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Highway to Headache: Federal Regulations Affecting the Small Trucking Industry

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing to examine how federal regulations affect the small trucking industry and explore ways to provide regulatory relief to them.

With many regulations taking a one-size-fits-all approach, small trucking companies are forced to comply with expensive, confusing, and time-consuming regulations. This is not only costing small businesses, but America’s economy as a whole, through lost time and delays in receiving all types of goods and products,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH).

One-Size-Fits-All Regulations Don’t Work for the Trucking Industry

Small trucking companies are subject to many of the same federal requirements as large trucking companies, and the regulations tend to take a one-size-fits-all approach.  Industries that rely on the trucking industry or use trucking as part of their business model can also be subject to many of the same burdensome regulations.

Frequently, regulations promoted by these large fleets are disingenuously billed as silver bullet solutions to enhancing highway safety, despite a distinct lack of reputable evidence to support their claims. In reality, they are economic weapons used to squeeze smaller competitors out of the trucking industry by increasing their operating costs. Continuance of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach has left the federal government complicit,” said Monte Wiederhold, President of B. L. Reever Transport, Inc. in Maumee, OH.

“Small business trucking bears a heavy load of rules, regulations, and red tape that are counterproductive to their stated intentions. These regulations, such as the inflexible HOS [Hours of Service] rules, the CSA [Compliance Safety Accountability] program, and the ELD [Electronic Logging Device] mandate add costs, time, and attention, as well as sap small firms’ resources unnecessarily. Instead of making the road safer, these rules and government mandates make both truckers and the driving public less safe,” said Marty DiGiacomo, Owner of True Blue Transportation in Harrisburg, NC.

“Our major concern with the current regulatory structure is that small industry stakeholders are continually swept into these ‘one size fits all’ transportation regulations that are best suited for large commercial companies,” said Stephen Pelkey, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, Inc. in Jaffrey, NH. “There are often many ways to achieve the same goals, and if small businesses are to survive, the DOT [Department of Transportation] regulatory agencies need to do a better job in recognizing the differences between small and big businesses, and that different approaches may be necessary.”

Chairman Chabot introduced H.R. 33, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, to ensure that federal agencies actually examine how their new regulations would impact small businesses and require them to consider ways to reduce unnecessary costs and burdens. The bill was included in a larger bill, H.R. 5 – the Regulatory Accountability Act – which passed the House with a bipartisan vote in January.

Click HERE to watch the full video, and HERE to read the testimony. 

House Small Business Committee Welcomes Rep. John Curtis

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement following the appointment of Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) to the Committee:

From serving the city of Provo, Utah, to building a multi-million dollar business, Rep. Curtis will make a great addition to the our committee, bringing his experience as a small business owner to help our nation’s small companies. We look forward to working with him.”

After being named to the Committee, Curtis said, “Serving on the House Small Business Committee is a tremendous opportunity for me to serve the people of the 3rd Congressional District and I'm ready to get to work for them. Utahn's know that our small businesses - including our startups and our small business manufacturers - are the backbone of our economy.”

John R. Curtis proudly represents Utah’s 3rd Congressional District in the United States Congress. In addition to serving on the House Committee on Small Business, he will also be serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Rep. Walberg Opening Statement (R-MI) | Subcommittee Hearing on “Financial Challenges Facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Implications for Pension Plans, Workers, and Retirees"

Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 12:00am

Good morning, and welcome to today’s subcommittee hearing on the financial challenges facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the impact to workers and retirees.

George Miller was a liberal lion of this Committee. While we very often disagreed, I admired his commitment to ensuring Americans have the ability to retire with dignity.

In 2014, he worked with John Kline, then our Chairman, to try to solve a real problem: a retirement system on the brink of collapse. They put politics aside, worked with employers and labor unions, and negotiated a set of reforms to the multiemployer pension system in order to preserve benefits for millions of workers. President Obama signed this bipartisan approach into law in 2014.

The law was based on the premise that the plan trustees who have a legal and moral obligation to pensioners and workers should have the ability to take early action in order to avoid disaster.

While the 2014 statute was an important step, regulations written by President Obama’s Treasury Department implementing the law made it difficult if not impossible for trustees to use the tools the law contains. And so, the problems continue. We know they persist because the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the backstop for private defined benefit plans, released its annual report two weeks ago. According to PBGC, more than 100 multiemployer plans are expected to fail, in addition to the 72 that already have.

This kind of widespread collapse will directly impact the millions of workers, retirees, and their families who spent their careers planning their retirement with these promised pension benefits in mind. And who promised these benefits? Unions and employers who established and administered these plans. The federal government and non-union workers had no role in negotiating the contracts that made the promises that will be broken. Mr. Miller, when he chaired this Committee, recognized this. That’s why this Committee, under his leadership in 2009, refused to advance a legislative proposal to put taxpayers on the hook for these promises.

Implementation of the 2014 law has been ineffective, and the workers and retirees in these plans are worse off because of it. When their plans fail, their benefits will be cut, in many cases significantly. And when these retirement systems fail, the PBGC will collapse as well.

