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ICYMI: Small Business Owners More Optimistic Than Ever

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – This week, Wells Fargo/Gallup released a survey touting the record-high optimism U.S. small business owners’ are experiencing, the highest in 15 years.

According to the report:

  • Cash flow and positive financial situation are strong drivers of optimism.
  • 78 percent of small business owners rate their current financial situation as very or somewhat good, compared with 73 percent in the second quarter of 2018.
  • 69 percent of small business owners rate their cash flow in the past 12 months as very or somewhat good, compared to 63 percent last quarter.
  • Owners cite hiring qualified workers as a top challenge.

“It’s clear that small businesses are thriving and small business owners are experiencing more economic confidence as a result of our booming economy. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is putting small businesses in the driver’s seat, and I’m proud of the bright future ahead for many,” said House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). 

For the Wells Fargo/Gallup survey, click here.

Advocacy to Host Regulatory Reform Roundtable for Small Business in Fort Collins, CO  

Office of Advocacy - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:03am

 

Advocacy to Host Regulatory Reform Roundtable for Small Business in Fort Collins, CO  

 

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, August 8, the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration will host a Regulatory Reform Roundtable in Fort Collins, Colo. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MDT at the La Quinta Inn Fort Collins, 3709 East Mulberry St.

 

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Advocacy Seeks Input from Wyoming Small Businesses in Regulatory Reform Discussion

Office of Advocacy - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 9:35am

 

Advocacy Seeks Input from Wyoming Small Businesses in Regulatory Reform Discussion

 

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Judge’s Deference to FDA’s Interpretation of “Added Sugar” Regulation Secures Win for Food-Labeling Suit Defendant

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 08/07/2018 - 9:05am
When judges defer to an administrative agency’s interpretation of its own rule, targets of government regulation normally lose out. Private enterprises and organizations like Washington Legal Foundation have been urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider Auer v. Robbins, the precedent that unleashed this doctrine that allows the proverbial fox to guard the hen house. We …

Continue reading Judge’s Deference to FDA’s Interpretation of “Added Sugar” Regulation Secures Win for Food-Labeling Suit Defendant

Categories: Latest News

Supreme Court to Once Again Examine Limits of Rule 10b-5 Liability in October Term 2018 Case “Lorenzo v. SEC”

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 08/06/2018 - 9:04am
Featured Expert Contributor, Corporate Governance/Securities Law Stephen M. Bainbridge, William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law. Rule 10b-5 long has been the centerpiece of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s antifraud enforcement efforts. At times, in fact, the SEC’s interpretation of the Rule has been so broad that the rule threatened to …

Continue reading Supreme Court to Once Again Examine Limits of Rule 10b-5 Liability in October Term 2018 Case “Lorenzo v. SEC”

Categories: Latest News

WCOE Legislative Burst for June 2018

WCOE News - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 5:49pm

2017 Small Business Procurement Scorecard

Report States WOSB Prime Contracts Went Down
​​​​​​​Shows WSOB Subcontractor 5% Goal Met 

In May 2018, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released its Procurement Scorecard in which the SBA summarizes federal small business contracting efforts for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17). The agency awarded 21 agencies a grade of “A” for their small business contracting and subcontracting efforts. Two agencies received a

“B” and only one agency received a “C”. Overall, the federal government surpassed its statutory goal of awarding 23% of contracts to small businesses.

The federal government failed to meet its threshold for Women- Owned prime contracts in 2016 (4.79 percent) and again in 2017 (4.71 percent). With respect to WOSB subcontracting goals, the report shows the government exceeded its 5 percent goal in 2017 (reaching 6.2 percent).

In a statement Sen. Cardin (D-MD) noted the percentage of small business prime contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses, declined from 2016. “The federal government is the world's largest buyer of goods and services, but we clearly have work to do when it comes to ensuring more small businesses in Maryland and across the country are competing for - and winning - federal contracts,” said Senator Cardin.

The report gives WCOE the opportunity to ask the SBA to dig a little deeper into the methodology used, to ask for some industry- related data and to ask if the 5% goal is high enough. WCOE is not alone in its view.

In a May 22 article, Steven Koprince, Managing Partner Koprince Law, says the SBA report, “makes it seem as though the government is doing fantastically across the board when it comes to small business contracting.” He asks the question, “Does any small contractor really think that 21 out of 24 agencies truly are doing “A” level work when it comes to promoting small business?” 

 

Illinois Ratifies ERA 

Illinois Becomes 37th State to Ratify ERA 

On May 30, 2018, the Illinois legislature passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), following Nevada’s approval in 2017. Although the two states are 36- and 35-years, respectively, past the deadline, proponents believe this gives the ERA the momentum it needs to finally become law.

The proposed amendment reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Ratification of the ERA is one of WCOE’s top legislative priorities.

