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Subcommittee Announces Hearing to Examine Arctic Transportation Issues

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene a subcommittee hearing titled “Preparing for Maritime Transportation in a Changing Arctic,” at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 6, 2018. The hearing will examine emerging transportation issues in the changing Arctic region, including increases in vessel traffic and the resulting need for updates in waterway management, infrastructure investment, and domain awareness.

Witnesses:

  • Mr. Willie Goodwin, Chairman, Arctic Waterways Safety Committee
  • Andrew Hartsig, Director, Arctic Program, Ocean Conservancy 
  • Ms. Kathy Metcalf, President and CEO, Chamber of Shipping of America
  • Captain Ed Page, Executive Director, Marine Exchange of Alaska

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Thursday, December 6, 2018
9:30 a.m.
Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard 

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

In Ongoing Lawsuit Barrage, Professional Green Activists Disregard Due-Process Concerns

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 4:47pm
After the Executive Branch changed hands a little over two years ago, professional environmental activists promised a steady stream of lawsuits against both private enterprises and the federal government. Such a bold pronouncement was great for the green activists’ fundraising, as environmental non-profits bragged of 100 to 700 percent increases in donations. Those groups have …

Continue reading In Ongoing Lawsuit Barrage, Professional Green Activists Disregard Due-Process Concerns

Categories: Latest News

Thune Statement on Senate Confirmation of Karen Dunn Kelley to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Karen Dunn Kelley to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

“Today, the Senate voted to confirm Karen Dunn Kelley to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce, filling another important position in the administration,” said Thune. “Throughout her career, Ms. Dunn Kelley has exhibited the kind of leadership that the Department of Commerce needs to continue its promoting economic growth, job creation, and innovation. This non-controversial nominee, previously confirmed by the Senate unanimously, has been subjected to an unreasonably long delay due to partisan games by the Democrats.”

On June 27, 2018, the Commerce Committee approved Karen Dunn Kelley’s nomination to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce by voice vote.

What Did We Learn From the Supreme Court Oral Argument in Apple v. Pepper?

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 9:05am
We’ve blogged previously about the Supreme Court’s biggest antitrust case of the October Term 2018, Apple v. Pepper. The case asks the Court to decide whether iPhone users who buy apps from Apple’s App Store may sue Apple for alleged antitrust violations, or whether only third-party app developers may bring such claims. The answer turns …

Continue reading What Did We Learn From the Supreme Court Oral Argument in Apple v. Pepper?

Categories: Latest News

Commerce Leaders Applaud House Passage of Bipartisan Coast Guard Authorization

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which exercises jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard, Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and the Coast Guard, and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the sponsor of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act included within the reauthorization, issued the following statement on tonight’s House vote passing S. 140, The Frank Lobiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018.  

“Now on its way to President Trump for his signature, this bill offers the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard support to enhance and continue search and rescue, storm response, and critical maritime interdiction missions,” said Thune. “I credit my colleagues on the committee as well as Sens. Carper, Portman, and Stabenow for their help in getting this important legislation across the finish line.”

“The brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard do an amazing job protecting the homeland day in and day out and often on a moment’s notice,” said Sullivan“Working closely with Chairman Thune and Senator Wicker, I was honored to have had the opportunity to lead this year’s Coast Guard Authorization, giving our Coast Guard the resources and training they need to complete the many diverse missions they are tasked with. I thank my House colleagues for swiftly moving this bipartisan bill on to the President’s desk for his signature. Semper Paratus!”

“Sending this bill to the President’s desk is a win not only for the U.S. Coast Guard, but also for our national security, economy, and environment. I am particularly pleased this bill simplifies the patchwork of regulations regarding a vessel’s ballast water discharge by adopting key provisions of my Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act. I appreciate the hard work of Chairman Thune, Senator Sullivan, and so many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this bill across the finish line,” said Wicker.

Highlights of S. 140: The Frank Lobiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018:

Maritime drug and border enforcement – includes new authorities to combat illicit trafficking and smuggling and transnational criminal organizations by furthering interagency cooperation, combating concealment of bulk cash, and increasing the budget for investigations and ability to use informants.