The agency’s multiemployer insurance program currently has about $2 billion in assets, receives less than $300 million in premium revenue annually, and has a long term deficit of $65.1 billion. Again, that’s $65 billion. When the money runs out, likely sometime in 2025, pensioners will receive pennies on the dollar of what they were promised. Employers will close their doors, and previously healthy plans may go bankrupt.

Congress took bipartisan action just three years ago to prevent this looming disaster. We believe the Trump administration will work hard to ensure the law’s tools are utilized more appropriately. But if Congress is to consider further reforms, it’s critical that the Committee fully understand the scope of the financial challenges facing PBGC.

Today’s witness, Tom Reeder, is the PBGC’s director. He administers not just the multiemployer insurance program, but also the agency’s very large insurance program for single-employer defined benefit plans. While the finances of that program are trending upward, it is still underfunded by nearly $11 billion. That program insures more than 27 million Americans in more than 22,000 pension plans. We look forward to examining that program in today’s hearing as well.

There are no easy answers to these problems. We owe it to workers, retirees, employers and taxpayers to put politics aside and work toward finding a fiscally responsible, bipartisan solution. Millions of Americans are counting on us.

To read PDF version, click here.

DOL Issues 18-Month Delay Related to Prohibited Transaction Exemptions under the Fiduciary Rule

Office of Advocacy - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 4:03pm

On November 28, 2017, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an 18-month extension transition period and delay of applicability date related to the Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (PTEs) under the Fiduciary Rule.  The 18-month extension transition period applies to the Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Class Exemp

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Change in Law of Patent Venue May Not Be Get Out of Texas Card

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:22am
Featured Expert Contributor, Intellectual Property—Patents Jeffri A. Kaminski, Venable LLP In In re: Micron Technology, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit resolved a disagreement among various district courts as to when the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Group Brands LLC has changed patent venue law. …

Continue reading Change in Law of Patent Venue May Not Be Get Out of Texas Card

Categories: Latest News

New First Amendment Challenge Takes Aim at California’s Listing of Glyphosate as a Potential Carcinogen Under Prop 65

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 4:35pm
Long the subject of much controversy, California’s Proposition 65 law prohibits businesses from exposing Californians to chemicals “known to the State of California to cause cancer” without first providing a warning. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) publishes a list of chemicals “known to the State of California to cause cancer.” By statute, …

Continue reading New First Amendment Challenge Takes Aim at California’s Listing of Glyphosate as a Potential Carcinogen Under Prop 65

Categories: Latest News

Senate Commerce, Finance Committees Seek Answers on Uber Data Breach

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) today, in a letter to Uber Technologies Inc. CEO DaraKhosrowshahi, requested information related to recent reports of a data breach, which Uber failed to disclose promptly, involving the personal information of 57 million customers including names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers.

FDA Issues Small Entity Compliance Guide for Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

Office of Advocacy - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:33am

On November 22, 2017, FDA issued guidance entitled “Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food: What You Need to Know About the FDA Regulation—Small Entity Compliance Guide.” The purpose of the guidance is to assist small entity compliance with the rule concerning Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food pursuant to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FMSA).

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

FDA Seeks Comments on Draft Guidance for Menu Labeling

Office of Advocacy - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:29am

On November 9, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published draft guidance entitled “Menu Labeling: Supplement Guidance for Industry” to address the implementation of nutrition labelling required for foods sold in covered establishments, including restaurants or similar retail food establishments. FDA seeks comments on the draft guidance and will consider submitted comments when drafting the final guidance.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Committee Announces Hearing for NOAA Administrator Nominee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a nominations hearing at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, for the president’s nominee to serve as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Witnesses:

  • Mr. Barry Lee Myers, of Pennsylvania, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
10:30 a.m.
Full Committee 

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

Ninth Circuit Permits Interest-Group Enforcement of RCRA after EPA Exercises Non-Enforcement Discretion on Stormwater

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 9:00am
Featured Expert Column—Environmental Law and Policy By Samuel B. Boxerman, Sidley Austin LLP Can an environmental organization file suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (“RCRA”) citizen-suit provision claiming harm from stormwater runoff which could be, but was not, subject to limits under a Clean Water Act (“CWA”) permit? In a November 2, 2017 …

Continue reading Ninth Circuit Permits Interest-Group Enforcement of RCRA after EPA Exercises Non-Enforcement Discretion on Stormwater

Categories: Latest News

Public Meeting on New Chemicals

Office of Advocacy - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 2:54pm

EPA is holding a public meeting to update and engage with the public on its  progress in implementing changes to the New Chemicals Review Program as a result of the 2016 amendments to Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), including discussion of EPA’s New Chemicals Decision-Making Framework on Monday, December 6, 2017.  During the meeting, EPA plans to provide an overview of its review process for new chemicals and will provide an opportunity for interested parties to discuss their experiences and ask questions regarding the New Chemicals Review Program.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Public Meeting on Approaches for Identifying Potential Candidates for Prioritization for TSCA Risk Evaluation

Office of Advocacy - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 2:49pm

EPA is holding a public meeting to discuss the possible approaches for identifying potential candidate chemicals for EPA’s prioritization process under the Toxic Substance Control Act on Monday, December 11, 2017.  During the meeting, EPA plans to describe and take comments and questions on the number of possible approaches that the agency has identified in its discussion paper. EPA has also provided a public docket to accept written comments until January 25, 2018.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

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 

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