After first being introduced in 1923, the ERA passed with the required two-thirds majority in both the U.S. Senate and House in 1972. The process then required ratification by three-quarters of the state legislatures. The Congress placed a 1979 deadline on the ratification process but as the 1979 deadline approached, with 35 states having ratified, the deadline was extended to 1982. No additional states ratified it and the ERA fell three short of the required 38 states.

The recent actions by Nevada and Illinois bring the total to 37. Some legal analysts believe that once another state ratifies the ERA, the process could withstand legal challenge and accomplish ratification of the ERA.

It should be noted that five states — Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota—have attempted to withdraw their ratification of the ERA. Many believe, though, that legal precedent and statutory language establish that withdrawal of ratification is not accepted as valid.

There are two Congressional strategies to win the fight to make the ERA the law of the land, the three-state

strategy and a traditional strategy. One, extend the deadline for ratification – (S.J. Res. 5) by Sen. Cardin (D- MD) and (H.J. Res. 53) by Rep. Speier (D-CA) and, two, the other more traditional “start-over strategy” (S.J. Res. 16/H.J. Res. 52), advanced by Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). That process would offer the text of the ERA as a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would then need to go through the full state ratification process.

States that have yet to ratify the ERA are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

WCOE Board Adopts Two New Policy Positions

Change Order Payment on Federal Construction

WCOE supports changes to the Anti-Deficiency Act to help ensure small businesses get paid in a timely manner for change orders requested by federal government agencies on federal government construction projects.

Prompt Pay on Federal Construction Projects

WCOE supports improved compliance with the 1988 amendments to the Prompt Payment Act, “pay when paid” rules and supports more agency transparency about violations of these rules, emphasizing there is no expectation that prime contractors’ obligations to pay subcontractors falls to the federal government.

A list of all WCOE legislative policies can be found on the WCOE website. Policy positions which have been approved according to the procedures established by the WCOE Board are intended to serve as guidance to be used as support for or opposition to individual legislative proposals in order to further the interests of WCOE members and to give WCOE a higher profile on Capitol Hill. 

WCOE 2018 Letters to the Hill

June 2018
Letter to House - in support of H.R. 2594, The Small Business Payment for Performance Act of 2017 to ensure that small business federal contractors get paid in a timely manner for change orders.

Letter to Senate - in support of passage of the FAA Authorization with prompt pay provisions included by the House 

You Might Want to Know

You might want to know...Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) won approval of a prompt payment amendment that was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act, H.R. 4. which would help ensure prompt payment to contractors, takes an important step forward in removing an obstacle affecting all businesses, especially those that have historically faced discrimination.

You might want to know...The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act NDAA with small business reforms. The next step is for the Senate to pass its version, after which any differences between the Senate and House bill must be worked out in conference before it can go to the President for signature. Versions of the following bills were included in the House passed NDAA bill.

  • H.R. 2056, the Microloan Modernization Act
  • H.R. 4754, the Change Order Transparency for Federal Contractors
  • H.R. 2333, the Small Business Investment Opportunity Act
  • H.R. 2364, the Investing in Main Street America Act
  • H.R. 5337, as amended to apply only to the Department of Defense, the Accelerated Payments for Small Businesses Act
  • Significant portions of H.R. 2763, the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act, were also included 

The Midterm Elections as of June 8, 2018

Senate Update 

California: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) advances into the general election with a fellow Democrat, state Senator and former Senate President Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles). In a field of 35 candidates, Sen. Feinstein received 44% of the vote, while Mr. de Leon attracted 11% to secure second place and a general election qualifying position. Sen. Feinstein is now a heavy favorite to win re-election in November.

Mississippi: In Tuesday’s primary, Democrats David Baria, the state House Minority Leader, and venture capitalist Howard Sherman advanced to a June 26th run-off election. The winner will face Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in November.

Montana: State Auditor Matt Rosendale overcame three other Republicans to win the party primary earlier in the week. Mr. Rosendale now faces an uphill challenge against Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the general election.

New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) captured only 62% in his Democratic primary against an opponent who did nothing more than put her name on the ballot. Former Celgene pharmaceutical company CEO Bob Hugin was an easy winner in the Republican primary. This expensive general election pairing may yield more competition than originally forecast.

Ohio: With Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) both winning their Democratic and Republican primaries on May 8th, Fallon Research conducted a new general election survey (5/21-25; 800 OH likely voters) that finds the incumbent holding a comfortable lead. According to Fallon, Sen. Brown records a 48-34% lead over Rep. Renacci.

Wisconsin: According to a new Tarrance Group poll, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) has taken the lead in the US Senate Republican primary. Sen. Vukmir enjoys backing from the conservative flank of the Wisconsin party, and the survey released late this week (800 WI likely Republican primary voters), projects that she has pulled ahead of businessman and former Democrat Kevin Nicholson, 36-29%. Earlier, an American Viewpoint survey (5/29-31; 500 WI likely Republican primary voters) found Mr. Nicholson clinging to a 32- 30% edge. 