Multiyear contracting – authorizes the Coast Guard Commandant to utilize several new acquisition tools, including multiyear funding for procuring future National Security Cutters.  These changes will allow the Coast Guard to reduce the price of follow-on vessels and give shipyards greater predictability, stabilizing workforces.

Authorization level – authorizes the U.S. Coast Guard for fiscal year 2019 at $10.6 billion.

Arctic Operations – directs the Coast Guard to conduct a review of the assets and personnel required to ensure the safety and security of the Arctic.

Recreational Boating – increases safety and clarifies requirements for recreational boating safety by implementing the installation of engine cut-off switches and alternate signaling devices.

Regulation of ballast water discharges (Vessel Incidental Discharge Act):

  • Delegates the lead role in establishing standards for discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and assigns the Coast Guard the lead role in monitoring and enforcing standards.
  • Accommodates unique regional situations.  Pacific Coast ballast water exchanges will continue and the Great Lakes may set their own basin-wide standards.
  • Allows States to establish no-discharge zones for areas that require additional protection.

The Senate passed S. 140, as amended on November 14. Read the full text of S. 140 here.

Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, will convene a subcommittee hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Consistent with the committee’s oversight responsibilities, this hearing will examine the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) priorities in promoting competition and consumer protection, the ongoing innovation hearings and how changes in technology impact the agency, and whether the FTC should have expanded authority with respect to privacy and data security.

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Joseph J. Simons, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Rohit Chopra, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Noah Joshua Phillips, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Christine S. Wilson, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
2:30 p.m.
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security 

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

Ranking Member Bill Nelson Opening Statement

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing.  The FTC is America’s premier consumer protection agency.  The Federal Trade Commission Act, passed in 1914, serves as the bedrock of American consumer protection law.  The agency is tasked with policing and promoting competitive markets and with protecting consumers from unfair or deceptive acts or practices. 

Despite its important mission and enormous mandate, the FTC remains a relatively small agency. 

For years, I have consistently advocated that the FTC be provided more resources so that it can effectively do its job – particularly during an age when the American economy is becoming increasingly digitized and complex. 

With a little over a thousand full-time employees, the FTC can only do so much to police a nineteen-trillion-dollar economy.  It is my hope that Congress will finally step up to the plate and do the right thing by providing the FTC with increased funding and personnel to police the marketplace and protect American consumers from a myriad of scams, frauds and corporate practices that fleece them of their hard-earned money.

Let me also express my hope that the FTC continues to operate in a bipartisan, consensus manner. The commission has a long, proud history of bipartisanship. It’s a tradition from which other independent agencies should draw. Too often, agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) get mired in competing, individual ideological agendas. By and large, the FTC has avoided this kind of dysfunction, which has served the American consumer well. Quite frankly, Congress can also learn from the FTC’s history of bipartisan deliberation and cooperation.

Lastly, to the FTC commissioners before us here today, thank you for your public service. It’s been a privilege and honor to have worked closely with you during my four years as ranking member of the Commerce Committee.

Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to hearing from the commissioners.

Chairman Chabot and House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Roe Introduce the VA-SBA Act

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released statements following the introduction of new legislation to better enable the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fulfill their designated responsibilities and streamline programs within the agencies. H.R. 7169, the Verification Alignment and Service-Disabled Business Adjustment (VA-SBA) Act was introduced by the House Small Business Committee’s Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations Trent Kelly (R-MS).

Currently, SBA certifies small businesses that participate in federal contracting preference programs. However, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) are the exception – they are verified by VA to qualify for VA contracts, and are uniquely allowed to self-certify through SBA to obtain federal contracts from all other federal government agencies. The ability of SDVOSBs to do so has led to years of fraud, waste, and abuse, as it has allowed companies not owned by service-disabled veterans to take advantage of the system. It also has created two separate classes of SDVOSBs: those that are verified by VA, and those that have self-certified at SBA. The VA-SBA Act would require SBA to certify all SDVOSB applications, as it does for all other small businesses, and would preserve the unique Veterans Owned Small Business contracting preference in VA.

