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Driving Automotive Innovation and Federal Policies

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a filed hearing titled, “Driving Automotive Innovation and Federal Policies,” at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at the Washington Convention Center. The Senate field hearing will examine self-driving and other auto technologies as well as issues on the horizon for lawmakers and regulators. Days after the hearing, the convention center will open its doors for an industry-wide auto showcase event. 

Witnesses: 

To be announced

Hearing Details: 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Full committee
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
West Salon Room
Washington, DC 20001

The hearing is open to credentialed media and the public. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

GSA and U.S. Courts celebrate 100th anniversary of the federal courthouse in Lawton, Oklahoma

GSA news releases - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:12pm
GSA and U.S. Courts celebrate 100th anniversary of the federal courthouse in Lawton, OklahomaLAWTON, Oklahoma - Today, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. District Court for the We

La GSA y la CBP presentan la ceremonia de inicio de construcción del nuevo anexo para procesamiento de peatone

GSA news releases - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:12pm
La Garita de San Luis I procesa anualmente 2,5 millones de peatones que cruzan la frontera​PARA DISTRIBUCIÓN INMEDIATA7 de noviembre de 2017         SAN LUIS, Arizona -- La Administración de Servicios

GSA, CBP Host Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Pedestrian Processing Annex

GSA news releases - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:12pm
San Luis I Port Supports 2.5 Million Annual Pedestrian Border Crossings.

Former Army Reserve Center Hits GSA Auction Block

GSA news releases - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:12pm
For immediate release – November 13, 2017CHICAGO – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced the former Army Reserve Center in Harvey, Ill., will be sold through a public auction in an

Hyperconverged Cloud Infrastructure Solution Now Available on GSA’s IT Schedule 70

GSA news releases - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 12:12pm
November 17, 2017Nutanix Innovative Enterprise Cloud Platform Added to Carahsoft Contract in Support FITARA and Data Optimization Initiatives  WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. General Services Administrati

GSA’s Office of Small Business Utilization Hosts Successful Event for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

GSA news releases - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 12:12pm
November 9, 2017​More than 80 veterans took part in GSA’s Veteran-to-Veteran Coaching Event  WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Small Business Utilization

Credit Report Errors Plague Consumers

WASHINGTON – Consumer credit reports continue to be riddled with tens of millions of errors annually, according to a new report released by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee.

Between 2014 and 2016, consumers identified and disputed more than 224 million potential errors on their credit reports – a 60 percent increase during the three-year period.  Of those disputed items, more than half were confirmed errors and later fixed by U.S. credit reporting agencies (CRAs).

The figures came in response to a series of questions Nelson sent to the nation’s three largest CRAs - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion -in an effort to assess the accuracy of information in credit reports and to better understand current dispute resolution practices. 

“There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering an error on your credit report, especially when it could result in being denied a loan, paying higher interest rates or even getting turned down for a job or an apartment,” said Nelson.  “Unfortunately for consumers, once they’ve found a mistake they have nowhere else to turn but the big three credit reporting agencies.  That’s why it’s imperative these companies do a better job of making it easier and faster for consumers to fix credit report errors.”

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), credit reports were the third most-complained-about product behind debt collection and mortgages from July 2011 to March 2017.  Consumers submitted nearly 195,800 credit reporting complaints during the period.  CFPB complaint data also reveals that Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are among the top five most-complained-about companies in the bureau’s monthly complaint reports ranging from February 2015 through January of this year.

The report made a number of recommendations aimed at improving the process for consumers to correct mistakes on their credit reports.  They include:

      • CRAs must make the dispute resolution process easier for consumers, establish better processes for the removal of inaccurate information, and take a tougher stance against furnishers that provide inaccurate information;

      • Consumers should regularly check their credit reports with all three major CRAs to determine whether their reports contain any of the tens of millions of errors discovered each year;

      • When a CRA fails to promptly correct an error in response to a dispute, consumers should file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and CFPB; and,

     • The FTC and the CFPB must continue their long-standing efforts to protect consumers and ensure that the CRAs are complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

 

 

Advocacy to Host Regulatory Roundtable for Small Business in Boston, MA

Office of Advocacy - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:43am

 

Advocacy to Host Regulatory Roundtable for Small Business in Boston, MA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, November 29th, the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration will host a roundtable in Boston, Mass. The event will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Federal Building located at 10 Causeway St. Boston, MA 02114.