House Update 

AL-5: Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) was forced into a July 17th run-off election with former Democratic Congressman Bobby Bright, who is now a Republican. In a crowded field, Ms. Roby secured only 39% of the vote on June 5th, meaning she has vulnerability in a run-off.

California: All seven of the competitive US House races in the top two primary format produced a Republican and a Democrat advancing into the general election. The race that is still uncalled resides in Orange County’s 48th District, where Democrats Hans Keirstead and Harley Rouda are only 129 votes apart with mail ballots still arriving. The election authorities will accept votes through midnight on Friday, June 8th. The two Democrats are vying for second place and the right to oppose Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) in the general election.

HI-1: Democrat Ed Case represented Hawaii’s 2nd District for two terms, winning his first election in 2002 and leaving Congress at the beginning of 2007. He has since twice run for US Senate, once for Governor, and once in the most recent special election in the 1st District. As the candidate filing deadline expired on Tuesday, Mr. Case again has become a candidate. At the last minute, he filed for the open 1st Congressional District. He joins Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, state Reps. Beth Fukumoto, and Kaniela Ing, and Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin in the open August 11th Democratic primary.

Iowa: As expected, state Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) easily won Tuesday’s Democratic primary and now opposes two-term Rep. Rod Blum (R-Dubuque) in what will be a toss-up general election. In the 3rd District, high tech firm owner Cindy Axne easily won the Democratic primary and advances into an underdog challenge against two-term Rep. David Young (R-Van Meter/Des Moines).

MI-13: Two weeks ago, John Conyers III, son of resigned Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), was disqualified from the regular election ballot to succeed his father in the House because he failed to submit 1,000 valid registered voter petition signatures. Late this week, it was reported that Mr. Conyers’ legal challenge to the administrative ruling was denied meaning that he will not be a candidate in the November election. Nine Democrats are on the ballot for the full term including Mr. Conyers cousin, state Sen. Ian Conyers (D- Detroit). The Democrats will hold the seat, and the crowded primary results will determine who succeeds the former Dean of the US House. John Conyers was first elected in 1964 and served until the end of last year when he resigned from office.

MN-5: In a flurry of political activity surrounding the Democratic endorsing convention and Tuesday’s candidate filing deadline, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) jumped into what is now an open Attorney General’s race after incumbent Lori Swanson (D) was denied the party endorsement. In response, Ms. Swanson abandoned her re-election bid and instead joined the Governor’s primary where she will oppose endorsed candidate Erin Murphy, a St. Paul state Representative, and US Rep. Tim Walz (D-Mankato).

Rep. Ellison vacating his safe Democratic Minneapolis congressional district gave potential candidates only hours to decide if they would run for the House. In response, eight Democrats filed to run including Rep. Ellison’s ex-wife, a former state House Speaker, three sitting state legislators, and one ex-state Senator. Three Republicans are also in the race, but the August 14th Democratic primary will determine who wins the general election. Mr. Ellison’s departure now means 63 House seats are open (42 Republican-held; 20 Democratic; with one new seat created through Pennsylvania redistricting).

MS-3: Local District Attorney Michael Guest and hospital system company executive Whit Hughes advance to a June 26th Republican run-off election in the open the 3rd District. Mr. Guest is favored to win the party nomination and replace retiring Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Pearl/Jackson) in November.

Montana: Ex-state Representative Kathleen Williams won a crowded and close Democratic primary and now advances to face freshman Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) in the state’s at-large general election. The Congressman is a clear favorite for re-election.

New Jersey: Three key congressional primaries were decided on Tuesday. State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) is now heavily favored to convert the open 2nd District for the Democrats in November. In the competitive 7th District, former State Department official Tom Malinowski won the Democratic primary and advances to challenge five- term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in the fall. In the open toss-up 11th District, state Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morristown) and attorney Mikie Sherrill will square off in an expensive general election.

New Mexico: Former state Democratic Party chair and Tribal Administrator Deb Haaland captured the Democratic congressional primary and is now heavily favored to defeat Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in the open 1st District general election. In the open 2nd District, Republican state Rep. Yvette Harrell (R-Alamogordo) advances into the general election against attorney Xochitl Torres-Small who easily won the Democratic primary. Ms. Harrell begins the general election as a slight favorite.

NY-11: A new Siena College survey (5/29-6/3; 513 NY-11 likely Republican primary voters) turns in a surprising result. Their data projects that former US Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) is leading incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island) by a substantial 47-37% margin. Mr. Grimm was elected to three terms in the House, resigning at the beginning of his third because of a federal tax fraud conviction. Mr. Grimm would then serve eight months in federal prison. After his release, he began campaigning to regain the seat he was forced to relinquish. Rep. Donovan, a former Staten Island District Attorney, won the special election to replace Mr. Grimm in 2015, and then clinched a 57-34% general election victory for the full term. The New York federal primary is June 26th.