“Our nation’s veterans learn skills while serving that make them top notch entrepreneurs,” said Chairman Chabot. “With 2.52 million small businesses majority-owned by veterans, it’s important they have access to the resources they need to start a small business without the red tape and confusion that can come from government agencies. The VA-SBA Act will open doors for veteran-owned small businesses and expedite the process of becoming an entrepreneur. I look forward to ensuring veterans are able to continue their contributions to the American economy. I thank the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Roe, House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations Chairman Kelly, and Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman General Bergman for their dedication and leadership to ensure this program gets a necessary update. America’s heroes deserve the full support of Congress in all aspects of life, especially as they work to bring their business dreams to life.”

“Different treatment of SDVOSBs depending on which federal agency they contract with is confusing and inefficient," said Chairman Roe. "VA requires a rigorous verification process, while other agencies allow nearly anyone to self-certify. This situation has created more problems than good, and it is high time to fix it. Bad actors are taking advantage of this exception and companies that are not owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans are fraudulently representing themselves to obtain contracts. This legislation fixes the disparity in the law and ensures that SBA is able to fully manage all small business certifications, as they should, and allows the workforce VA to focus on their core mission. I am grateful to full committee Chairman Chabot, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs' Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman General Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) and subcommittee Chairman Kelly for their efforts to provide this necessary reform to the law.”

“Service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) are essential components of our nation’s small business operations,” said Rep. Kelly. “It is important that we relieve regulatory burdens that make it more difficult for them to compete for government contracts. Additionally, it is vital that the process become more streamlined which is the purpose of this important legislation.”

"This legislation is the result of a close partnership between our two committees," said Rep. Bergman. "Chairman Kelly and I convened a joint oversight hearing to study the issue in July, and after months of consultation with the veterans service organizations, the veteran small business community and the agencies, the VA-SBA Act is a sound solution,” said Bergman. “It will make the federal government operate more efficiently and logically by instituting badly needed safeguards in the SDVOSB contracting program. Every contract that gets siphoned off by a fraudulent company denies a service-disabled veteran entrepreneur a contracting opportunity that he or she earned. The loophole that allows this to happen must be closed."

Chairman Chabot and House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Roe Introduce the VA-SBA Act

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON - Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released statements following the introduction of new legislation to better enable the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fulfill their designated responsibilities and streamline programs within the agencies. H.R. 7169, the Verification Alignment and Service-Disabled Business Adjustment (VA-SBA) Act was introduced by the House Small Business Committee’s Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations Trent Kelly (R-MS).

Currently, SBA certifies small businesses that participate in federal contracting preference programs. However, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) are the exception – they are verified by VA to qualify for VA contracts, and are uniquely allowed to self-certify through SBA to obtain federal contracts from all other federal government agencies. The ability of SDVOSBs to do so has led to years of fraud, waste, and abuse, as it has allowed companies not owned by service-disabled veterans to take advantage of the system. It also has created two separate classes of SDVOSBs: those that are verified by VA, and those that have self-certified at SBA. The VA-SBA Act would require SBA to certify all SDVOSB applications, as it does for all other small businesses, and would preserve the unique Veterans Owned Small Business contracting preference in VA.

“Our nation’s veterans learn skills while serving that make them top notch entrepreneurs,” said Chairman Chabot. “With 2.52 million small businesses majority-owned by veterans, it’s important they have access to the resources they need to start a small business without the red tape and confusion that can come from government agencies. The VA-SBA Act will open doors for veteran-owned small businesses and expedite the process of becoming an entrepreneur. I look forward to ensuring veterans are able to continue their contributions to the American economy. I thank the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Roe, House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations Chairman Kelly, and Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman General Bergman for their dedication and leadership to ensure this program gets a necessary update. America’s heroes deserve the full support of Congress in all aspects of life, especially as they work to bring their business dreams to life.”

“Different treatment of SDVOSBs depending on which federal agency they contract with is confusing and inefficient," said Chairman Roe. "VA requires a rigorous verification process, while other agencies allow nearly anyone to self-certify. This situation has created more problems than good, and it is high time to fix it. Bad actors are taking advantage of this exception and companies that are not owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans are fraudulently representing themselves to obtain contracts. This legislation fixes the disparity in the law and ensures that SBA is able to fully manage all small business certifications, as they should, and allows the workforce VA to focus on their core mission. I am grateful to full committee Chairman Chabot, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs' Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman General Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) and subcommittee Chairman Kelly for their efforts to provide this necessary reform to the law.”

