WASHINGTON - House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) hailed House passage of a bipartisan measure to delay the Obama administration’s new overtime rule for six months. This additional time will enable small businesses and other small employers to plan for and fight back against these costly, burdensome new rules. H.R. 6094, the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act, passed the House by a vote of 246 to 177 and now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
“Over the past year, the Committee on Small Business has heard from countless small businesses that shared their concerns about the overtime rule,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH). “Small businesses give their employees flexible schedules, pay increases when they can afford it, and career advancement opportunities because employees are key to their success. This rule will limit the ability of small businesses to provide these benefits, which will have a devastating impact on employee morale. Our Committee Members, and other officials including the Chief Counsel for Advocacy at the Small Business Administration, joined small businesses in urging the Department of Labor to change course.”
FAA: 90 percent of drone owners will be small businesses
WASHINGTON – Small business owners told a key Congressional subcommittee today that new federal regulation that allows commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems, otherwise known as drones or UAS, are opening up the skies and opportunities for new jobs and economic growth. However, effective and efficient implementation of the rule and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) next steps to fully and safely integrate UAS into the national airspace system are critical to the industry’s success. The FAA projects that 90 percent of drone owners will be small businesses making clear and sensible regulation essential as these entrepreneurs try to get startups off the ground and improve existing small businesses day-to-day operations through the use of this technology.
“We are bearing witness to the next great aviation renaissance,” said Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-NV, Chairman of the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. “Advances in technology have cleared the way for a reality that, only a short time ago, was merely a dream.”
“From the delivery of goods to the surveying of land, unmanned aircraft systems, otherwise known as UAS or drones, are poised to change how we do business. And with an initial report indicating that an overwhelming majority of companies operating UAS for commercial purposes have 10 employees or less, this industry will truly be a small business industry,” Subcommittee Chairman Hardy added.
Commercial Drones Save Time, Money and Lives
“Unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, increase human potential, allowing us to execute dangerous or difficult tasks safely and efficiently,” testified Brian Wynne on behalf of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). “From inspecting pipelines to surveying bridges to filming movies, UAS help save time, save money and, most importantly, save lives. It is no wonder why thousands of businesses—small and large—have already embraced this technology, and many more are considering integrating it into their future operations.”
What it Means for Nevada Ranchers, North Carolina Farmers and other Small Businesses
“While we appreciate that Part 107 allows for waivers to operate beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) and over people, the FAA’s next phase of regulations must provide for even more efficient approval of these types of operations or the United States will fail to develop the robust commercial drone industry that other countries are actively pursuing,” added Gabriel Dobbs, the Vice President of Business Development and Policy at Kespry Inc., who testified on behalf of the Small UAV Coalition. “A rancher in Nevada or a farmer in North Carolina cannot fully benefit from drone technology if he must follow his drone in his truck to maintain the visual line of sight while inspecting his property.”
Need for Regulatory Improvement
“PACI has been involved in the development of the Eldorado Droneport in Boulder City, Nevada since the summer of 2015. I want to state that we are thankful for the positive support and assistance we are getting from UAS Office and Airports Division. However, during this process, we have encountered some issues as the regulatory structure does not address UAS activity on airports. There is a need for additional regulatory improvements,” observed Jonathan H. Daniels of Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc. “Airports are categorized by the number of passenger boardings or by tonnage of cargo- this metric does not work with the current limitations of UAS operation. UAS do not count towards the number of based aircraft, and there are no acceptable standards for traffic patterns for any size UAS.”
Bipartisan Measure Helps Protects Small Biz from Online Hackers
WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) today applauded House passage of H.R. 5064, the Improving Small Business Cyber Security Act of 2016, bipartisan legislation which gives small businesses access to additional tools, resources and expertise to help protect their sensitive electronic data from cyber-threats.