NY-18: New York is the only state in the country that has two separate primaries, one for federal offices (June 26), and another for state (September 13) elected positions. With the Attorney General’s race now open when Eric Schneiderman (D) resigned, a battle is ensuing in the state Democratic primary. Yesterday, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/West Point) said he is going to enter both primaries. In June, he will seek re- nomination for his US House seat. Come September, he will run for the statewide Democratic Attorney General’s nomination. Should he win both, Mr. Maloney says he will withdraw from the congressional race. This would force the local party to name a replacement with only about seven weeks to go in the general election.

South Dakota: Former state Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson won the at-large US House Republican primary, and now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the open seat in the fall. Mr. Johnson is now heavily favored to defeat Democratic nominee Tim Bjorkman, a retired Circuit Court judge.

VA-5: The 5th District Republican Party committee met last weekend to nominate a replacement for incumbent Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Scottsville/Charlottesville) who is not seeking a second term. With a scant one-vote margin, the committee chose local businessman Denver Riggleman as the party nominee. He will face Democrat Leslie Cockburn in the general election. This will be a competitive campaign, but Mr. Riggleman will benefit from the district’s Republican voting history. 

The Inside Story

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces the Senate will skip much of its August recess

 

 

Categories: Latest News

WCOE Legislative Burst for June 2018

WCOE News - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 5:49pm

2017 Small Business Procurement Scorecard

Report States WOSB Prime Contracts Went Down
​​​​​​​Shows WSOB Subcontractor 5% Goal Met 

In May 2018, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released its Procurement Scorecard in which the SBA summarizes federal small business contracting efforts for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17). The agency awarded 21 agencies a grade of “A” for their small business contracting and subcontracting efforts. Two agencies received a

“B” and only one agency received a “C”. Overall, the federal government surpassed its statutory goal of awarding 23% of contracts to small businesses.

The federal government failed to meet its threshold for Women- Owned prime contracts in 2016 (4.79 percent) and again in 2017 (4.71 percent). With respect to WOSB subcontracting goals, the report shows the government exceeded its 5 percent goal in 2017 (reaching 6.2 percent).

In a statement Sen. Cardin (D-MD) noted the percentage of small business prime contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses, declined from 2016. “The federal government is the world's largest buyer of goods and services, but we clearly have work to do when it comes to ensuring more small businesses in Maryland and across the country are competing for - and winning - federal contracts,” said Senator Cardin.

The report gives WCOE the opportunity to ask the SBA to dig a little deeper into the methodology used, to ask for some industry- related data and to ask if the 5% goal is high enough. WCOE is not alone in its view.

In a May 22 article, Steven Koprince, Managing Partner Koprince Law, says the SBA report, “makes it seem as though the government is doing fantastically across the board when it comes to small business contracting.” He asks the question, “Does any small contractor really think that 21 out of 24 agencies truly are doing “A” level work when it comes to promoting small business?” 

 

Illinois Ratifies ERA 

Illinois Becomes 37th State to Ratify ERA 

On May 30, 2018, the Illinois legislature passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), following Nevada’s approval in 2017. Although the two states are 36- and 35-years, respectively, past the deadline, proponents believe this gives the ERA the momentum it needs to finally become law.

The proposed amendment reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Ratification of the ERA is one of WCOE’s top legislative priorities.

After first being introduced in 1923, the ERA passed with the required two-thirds majority in both the U.S. Senate and House in 1972. The process then required ratification by three-quarters of the state legislatures. The Congress placed a 1979 deadline on the ratification process but as the 1979 deadline approached, with 35 states having ratified, the deadline was extended to 1982. No additional states ratified it and the ERA fell three short of the required 38 states.

The recent actions by Nevada and Illinois bring the total to 37. Some legal analysts believe that once another state ratifies the ERA, the process could withstand legal challenge and accomplish ratification of the ERA.

It should be noted that five states — Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota—have attempted to withdraw their ratification of the ERA. Many believe, though, that legal precedent and statutory language establish that withdrawal of ratification is not accepted as valid.

There are two Congressional strategies to win the fight to make the ERA the law of the land, the three-state

strategy and a traditional strategy. One, extend the deadline for ratification – (S.J. Res. 5) by Sen. Cardin (D- MD) and (H.J. Res. 53) by Rep. Speier (D-CA) and, two, the other more traditional “start-over strategy” (S.J. Res. 16/H.J. Res. 52), advanced by Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). That process would offer the text of the ERA as a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would then need to go through the full state ratification process.

States that have yet to ratify the ERA are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

WCOE Board Adopts Two New Policy Positions

Change Order Payment on Federal Construction

WCOE supports changes to the Anti-Deficiency Act to help ensure small businesses get paid in a timely manner for change orders requested by federal government agencies on federal government construction projects.