“Service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) are essential components of our nation’s small business operations,” said Rep. Kelly. “It is important that we relieve regulatory burdens that make it more difficult for them to compete for government contracts. Additionally, it is vital that the process become more streamlined which is the purpose of this important legislation.”

"This legislation is the result of a close partnership between our two committees," said Rep. Bergman. "Chairman Kelly and I convened a joint oversight hearing to study the issue in July, and after months of consultation with the veterans service organizations, the veteran small business community and the agencies, the VA-SBA Act is a sound solution,” said Bergman. “It will make the federal government operate more efficiently and logically by instituting badly needed safeguards in the SDVOSB contracting program. Every contract that gets siphoned off by a fraudulent company denies a service-disabled veteran entrepreneur a contracting opportunity that he or she earned. The loophole that allows this to happen must be closed."

Thune Names New Committee Deputy Staff Director

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced the promotion of Crystal Tully, who previously served as policy director and counsel for communications and technology, to deputy staff director of the full Commerce Committee.

Florida Supreme Court Rejects Legislative Adoption of Daubert Standard for Expert Testimony

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 10:19am
Featured Expert Contributor, Judicial Gatekeeping of Expert Evidence   Evan M. Tager, a Partner in the Washington, DC office of Mayer Brown LLP, with Matthew Waring, an Associate with the firm. For a printer-friendly PDf of this post click here. The reliability standard that the Supreme Court articulated in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. …

Continue reading Florida Supreme Court Rejects Legislative Adoption of Daubert Standard for Expert Testimony

Categories: Latest News

Pipeline Safety in the Merrimack Valley: Incident Prevention and Response

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a full committee hearing titled “Pipeline Safety in the Merrimack Valley: Incident Prevention and Response,” at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, November 26, 2018, at the South Lawrence East Middle School Gymnasium. This hearing will focus on the September 13, 2018, natural gas pipeline explosions and fires in Lawrence and Andover, Mass., that killed one, injured over two dozen, and damaged over 100 structures, as well as response efforts by federal, state, and local authorities.    

 
Witnesses:

 

  • The Honorable Robert L. Sumwalt, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board
  • The Honorable Dan Rivera, Mayor, City of Lawrence
  • The Honorable Matthew A. Beaton, Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Mr. Paul Roberti, Chief Counsel, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
  • Mr. Steve Bryant, President, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
  • Mr. Joe Hamrock, President and Chief Executive Officer, NiSource
  • Mr. Richard Kuprewicz, President, Accufacts Inc.  

 

*Witness list subject to change.

 

Hearing Details:

 

Monday, November 26, 2018

9:00 a.m.

South Lawrence East Middle School Gymnasium

165 Crawford Street, Lawrence, Mass.

 

Witness testimony and opening statements will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. Media interested in attending the event should contact Giselle Barry at giselle_barry@markey.senate.gov.

Chairman Chabot on FoxNews.com: Small Business Saturday Helps American Entrepreneurs

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Last week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) penned an op-ed in Fox News on the value of Small Business Saturday to communities and entrepreneurs. Read the full op-ed below.

Serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business over the past four years, I’ve had the honor of advocating and fighting for Main Street.

This year on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2018, I hope Americans will celebrate the 30 million small businesses and the millions of workers they employ by shopping locally. This day is an incredible opportunity to support our local independent businesses during their most critical time of year.

In 2010, the Small Business Saturday campaign was launched to help small businesses that were hurting from the recession by boosting sales and encouraging shopping.

Every year since 2011, both chambers of Congress have introduced resolutions to recognize and promote Small Business Saturday as the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, I had the privilege of introducing a resolution to continue this tradition and recognize November 24, 2018 as Small Business Saturday, and support efforts to increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses. This day gives us an opportunity to refocus our efforts and reaffirm our commitment to helping small businesses thrive.

With 99 percent of all employers in the United States being small businesses, it’s critical we fuel this engine of job creation and innovation. By shopping small, Americans can stimulate our economy and support the two-thirds of net new jobs that small businesses produce.

