struggle between big government and small business, between hardworking moms and oppressive bureaucrats.
"We're continuing to fight for a mother's right to use her personal time as she sees fit to help her family," she said.
To read more, click here.
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Consumer Product Safety Commission Seeks Comments on Its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Safety Standards for Portable Generators
On November 21, 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a notice of proposed rulemaking on Safety Standards for Portable Generators. The proposed regulation aims to lower the unreasonable risk of injury and death due to CO emissions by setting specific CO emissions guidelines. The rule would require that portable generators powered by handheld spark-ignition (SI) engines of various classes fall within specific CO emissions rates. The CPSC has concluded that the rule will have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Seeks Comments on Its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Amendments to Fireworks Regulations
On February 2, 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a notice of proposed rulemaking on Amendments to Fireworks Regulations. The rule aims to clarify and amend current fireworks standards as well as codify limits, and test procedures. The Commission believes the requirements will reduce the risk of injury. Comments are due by April 18, 2017.
Read the proposed rule and submit comments here.