“American small businesses are under cyberattack like never before,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “Small businesses employ about half of the private sector workforce and generate 54% of annual sales in our economy. We need to be doing all we can to help protect these job creators and their customers against the great and growing array of cyber-threats they face on a daily basis. This bipartisan, common sense legislation will help small businesses access the tools they need to protect themselves from cyberattacks in this dangerous new digital landscape.”
Improving cybersecurity for America’s 28 million small businesses has been a top priority for the House Small Business Committee throughout the 114th Congress. Over the past year, small business owners who have been the victims of cyberattacks have shared their harrowing personal stories with Committee members.
“I logged into our bank accounts, and to my utter horror, I found that my balance was zero,” said Rick Snow, a small business owner from Maine who testified before the Committee earlier this year. “This was a pay day, and I was terrified that the paychecks that were issued that day would not clear. We were supporting a number of families, many of which live paycheck-to-paycheck and could not have made it without the paycheck we issued them that day.”
“I was also very worried about our business’ reputation since a restaurant nearby had just bounced their paychecks and the company never recovered from the bad publicity they received from not making their payroll,” Snow added.
The legislation was introduced by Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce Chairman Richard Hanna (R-NY). Full Committee Chairman Chabot and Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) were original co-sponsors of the legislation, which now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
WASHINGTON—Upon learning that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) CDC/504 Loan Program has experienced outages for roughly one third of all business days since June, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) have written to SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet seeking answers.
The program, which is intended to promote local economic development by providing long-term fixed rate financing for small businesses, is handled through the Sacramento Loan Processing Center. The House Small Business Committee has learned that not only has the loan processing center experienced technical difficulties that stopped the processing of such documents as loan guarantees, environmental reviews, and appraisals, but that small businesses themselves had to notify the SBA of the outage.
Chairman Chabot and Ranking Member Velázquez said, “When significant problems arise that prevent SBA from effectively administering a statutorily created program, the agency has an obligation to inform the Committee and provide updates as to how these issues will be corrected.”
Delays in the administration of the 504 loan program can be costly to small businesses, making them vulnerable to changes in interest rates as well as putting a strain on third-party lending partners that often provide interim funding.
For more details, see full text of the letter here.The Chairman and Ranking Member have asked the Administrator to respond to their inquiry by September 23. Read More
Committee Spotlights Abusive IRS Tactics
WASHINGTON – Today, Small Business Committee witnesses told Congress that increasingly aggressive audits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are harming innocent small businesses, forcing some to close their doors entirely.
“The IRS has an obligation to provide small businesses with clarity and to treat all taxpayers with fairness and respect,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “The agency has failed repeatedly in meeting this obligation to the people it is supposed to be serving.”
“I know Members of this Committee have heard from constituents who were audited so aggressively by the IRS that they had to close their doors. Others are engaged in protracted audits that seem like vague fishing expeditions, with no end in sight,” added Chairman Chabot.
A “SECRET ALGORITHM” TARGETS SMALL BUSINESSES
“Most audits are not random,” testified Don Williamson, Executive Director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University. “The IRS has a secret algorithm for determining how likely each taxpayer is to have unreported income. Employing this calculus, the IRS has concluded that small businesses are less likely to be paying their fair share of taxes relative to much larger enterprises.”
“In short, use of IRS resources disproportionately targeting small businesses, regardless of the degree of misreported income by a few, is both an inefficient use of IRS resources and unfair to the vast majority of small businesses that properly report all their income while generating more growth and creating more jobs than any other sector of our economy,” concluded Williamson.
“INCONSISTENT TREATMENT” OF SMALL BUSINESSES
“We believe there is some inconsistent treatment of small versus large businesses by the IRS, as well as differing procedures being used in audits of these businesses,” said Kathy Petronchak, Director of IRS Practices and Procedures for alliantgroup, LP. “It is vitally important to remember that America’s small businesses do indeed have needs, interests and resources that may differ significantly from those of larger businesses.”
“Some of the procedures utilized in large business audits provide added transparency that would bring greater fairness to the small business examination,” Petronchak added.