In Ohio alone, there are 944,797 total small businesses that employ 2.2 million people, according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) most recent data. With American Express reporting that 90 percent of consumers say that Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community, can you imagine the impact this day has had on Ohio alone? And, the impact that Small Business Saturday can have throughout our nation is huge.

The 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express highlights this impact. The survey notes that last year, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion at a variety of businesses, from restaurants to clothing stores to coffee shops, on Small Business Saturday.

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

In my 22 years serving on the Small Business Committee, I’ve seen first-hand the hard work and dedication small business owners put into their companies to get them off the ground and succeed.

The Committee has held hearings and roundtables to hear from entrepreneurs and talk through the joys and challenges of running a business. It has always been the mission of the Committee, as it must be for Congress, to offer solutions that will help grow businesses.

Further, the Committee has been working diligently with the Administration to reduce regulatory costs and burdens. In fact, for every new regulation issued, the Administration has eliminated 12, resulting in $33 billion in net regulatory savings over the last two years. American business owners should be investing in the American Dream, not squandering their resources on regulatory compliance.

To help amplify this effort, the Committee has an online resource called Regulatory Watch. This resource is for small businesses that want to participate in the regulatory development process, but do not have the time or ability to monitor federal agencies’ activities. The webpage is updated regularly to highlight proposed regulations that could impact small businesses, allowing owners the opportunity to submit comments, plan ahead, or simply better understand the process.

Monte Wiederhold, a small business owner from my home state of Ohio, said it best when he testified before our Committee this Congress about one-size-fits-all regulations impacting his business:

“Time and time again, this approach punishes small businesses, stifles competition, and overregulates an industry deregulated by design. Too often, these costly and burdensome regulations are advanced at the behest of corporate motor carriers, who use the legislative and regulatory process to gain competitive advantages over smaller operators like me.”

Fortunately for Mr. Wiederhold, our economy is on the uphill swing, with unemployment at an all-time low and small business optimism setting record highs.

This past June, President Trump signed the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, a bill I introduced to ensure appropriate oversight of the SBA’s flagship loan program and improve access to capital for small business owners. Getting a loan for a small business can be the difference between expanding their company and creating jobs or never getting off the ground. This was a huge win for small businesses and the workers they will hire because of it.

It’s important that we do all we can to help America’s entrepreneurs who not only dare to dream but dare to make those dreams a reality. On Small Business Saturday, I encourage you to get involved in your community, whether you are in Carson City, Nevada, or Cincinnati, Ohio – my hometown – and shop small. Your support allows small business owners to continue to dream big, take risks, and drive innovation for the next generation of Americans.


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 FoxNews.com: Small Business Saturday Helps American Entrepreneurs

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Last week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) penned an op-ed in Fox News on the value of Small Business Saturday to communities and entrepreneurs. Read the full op-ed below.

Serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business over the past four years, I’ve had the honor of advocating and fighting for Main Street.

This year on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2018, I hope Americans will celebrate the 30 million small businesses and the millions of workers they employ by shopping locally. This day is an incredible opportunity to support our local independent businesses during their most critical time of year.

In 2010, the Small Business Saturday campaign was launched to help small businesses that were hurting from the recession by boosting sales and encouraging shopping.

Every year since 2011, both chambers of Congress have introduced resolutions to recognize and promote Small Business Saturday as the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, I had the privilege of introducing a resolution to continue this tradition and recognize November 24, 2018 as Small Business Saturday, and support efforts to increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses. This day gives us an opportunity to refocus our efforts and reaffirm our commitment to helping small businesses thrive.

With 99 percent of all employers in the United States being small businesses, it’s critical we fuel this engine of job creation and innovation. By shopping small, Americans can stimulate our economy and support the two-thirds of net new jobs that small businesses produce.

In Ohio alone, there are 944,797 total small businesses that employ 2.2 million people, according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) most recent data. With American Express reporting that 90 percent of consumers say that Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community, can you imagine the impact this day has had on Ohio alone? And, the impact that Small Business Saturday can have throughout our nation is huge.

The 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express highlights this impact. The survey notes that last year, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion at a variety of businesses, from restaurants to clothing stores to coffee shops, on Small Business Saturday.