Prompt Pay on Federal Construction Projects

WCOE supports improved compliance with the 1988 amendments to the Prompt Payment Act, “pay when paid” rules and supports more agency transparency about violations of these rules, emphasizing there is no expectation that prime contractors’ obligations to pay subcontractors falls to the federal government.

A list of all WCOE legislative policies can be found on the WCOE website. Policy positions which have been approved according to the procedures established by the WCOE Board are intended to serve as guidance to be used as support for or opposition to individual legislative proposals in order to further the interests of WCOE members and to give WCOE a higher profile on Capitol Hill. 

WCOE 2018 Letters to the Hill

June 2018
Letter to House - in support of H.R. 2594, The Small Business Payment for Performance Act of 2017 to ensure that small business federal contractors get paid in a timely manner for change orders.

Letter to Senate - in support of passage of the FAA Authorization with prompt pay provisions included by the House 

You Might Want to Know

You might want to know...Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) won approval of a prompt payment amendment that was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act, H.R. 4. which would help ensure prompt payment to contractors, takes an important step forward in removing an obstacle affecting all businesses, especially those that have historically faced discrimination.

You might want to know...The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act NDAA with small business reforms. The next step is for the Senate to pass its version, after which any differences between the Senate and House bill must be worked out in conference before it can go to the President for signature. Versions of the following bills were included in the House passed NDAA bill.

  • H.R. 2056, the Microloan Modernization Act
  • H.R. 4754, the Change Order Transparency for Federal Contractors
  • H.R. 2333, the Small Business Investment Opportunity Act
  • H.R. 2364, the Investing in Main Street America Act
  • H.R. 5337, as amended to apply only to the Department of Defense, the Accelerated Payments for Small Businesses Act
  • Significant portions of H.R. 2763, the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act, were also included 

The Midterm Elections as of June 8, 2018

Senate Update 

California: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) advances into the general election with a fellow Democrat, state Senator and former Senate President Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles). In a field of 35 candidates, Sen. Feinstein received 44% of the vote, while Mr. de Leon attracted 11% to secure second place and a general election qualifying position. Sen. Feinstein is now a heavy favorite to win re-election in November.

Mississippi: In Tuesday’s primary, Democrats David Baria, the state House Minority Leader, and venture capitalist Howard Sherman advanced to a June 26th run-off election. The winner will face Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in November.

Montana: State Auditor Matt Rosendale overcame three other Republicans to win the party primary earlier in the week. Mr. Rosendale now faces an uphill challenge against Sen. Jon Tester (D) in the general election.

New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) captured only 62% in his Democratic primary against an opponent who did nothing more than put her name on the ballot. Former Celgene pharmaceutical company CEO Bob Hugin was an easy winner in the Republican primary. This expensive general election pairing may yield more competition than originally forecast.

Ohio: With Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) both winning their Democratic and Republican primaries on May 8th, Fallon Research conducted a new general election survey (5/21-25; 800 OH likely voters) that finds the incumbent holding a comfortable lead. According to Fallon, Sen. Brown records a 48-34% lead over Rep. Renacci.

Wisconsin: According to a new Tarrance Group poll, state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) has taken the lead in the US Senate Republican primary. Sen. Vukmir enjoys backing from the conservative flank of the Wisconsin party, and the survey released late this week (800 WI likely Republican primary voters), projects that she has pulled ahead of businessman and former Democrat Kevin Nicholson, 36-29%. Earlier, an American Viewpoint survey (5/29-31; 500 WI likely Republican primary voters) found Mr. Nicholson clinging to a 32- 30% edge. 

House Update 

AL-5: Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) was forced into a July 17th run-off election with former Democratic Congressman Bobby Bright, who is now a Republican. In a crowded field, Ms. Roby secured only 39% of the vote on June 5th, meaning she has vulnerability in a run-off.

California: All seven of the competitive US House races in the top two primary format produced a Republican and a Democrat advancing into the general election. The race that is still uncalled resides in Orange County’s 48th District, where Democrats Hans Keirstead and Harley Rouda are only 129 votes apart with mail ballots still arriving. The election authorities will accept votes through midnight on Friday, June 8th. The two Democrats are vying for second place and the right to oppose Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) in the general election.

HI-1: Democrat Ed Case represented Hawaii’s 2nd District for two terms, winning his first election in 2002 and leaving Congress at the beginning of 2007. He has since twice run for US Senate, once for Governor, and once in the most recent special election in the 1st District. As the candidate filing deadline expired on Tuesday, Mr. Case again has become a candidate. At the last minute, he filed for the open 1st Congressional District. He joins Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, state Reps. Beth Fukumoto, and Kaniela Ing, and Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin in the open August 11th Democratic primary.