 

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Coast Guard Readiness: How Far Can We Stretch Our Nation’s Only Multi-Mission, Military Force?”


U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene a hearing titled “Coast Guard Readiness: How Far Can We Stretch Our Nation’s Only Multi-Mission, Military Force?” at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 16, 2017. The hearing will examine the Coast Guard’s role in preparation and response to recent natural disasters that have impacted the U.S. mainland and territories, as well as other strains on the Coast Guard, including drug enforcement, icebreaking, safety of navigation, oil spill response, and non-maritime emergency response.
 
Panel I:

  - Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard
 
Panel II:

  - Ms. Etta Kuzakin, King Cove, AK
  - Dr. Guy Meadows, Michigan Technological University 
  - Mr. Lee Smithson, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
 
Hearing Details:
 
Thursday, November 16, 2017
10:00 a.m.
Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, & Coast Guard
 
This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

Chairman Chabot Votes in Favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement following the House passage of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 

“As Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, I want to ensure the tax code works for our nation’s job creators, not against them. H.R. 1 will reduce taxes for small businesses from a top rate of almost 40 percent down to 25 percent, and includes an additional, lower tax rate of 9 percent for the smallest of small businesses. Additionally, it will create tens of thousands of jobs for the people of Ohio and across the country and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.”

 

Federal Government and Small Businesses: Promoting Greater Information Sharing for Stronger Cybersecurity

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:00am

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Federal Government and Small Businesses: Promoting Greater Information Sharing for Stronger Cybersecurity.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Small businesses are prime targets for cyber attackers and the threat continues to grow. Unfortunately, small business owners face an uphill battle in protecting themselves from bad actors because they often lack the resources required to employ the best defenses.  As the federal government and private sector continue to take steps to strengthen small business cybersecurity, the lack of information sharing between federal and private partners poses a major hurdle to effectively combatting cyber attacks. The hearing will examine how federal agencies can encourage greater information sharing with small businesses and provide timely assistance and resources when a cyber attack on a small business occurs. Additionally, the hearing will examine the policies that discourage small businesses from engaging with federal agencies for cybersecurity assistance.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses
Mr. Rob Arnold
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Threat Sketch, LLC
Winston-Salem, NC

Ms. Ola Sage
Chief Executive Officer
e-Management
Silver Spring, MD

Mr. Morgan Reed
President
ACT | The App Association
Washington, DC

Mr. Thomas Gann
Chief Public Policy Officer
McAfee, LLC
Reston, VA 

Promoting Greater Information Sharing for Stronger Cybersecurity

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing to examine how federal agencies can encourage greater information sharing with small businesses and provide timely assistance and resources when a cyber attack on a small business occurs.

 “This Committee has heard from experts, government officials, and small business owners on numerous occasions that cyber threats remain a top concern for America’s small business community. Information sharing is a fundamental component for a strong and effective cybersecurity defense, not just for small businesses but for America’s network as a whole. The federal government must make every effort possible to ensure that small businesses have both the resources and the confidence they need to actively engage with the federal agencies tasked with protecting our critical infrastructure,said Chairman Chabot (R-OH).

Cyber Threats Remain a Top Concern for Small Businesses

While the federal government has made a serious effort to coordinate and distribute cyber security resources directly to small businesses, challenges still remain in ensuring that they are protected from cyber attacks.

“Small businesses are extremely resourceful. Having quality incident reporting and cyber intelligence flowing to the small business community lets us build solutions for ourselves. Our biggest challenge, in that regard, is collecting and aggregating data from a wide array of sources,” said Rob Arnold, CEO & Founder of Threat Sketch, LLC in Winston-Salem, NC.

“Recent ransomware attacks have been devastating with 1 in 5 companies forced to immediately shut down operations for three days and in some cases, more than two weeks, said Ola Sage, Founder and CEO of e-Management and Co-Founder and CEO of CyberRx in Silver Spring, MD. ”Solving this problem requires greater information sharing between the government and the SMB community to help companies better identify threats, protect their infrastructure, detect anomalies, respond to, and recover from significant cyber events.”