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

In my 22 years serving on the Small Business Committee, I’ve seen first-hand the hard work and dedication small business owners put into their companies to get them off the ground and succeed.

The Committee has held hearings and roundtables to hear from entrepreneurs and talk through the joys and challenges of running a business. It has always been the mission of the Committee, as it must be for Congress, to offer solutions that will help grow businesses.

Further, the Committee has been working diligently with the Administration to reduce regulatory costs and burdens. In fact, for every new regulation issued, the Administration has eliminated 12, resulting in $33 billion in net regulatory savings over the last two years. American business owners should be investing in the American Dream, not squandering their resources on regulatory compliance.

To help amplify this effort, the Committee has an online resource called Regulatory Watch. This resource is for small businesses that want to participate in the regulatory development process, but do not have the time or ability to monitor federal agencies’ activities. The webpage is updated regularly to highlight proposed regulations that could impact small businesses, allowing owners the opportunity to submit comments, plan ahead, or simply better understand the process.

Monte Wiederhold, a small business owner from my home state of Ohio, said it best when he testified before our Committee this Congress about one-size-fits-all regulations impacting his business:

“Time and time again, this approach punishes small businesses, stifles competition, and overregulates an industry deregulated by design. Too often, these costly and burdensome regulations are advanced at the behest of corporate motor carriers, who use the legislative and regulatory process to gain competitive advantages over smaller operators like me.”

Fortunately for Mr. Wiederhold, our economy is on the uphill swing, with unemployment at an all-time low and small business optimism setting record highs.

This past June, President Trump signed the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, a bill I introduced to ensure appropriate oversight of the SBA’s flagship loan program and improve access to capital for small business owners. Getting a loan for a small business can be the difference between expanding their company and creating jobs or never getting off the ground. This was a huge win for small businesses and the workers they will hire because of it.

It’s important that we do all we can to help America’s entrepreneurs who not only dare to dream but dare to make those dreams a reality. On Small Business Saturday, I encourage you to get involved in your community, whether you are in Carson City, Nevada, or Cincinnati, Ohio – my hometown – and shop small. Your support allows small business owners to continue to dream big, take risks, and drive innovation for the next generation of Americans.


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.

Thune and Markey Applaud FCC Action on Reassigned Number Database

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), author of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, issued the following joint statement on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) draft order for a comprehensive database of reassigned telephone numbers to help consumers avoid unwanted robocalls and robotexts.

No Thanksgiving dinner should be interrupted by intrusive and unwanted robocalls,” said Thune and Markey. “A reassigned numbers database could curb the increase in unwanted calls and texts and also provide more certainty to legitimate callers seeking to communicate important information to their patients, customers, or employees.  We applaud the Commission for their effort to create this database, and support its swift implementation.”

In July, Sens. Thune and Markey sent a letter to Chairman Ajit Pai outlining an opportunity for the FCC to take action and better protect consumers from unwanted robocalls and robotexts. Earlier this month, Sens. Thune and Markey introduced S. 3655, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which gives regulators more time to pursue enforcement actions against scammers, increases civil forfeiture penalties for those caught, promotes call authentication and blocking adoption, and brings relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general together to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers who intentionally ignore laws.

Subcommittee Announces Federal Trade Commission Oversight Hearing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, will convene a subcommittee hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Consistent with the committee’s oversight responsibilities, this hearing will examine the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) priorities in promoting competition and consumer protection, the ongoing innovation hearings and how changes in technology impact the agency, and whether the FTC should have expanded authority with respect to privacy and data security.

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Joseph J. Simons, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Rohit Chopra, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Noah Joshua Phillips, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • The Honorable Christine S. Wilson, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
2:30 p.m.
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security 

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

Cert Petitions May Mean Supreme Court Will Clarify Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 10:43am
 Featured Expert Contributor, Environmental Law and Policy Samuel B. Boxerman, Sidley Austin LLP, with Ben Tannen, Sidley Austin LLP The definition of waters of the United States is central to the CWA.  At its core, the Act bans “the discharge of any pollutant” except in compliance with other provisions of the Act, such as the …

Continue reading Cert Petitions May Mean Supreme Court Will Clarify Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

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