Iowa: As expected, state Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) easily won Tuesday’s Democratic primary and now opposes two-term Rep. Rod Blum (R-Dubuque) in what will be a toss-up general election. In the 3rd District, high tech firm owner Cindy Axne easily won the Democratic primary and advances into an underdog challenge against two-term Rep. David Young (R-Van Meter/Des Moines).

MI-13: Two weeks ago, John Conyers III, son of resigned Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), was disqualified from the regular election ballot to succeed his father in the House because he failed to submit 1,000 valid registered voter petition signatures. Late this week, it was reported that Mr. Conyers’ legal challenge to the administrative ruling was denied meaning that he will not be a candidate in the November election. Nine Democrats are on the ballot for the full term including Mr. Conyers cousin, state Sen. Ian Conyers (D- Detroit). The Democrats will hold the seat, and the crowded primary results will determine who succeeds the former Dean of the US House. John Conyers was first elected in 1964 and served until the end of last year when he resigned from office.

MN-5: In a flurry of political activity surrounding the Democratic endorsing convention and Tuesday’s candidate filing deadline, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) jumped into what is now an open Attorney General’s race after incumbent Lori Swanson (D) was denied the party endorsement. In response, Ms. Swanson abandoned her re-election bid and instead joined the Governor’s primary where she will oppose endorsed candidate Erin Murphy, a St. Paul state Representative, and US Rep. Tim Walz (D-Mankato).

Rep. Ellison vacating his safe Democratic Minneapolis congressional district gave potential candidates only hours to decide if they would run for the House. In response, eight Democrats filed to run including Rep. Ellison’s ex-wife, a former state House Speaker, three sitting state legislators, and one ex-state Senator. Three Republicans are also in the race, but the August 14th Democratic primary will determine who wins the general election. Mr. Ellison’s departure now means 63 House seats are open (42 Republican-held; 20 Democratic; with one new seat created through Pennsylvania redistricting).

MS-3: Local District Attorney Michael Guest and hospital system company executive Whit Hughes advance to a June 26th Republican run-off election in the open the 3rd District. Mr. Guest is favored to win the party nomination and replace retiring Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Pearl/Jackson) in November.

Montana: Ex-state Representative Kathleen Williams won a crowded and close Democratic primary and now advances to face freshman Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Bozeman) in the state’s at-large general election. The Congressman is a clear favorite for re-election.

New Jersey: Three key congressional primaries were decided on Tuesday. State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) is now heavily favored to convert the open 2nd District for the Democrats in November. In the competitive 7th District, former State Department official Tom Malinowski won the Democratic primary and advances to challenge five- term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in the fall. In the open toss-up 11th District, state Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morristown) and attorney Mikie Sherrill will square off in an expensive general election.

New Mexico: Former state Democratic Party chair and Tribal Administrator Deb Haaland captured the Democratic congressional primary and is now heavily favored to defeat Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in the open 1st District general election. In the open 2nd District, Republican state Rep. Yvette Harrell (R-Alamogordo) advances into the general election against attorney Xochitl Torres-Small who easily won the Democratic primary. Ms. Harrell begins the general election as a slight favorite.

NY-11: A new Siena College survey (5/29-6/3; 513 NY-11 likely Republican primary voters) turns in a surprising result. Their data projects that former US Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) is leading incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island) by a substantial 47-37% margin. Mr. Grimm was elected to three terms in the House, resigning at the beginning of his third because of a federal tax fraud conviction. Mr. Grimm would then serve eight months in federal prison. After his release, he began campaigning to regain the seat he was forced to relinquish. Rep. Donovan, a former Staten Island District Attorney, won the special election to replace Mr. Grimm in 2015, and then clinched a 57-34% general election victory for the full term. The New York federal primary is June 26th.

NY-18: New York is the only state in the country that has two separate primaries, one for federal offices (June 26), and another for state (September 13) elected positions. With the Attorney General’s race now open when Eric Schneiderman (D) resigned, a battle is ensuing in the state Democratic primary. Yesterday, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/West Point) said he is going to enter both primaries. In June, he will seek re- nomination for his US House seat. Come September, he will run for the statewide Democratic Attorney General’s nomination. Should he win both, Mr. Maloney says he will withdraw from the congressional race. This would force the local party to name a replacement with only about seven weeks to go in the general election.

South Dakota: Former state Public Utilities Commissioner Dusty Johnson won the at-large US House Republican primary, and now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the open seat in the fall. Mr. Johnson is now heavily favored to defeat Democratic nominee Tim Bjorkman, a retired Circuit Court judge.

VA-5: The 5th District Republican Party committee met last weekend to nominate a replacement for incumbent Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Scottsville/Charlottesville) who is not seeking a second term. With a scant one-vote margin, the committee chose local businessman Denver Riggleman as the party nominee. He will face Democrat Leslie Cockburn in the general election. This will be a competitive campaign, but Mr. Riggleman will benefit from the district’s Republican voting history. 