“In 2014, 71 percent of companies admitted they fell victim to a successful cyber-attack. Meanwhile, the amount of data online is expected to increase 50-fold by 2020, signaling accelerated tech innovation but also adding new attack vectors due to increased connectivity and a sweetening of the pot for potential cyber criminals. Cybersecurity risk management strategies must keep pace with this growing threat – a task that evolves as more online traffic and commerce is dedicated to the internet of things,” said Morgan Reed, President of ACT | The App Association in Washington, DC.

“We have to acknowledge the fact that for most small businesses, cybersecurity is an expense they don’t want to incur when they’re trying to simply make payroll and remain profitable,” said Thomas Gann, Chief Public Policy Officer of McAfee, LLC in Reston, VA.  “This doesn’t mean that small businesses don’t need or can’t benefit from cyber threat intelligence; they certainly can. But perhaps we should focus our discussion more on sharing a different kind of information – information that is more informative and educational right away.”

Opening Statement by Rep. Virginia Fox (R-NC) | Hearing on “Examining the Policies and the Priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor”

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:00am

The Department of Labor is on the frontline of the issues facing workers and job creators, and it sets policies that have a widespread impact on our nation’s economy, employment growth, retirement security, and more.

Whether they relate to health care, worker protections, retirement planning, workforce development, or employee wages and benefits — it is the responsibility of this committee to ensure those policies are in the best interest of workers, employers, and taxpayers.

I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: No matter what party controls the administration – this committee is dedicated to robust oversight. We take our oversight responsibilities very seriously.  Today’s hearing is the latest step in our effort to hold federal government officials accountable.

The American people are counting on that accountability, especially at a time when the economy is still improving. We are all encouraged by the economic growth we have seen this year. In the third quarter of 2017, real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3 percent. That is a remarkable improvement, considering it’s twice as much as the mere 1.5 percent growth rate we saw during the final year of the Obama administration.

It’s also great to see more and more Americans getting back to work. Nearly 1.5 million jobs have been added since February. Meaningful progress has been made, but there’s no question we have more work to do after eight years of lost opportunity.

However, even though the unemployment rate is down, we still have 6.5 million workers out of work, including 1.6 million on a long-term basis. 4.8 million workers are working part-time because their hours have been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

At the same time, we have 6.1 million jobs unfilled, due in part to our nation’s skills gap. Expanding pathways to career success is a critical component to closing this gap and helping more Americans find good-paying jobs. That’s why Congress and the administration have made workforce development and skills-based education a leading priority.

This week happens to be National Apprenticeship Week, and so we are eager to hear from you, Mr. Secretary, on the steps the department plans to take to promote apprenticeships and other skills-based education programs.

This is something our committee has been focused on for quite some time now, and it is encouraging to have a partner in the White House and the Department of Labor. We look forward to further discussion of how we can work together to expand educational opportunities and empower more Americans to realize their God-given potential.

In addition, I hope that you will be able to provide committee members and the public with your views about the department’s efforts to advance economic opportunities for workers by strengthening workplace democracy, ensuring safe and healthy workplaces, enhancing retirement security, and providing workers and employers with more affordable health care options.

We are also very interested in hearing more about the department’s regulatory and enforcement agenda. This committee spent the early part of this year advancing resolutions under the Congressional Review Act to clean up the mess from the Obama administration and deliver regulatory relief for hardworking men and women.

In fact, five out of fourteen of the CRA resolutions that were signed into law originated from this committee. And just last week, the House passed the Save Local Business Act to roll back the Obama-era joint employer scheme that threatens 1.7 million jobs, according to the American Action Forum.

We know the department has its work cut out after eight years of an unprecedented regulatory rampage. But we look forward to building on the progress we’ve made together so we can get government out of the way and unleash prosperity and opportunity.

There are also a number of issues impacting retirement security that deserve our attention. This includes the need to protect access to affordable retirement advice and empower more Americans to plan for the future.

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Senate Passes Bill Requiring U.S. Amateur Athletic Organizations, Members to Report Sexual Abuse

The U.S. Senate today passed legislation led by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) to require amateur athletics governing bodies to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department.

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Good morning. Welcome to the subcommittee’s hearing on “Technology in Agriculture: Data-Driven Farming.” The subcommittee will come to order.

Thank you for being here today to discuss the advancements and benefits of agricultural technology and the potential of “Big Data” in farming.