THERE IS “A BETTER WAY”
The House Small Business Committee’s hearing comes as House Republicans are offering a policy agenda to rein in the IRS and reform the tax code to help small businesses as part of A Better Way to Grow Our Economy.
Small Contractors Say New Red Tape Pushing Them Out of Markets
WASHINGTON – Today members of the small business community told Congress that President Obama’s executive orders are preventing small businesses from competing for federal contracts, raising costs for the taxpayers while killing jobs and economic growth. Today’s joint hearing of two subcommittees of the House Small Business Committee comes as House Republicans are offering a policy agenda to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses as part of A Better Way to Grow our Economy.
"In meeting after meeting with my constituents back home in Nevada, and listening to small business after small business testify here before our subcommittee, I have come to the conclusion that Washington regulators, and particularly those appointed in the Obama Administration, do not understand how much their actions affect the day-to-day operations of small firm," said Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-NV, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations.
“The bipartisan work we have done here in the Small Business Committee is in stark contrast to what President Obama has done during his time in office,” said Rep. Richard Hanna, R-NY, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce in his written statement. “Since 2009, the President has issued 15 Executive Orders and presidential memoranda that specifically relate to government contracting. While these mandates may be well-intentioned, too often the costs significantly outweigh the benefits.”
Small Engineering, Defense and Construction Companies Bearing the Brunt
“The engineering industry, which suffered significantly during the recent recession, is finally coming back to fiscal health,” testified James Hoffman, the President of Summer Consultants, Inc., who spoke on behalf of the American Council of Engineering Companies. “Unfortunately, these and other regulatory actions could put that recovery at risk and create disincentives for engineering firms of all sizes to participate in the federal market.”
“Several of the recent executive orders have, through flawed processes, installed burdensome, unnecessary, inefficient, and in many cases duplicative and overlapping regulatory regimes that have the cumulative effect of dramatically increasing the cost of doing businesses with the federal government,” said Donna Huneycutt, the co-owner of Wittenberg Weiner Consulting, LLC. “Over time, these will decrease efficiency and economy in federal procurement, while undermining small business growth and development, and limiting the federal government’s access to innovative products and services to fulfill their needs, in direct contradiction of ongoing initiatives.”
“Given the overall state of the construction economy today, several small business contractors have expressed to AGC that they are strongly considering or plan to walk away from the federal construction market,” noted Jimmy Christianson, who testified on behalf of the Associated General Contractors of America “The result of these new requirements may, therefore, include reduced competition and, in turn, higher prices to the federal government and taxpayers.”
Chabot and Olson Concerned with proposed rule’s impact on American businesses and consumers
WASHINGTON, DC – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and House Energy and Power Subcommittee Vice Chairman Pete Olson (R-TX)today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting information related to the legality, cost, and feasibility of the agency’s proposed rule restricting several hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs) refrigerants in residential refrigerators and other equipment. The rule is the second such effort by the agency to limit refrigerants used in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment.
“We have serious concerns about this rule’s impact on American businesses and consumers, and we also believe that it exceeds the agency’s statutory authority by establishing a new and expansive global warming program never intended by Congress,” write Olson and Chabot.
“These proposed regulations could have a chilling effect, and not the one you want, on manufacturers and consumers alike. We have a number of questions about EPA’s legal authority to restrict these refrigerants and whether doing so makes sense” commented Vice Chairman Olson. “We also want to know more about the actual environmental impacts of the proposed rule.”
“I believe that EPA’s proposed rule may pose particular burdens for small businesses that the agency has not fully taken into consideration,” noted Chairman Chabot. “I look forward to EPA’s responses to these concerns.”
To read the letter online, click here.
Little Rock, AR 72202
WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement about House passage of H.R. 2357, the Accelerating Access to Capital Act, legislation which will help entrepreneurs raise capital to start and grow their small businesses:
“Access to capital remains a critical issue for America’s 28 million small businesses. Many of our existing laws and federal regulation make access to capital more difficult for small businesses than for large businesses. HR 2357 takes a great step in addressing this problem. By clarifying the law in a way that allows small businesses to raise capital through limited, smaller scale, non-public offerings, we are cutting through some of the red tape that has kept new investors just out of reach from a lot of our small businesses. The federal government’s regulatory approach cannot be one-size-fits-all, especially where small businesses are concerned. This legislation addresses the unfair and unsustainable share of the federal regulatory burden that our small businesses carry.”