The Inside Story

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces the Senate will skip much of its August recess

 

 

Categories: Latest News

Chairman Chabot Encourages Ways & Means To Consider Tax Legislation that Assists Innovators

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 08/03/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) encouraging the Committee to consider H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act, as they craft Tax Reform 2.0. H.R. 3717 was introduced by Chairman Chabot and would update the United States tax code for entrepreneurs and innovators.

“With the gig and sharing economy growing in importance, tax filing thresholds for independent contractors and worker classification decisions will become even more instrumental. H.R. 3717 addresses these issues, and others, to ensure that our nation’s innovators are not constrained by an outdated code,” said Chabot.

In October 2017, the Committee held a hearing to examine how the proposed changes in H.R. 3717 could impact small businesses.

To read the entire letter, click here.

Missouri’s Unjustifiable Alcohol Ad Limits Can’t Survive First Amendment Challenge

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 08/02/2018 - 3:18pm
By Courtney Dean, a 2018 Judge K.K. Legett Fellow at Washington Legal Foundation who will be entering her third year at Texas Tech University School of Law in the fall. Restrictions on the speech of “disfavored” products merit all the more judicial scrutiny because they are easy targets for creating precedents. Earlier this summer, a …

Continue reading Missouri’s Unjustifiable Alcohol Ad Limits Can’t Survive First Amendment Challenge

Categories: Latest News

Thune Statement on Administration’s Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards Announcement

“Manufacturers must continue efforts to make vehicles more fuel efficient and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but federal regulations shouldn’t compromise safety or force consumers to drive vehicles they don’t want to or can’t afford to buy. The SAFE Vehicles proposal offers the public an important opportunity to consider new information about the safety realities of smaller and lighter vehicles in collisions as part of a more informed conversation about achievable fuel economy standards.”

Corps and EPA Seek Comments on Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rule to Recodify Definition of WOTUS

Office of Advocacy - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 5:44pm

On July 12, 2018, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to re-establish an earlier definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The proposed rule would rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule and recodify the text that existed prior to 2015.

Categories: Latest News, SBA Advocate

Committee Approves Seven Bills, Surface Transportation Board Nomination

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today, approved seven bills, and one nominee to the Surface Transportation Board, subject to Senate confirmation.

Executive Session

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 9:45 a.m. to consider the following legislative measure and nominations.

Click here for additional information on nominees.

Agenda:

1.     S. 3277, Space Frontier Act of 2018, Sponsors: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

2.      S. 2242, the COASTAL Implementation Act of 2017, Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

3.      S. 2773, the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, Sponsors: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)

4.      S. 2861, Passenger Rail Crew Protection Parity Act, Sponsors: Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.)

5.      S. 3119, the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act, Sponsors: Sens. James Risch (R-Idaho), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

6.      S. 3143, the National Quantum Initiative Act, Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

7.      S. 3265, Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act, Sponsor: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)

8.      S. 3273, Port Operations, Research, and Technology Act, Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

9.      Nomination of Rick Dearborn, of Oklahoma, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors

10.    Nomination of Martin Oberman, of Illinois, to be a Member of the Surface Transportation Board

*Agenda subject to change

Executive Session Details:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
9:45 a.m.
Full Committee Markup
Senate Dirksen Building, Room G50
 
A live video of the markup and additional information will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov

<span>Good morning. Thank you all for

Good morning. Thank you all for being here. Today we have another full agenda with seven legislative items and one nomination.

I’m especially pleased that we’ll consider the National Quantum Initiative Act, which Ranking Member Nelson and I introduced with our House Science Committee colleagues, Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson.

They recently passed their measure through Committee and are looking for House floor consideration in the fall. I am hopeful our bill can follow a similar path in the Senate.

Advancing quantum science has immense economic and national security implications for the United States. This legislation will establish a national quantum program and keep us ahead of our competitors, including China, in the race to develop technological breakthroughs based on quantum science.

We will also be considering the nomination of Martin Oberman to the Surface Transportation Board.

I am hopeful that, once we act on Mr. Oberman’s nomination today, the full Senate can move quickly to confirm the other two STB nominees pending on the floor and we can finally have a full slate of five Board members.

I am disappointed that we are not also considering Rick Dearborn’s nomination to the Amtrak Board of Directors today, but I understand that some members have requested additional time before we proceed.

He is a well-qualified nominee with a passion for public service and passenger rail. I look forward to considering him at the Committee’s next markup.

With that, I will turn to Senator Nelson for any opening remarks.

Ranking Member Bill Nelson Opening Statement

Mr. Chairman, we have a full slate before us.

I’m proud to join with Senators Cruz and Markey in carrying on our tradition of bipartisan space legislation with the Space Frontier Act.

 The bill updates commercial launch and Earth observation regulations, extends the ISS through 2030 and expands opportunities for partnerships with NASA under the agency’s enhanced use lease authority.  