The agricultural community’s adoption of field sensors, drones, satellite imagery, advanced machinery and similar technology is increasing at an incredible pace to increase crop yields and improve sustainable practices. The most profitable farms are often the most sustainable ones. This rapidly evolving technology will have a vital role in preserving farmers’ most important asset, their land, with the potential to increase farmers’ margins to unprecedented levels.

The collection and analysis of data has enabled farmers to reduce costs through more efficient applications of inputs like fertilizers and pesticides; improve production decisions through enhanced recordkeeping and more accurate yield predictions; and enhance land stewardship and sustainable practices by removing inefficiencies in planting, harvesting, water use and the allocation of other resources. With an increasing volume of quality data, in tandem with improved data analysis, data-collecting technology has the potential to drastically increase farm productivity and profitability.

The collection and use of such data raises issues regarding control of the data, the transparency of agreements between farmers and data firms and barriers to expanding internet access in rural areas.

Additionally, as data collection and sharing practices become more popular across the agriculture economy, farmers are well-positioned to benefit from the “commoditization” of data collected from their land, especially as equipment manufacturers, service providers, cooperatives and other businesses seek to access and utilize this data.

My goal for this hearing is to educate and empower our nation’s farmers to understand the value of the information they are creating.

It is my pleasure to introduce our panel today. Thank you all for being here. 

Mr. Justin Knopf is a farmer from Gypsum, Kansas, and he grows wheat, alfalfa, soybeans, grain sorghum, corn and multi-species cover crops. As a part of his sustainability-focused farming operations, he practices what is commonly referred to as “no-till” farming and utilizes a variety of technologies that assist his monitoring efforts to be a good steward of the land while improving his yield.

Mr. Jason Tatge is the Co-Founder and CEO of Farmobile, a technology firm based in Overland Park, Kansas. His company’s services provide farmers with real-time access to and ownership of current and historical data pertaining to their land. By providing a user-friendly, simplified yet comprehensive overview of relevant data, Farmobile’s customers are able to make educated decisions in a timely fashion.

Dr. Shannon Ferrell is an Associate Professor at Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics. He also serves as the agricultural industry representative to the Oklahoma Environmental Quality Board, which oversees the operation of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

Mr. Todd Janzen is President of Janzen Agricultural Law, LLC and the Administrator of the Ag Data Transparency project. This project makes available the Ag Data Transparency Evaluator, which aims to provide clarity to consumers as to what businesses do with the data that is shared with them.

Dr. Dorota Haman is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida. She specializes in irrigation water management and efficiencies, and has been an active leader in providing irrigation technology to developing countries in the Americas and Africa.

I look forward to hearing the testimonies of this expert witness panel. I now turn to my colleague Ranking Member Blumenthal for his opening remarks.

Technology in Agriculture: Data-Driven Farming

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, & Data Security, will convene a hearing titled “Technology in Agriculture: Data-Driven Farming,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. The hearing will examine the potential benefits of advancements in agricultural technology and the collection and utilization of data in farming.

Witnesses:

  - Dr. Shannon Ferrell, Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University
  - Mr. Todd J. Janzen, President, Janzen Agricultural Law, LLC
  - Mr. Justin Knopf, Vice President, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers
  - Mr. Jason Tatge, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Farmobile 

Hearing Details:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
2:30 p.m.
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, & Data Security

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

Chairman Chabot Applauds Small Business Legislation in NDAA

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement regarding the passage of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report:

“Not only does the NDAA include the largest pay increase for our nation’s armed forces, it also is a win for America’s 29 million small businesses,” said Chairman Steve Chabot. “Small businesses play a vital and indispensable role in providing for the common defense, and I thank both Chambers for recognizing their contribution to the safety of our homeland.”

Among other beneficial small business provisions, versions of the following bills were included in the FY2018 NDAA:

  • H.R. 1773, the Clarity for America’s Small Contractors Act of 2017, sponsored by Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), co-sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)
  • H.R. 3294, the HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act  of 2017, sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
  • H.R. 1597, the Commercial Market Representatives Clarification Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
  • H.R. 1640, the Unifying Small Business Terminology Act of 2017, sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)
  • H.R. 1693, the Improving Contract Procurement for Small Businesses through More Accurate Reporting Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), co-sponsored by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
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