Click here or the photo below to watch Chairman Chabot's floor speech.
Chairman Chabot has made improving access to capital a top priority of the Small Business Committee in the 114th Congress.
The House has passed legislation authored by Chairman Chabot including the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act and the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act.
Chabot and House Republicans crafted a policy agenda earlier this year to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses as part of A Better Way to Grow our Economy.
Heartland Entrepreneurs Share their Stories with Congress
WASHINGTON – Entrepreneurs from rural America today called for relief from overregulation as they shared their personal experiences with government red tape with a key Congressional subcommittee. Today’s hearing of the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access comes as House Republicans are offering a policy agenda to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses as part of A Better Way to Grow our Economy.
House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) co-chaired the House task force which crafted the plan using input from entrepreneurs across America that have shared their experiences with the Small Business Committee.
“The loss of community banks in this country due to regulatory challenges like Dodd-Frank have also hurt the rural communities served by these banks very hard,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) at today’s hearing. “By understanding how small businesses can be successful in rural areas like my district in Kansas, we can not only improve the economic growth of the entire country, but create the businesses and the products of the future right at home.”
Breaking the Backbone of America
“Small businesses are the backbone of America,” testified Hugh Middleton, a former Navy SEAL officer and co-founder of a small mobile technology company in Flowood, Mississippi. “We create opportunity, generate jobs, invent new technology and keep the economy going. We do all of this while being over regulated, over taxed and under supported by the Federal Government. Everything from Obama Care to mountains of paperwork are hindrances to the growth and health of a small business.”
“With lower taxes and healthcare costs, we could hire more people, increase salaries and bring better talent to Mississippi,” Middleton added.
Rural Counties Also Paying the Price
“Federal agencies have issued an increasing number of regulations in recent years,” testified Robert Boyd, the County Commissioner of Riley County, Kansas. “According to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), unfunded mandates from federal rules and regulations cost local governments, our citizens and businesses between $57 billion and $85 billion a year
“Small counties have to provide the same mandatory services and comply with the same regulations as our suburban and urban counterparts do. And we must do so with limited ability to raise revenue.” Boyd added.
Chairman Chabot Says Congress Must Approve Changes to Program
WASHINGTON – House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) today expressed concern that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has failed to improve a federal program that aids small business development in economically distressed areas. Chairman Chabot also admonished the SBA that Congress and the Committee must approve all changes to the Historically Underutilized Business Zone or “HUBZone” program in order to ensure it is working as intended.
“The HUBZone program cannot fulfill its mission if the opportunities provided by these incentives are being taken by companies that don’t actually qualify for the program,” said Chairman Chabot in his opening statement. “The HUBZone program is intended to help these small businesses, but can only succeed if the program is run in way that actually helps the areas most in need.”
“It is crucial, however, that any efforts to alter or expand the program are made by working through Congress and with this Committee. Actions that could change how the program has been run, or how effective the program will be, must be done out in the open, with the public debate afforded by the People’s branch,” added Chabot.
After the hearing concluded, Chairman Chabot said “The SBA’s actions on the HUBZone program have left our Committee with more questions than answers. Our Committee will be evaluating all available options as we move forward in the coming weeks and months to improve this program.”
Chairman Carlos Curbelo has scheduled a hearing of the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade titled, “Ready for Liftoff: The Importance of Small Businesses in the NASA Supply Chain.” The hearing will begin at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 in Room 2360 in the Rayburn House Office Building.
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
Subcommittee Chairman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
Opening Statement (As Prepared for Delivery)
Mr. Chris Carberry
Explore Mars, Inc.
2361 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515