And for companies who are experimenting with exciting new commercial activities in space, the bill clarifies that they can continue to seek authorization through the Department of Transportation’s Payload Review Process while Congress ponders more expansive changes to agency authorities.

This is going to provide a nice boost for our growing space economy and the twenty-first century jobs that go along with it.

I am also pleased to join you, Chairman Thune, on the National Quantum Initiative Act. This bill will create a new focus on quantum research.

It is critical that the United States start growing our investments in quantum research if we are going to keep pace with China, the E.U. and others.

Winning the quantum race will benefit the U.S. economy and national security.

Finally, a quick note on Senator Wicker’s ports bill.  He and I have worked on this together and I want to thank him for his thoughtful approach. 

I appreciate the feedback from maritime labor industries on this bill and look forward to continuing to work on a bipartisan basis to seek improvements that will help safeguard maritime jobs. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The Search for Life: Utilizing Science to Explore our Solar System and Make New Discoveries

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, will convene a hearing titled “The Search for Life: Utilizing Science to Explore our Solar System and Make New Discoveries,” at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. The second in a series of hearings leading up to a potential NASA reauthorization, this hearing will focus on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) scientific priorities in space exploration. 

Witnesses:

  • Dr. Sara Seager, Professor of Physics and Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  
  • Dr. David Spergel, Professor of Astronomy, Princeton University
  • Dr. Ellen Stofan, Director, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
2:30 p.m.
Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness 

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.

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I am glad to convene this hearing with my good friend and colleague, Ranking Member Schatz. 

The internet as we know it has become one of the most important inventions in our nation’s history.  We use it for just about everything.  Thanks to infrastructure investments and ingenuity, the internet is now an economic engine driving job creation and unprecedented access to information and opportunities.  In a short time, the World Wide Web has transformed into a global, interconnected information superhighway facilitating growth, freedom, and economic prosperity. 

The multi-stakeholder governing model has been key to the internet’s development across the world.  This model has fostered the creation of a dynamic internet economy that promotes investment and innovation.  We owe many of the cutting-edge products and services we enjoy today to the internet economy.   

Underpinning this economy is internet data.  As the internet grows and more people – and things – become connected, the volume, quality, and variety of internet data increases.  This is driving the development of new businesses and services, and it is enhancing online experiences for consumers.  Internet data is an essential commodity for businesses to compete and grow in the global digital market. 

The importance of internet data has not gone unnoticed internationally.  In fact, it has expanded the focus of the conventional internet governing agenda.  Traditionally, internet governance has centered on the formation of policies and rules dedicated to the internet’s technical development across jurisdictions.  While this remains an important function and primary focus, the increasing value of data has shifted attention to the collection, use, movement, and overall treatment of internet data.  The rise of data localization rules, involving how data can be processed in a certain territory or jurisdiction, along with local content requirements, internet censorship policies, and cybersecurity laws are a few examples of this growing trend. 

Policies targeting data and networks often stem from a country’s interest in fostering its own innovation or protecting its people from possible data misuse. But here’s a new problem, the global nature of the internet means that the impact and power of these laws goes beyond a jurisdiction’s borders.  U.S. companies compelled to change business models or alter operations to achieve compliance in foreign markets, and they are experiencing disruptions in their own domestic operations as well.  The result is less job creation, less investment, and less innovation in the United States. 

Consumers are feeling the effects of international internet policies, also.  Overly restrictive limitations on data movement or inconsistencies across jurisdictions ultimately deliver an internet experience to consumers that is less personalized and more expensive to access. 

Today, we look forward to examining the impact of global internet policies on U.S. businesses and consumers as well as the continued development of the internet around the world.  I would mention that I am Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, and as part of the Commission’s mission, we promote economic cooperation overseas, and so I also look forward to discussing the appropriate role that Congress should play in enhancing international coordination on the future of internet policies and empowering U.S. businesses to prosper in today’s global internet marketplace.  This is critically important to maintaining U.S. leadership in data-driven innovation and internet technologies for years to come. I welcome the witnesses here today and will introduce them in a moment after we have heard an opening statement from Senator Schatz. 

The Internet and Digital Communications: Examining the Impact of Global Internet Governance

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled “The Internet and Digital Communications: Examining the Impact of Global Internet Governance,” at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. The hearing will review international internet policies that are impacting the competitiveness, investment, and innovation opportunities of U.S. businesses domestically and abroad in today’s global digital economy.

Witnesses: 

  • The Honorable Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary of Homeland Security and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, The Chertoff Group
  • Mr. James Bladel, Vice President of Policy, GoDaddy
  • Dr. Roslyn Layton, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute
  • Mr. Christopher Painter, Commissioner, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace
  • Ms. Denise ZhengVice President, Policy, The Business Roundtable

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Tuesday, July 31, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet 

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.

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