Small Biz Straight Talk

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Washington, D.C., Dec 4, 2009 | comments

News from Ranking Member Sam Graves and Committee Republicans: (Please send any member media activity to angela.landers@mail.house.gov)

• Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) in Missouri’s St. Joe News Press: “Estate tax opponents speak out” and “Estate tax measure passes House

• Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) spoke on the House Floor about the estate tax and small business.

• Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO): “House-Passed Estate Tax Bill Would Harm Small Businesses

• Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO): “President Obama Kicks Off White House Main Street Tour While Continuing His Anti-Business Agenda

• Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO): “President's Job Summit Seeks to Mask Job-Killing Policies Including Stimulus, Cap-and-Tax

• Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO): “Statement on H.R. 4154

• Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-GA): “Democrats impose grim tax reaper

• Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) in the Associated Press: “House votes to extend tax on wealthy estates

• Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) “Schock Opposes Death Tax Plan That Harms Family Farmers

• Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) Guest Blogger with the Heritage Foundation: “Free Trade Will Boost Jobs

Must-Reads from the Week:

• Wall Street Journal: Main Street Tour Faces Frosty Greeting

• Discover: Economic Confidence Plunges; Low Expectations for the Holidays

• Dallas Morning News: Many Small Businesses Not on Board with Health Care Bill

Administration and the SBA:

• On Thursday, President Obama hosted a jobs summit at the White House.  Roughly 130 executives, academics, union officials, business owners, and local government officials convened to discuss how to improve national unemployment.  According to news sources, the executives participating in this event have collectively cut 6 percent of their workforce and issued 50,000 pink slips.  The White House’s support for job killing measures like climate change and health care mandates speak louder than any summit.

Review of House Activity:

• The legislative activity in the House was light this week with only one bill coming to the House floor under a rule.  The legislation, H.R. 4154, the Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Businesses Act, passed by a 225-200 vote.  The legislation would make permanent this year’s $3.5 million per person exemption and 45 percent top tax rate. However, the exemption would not be indexed for inflation, meaning more and more estates would be subject to the tax in the future.  Many conservatives have strong concerns about the estate tax because the government is taking away equity in family businesses and farms that has been built up over lifetimes and generations.  Because of this, some favor a full repeal of the death tax and believe that anything short of that is simply unfair to the American entrepreneur. 

 

Legislation and Letters Circulating Around the House:
(If you would like to publicize your small business effort in Congress, please email Paul Sass at
Paul.Sass@mail.house.gov)

• Rep. Broun (R-GA) Seeks Co-Sponsors for Small Business Economic Stimulus Bill - Rep. Broun is looking for co-sponsors for H.R. 4100, the Jumpstarting Our Business Sector Act (the JOBS Act).  This legislation would provide tax relief directly to businesses and individuals, by reducing payroll tax rates, corporate tax rates and the self-employed person tax rate for two years as well as eliminating capital gains taxes and dividend taxes for two years.  Additionally, it would rescind and recoup all unspent money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  10 Current Co-Sponsors: Bishop, Cole, Franks, Gohmert, Granger, Hall, Marchant, Posey and Shadegg.   If you would like more information or would like to sign on as a co-sponsor, please contact Jack Smedile at 5-4101 or Jack.Smedile@mail.house.gov.

• On December 3, 2009, Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced H.Res. 943, a resolution calling for appropriate regulatory forbearance for well-managed community-based financial institutions that will help free up much needed capital for our nation’s small businesses.  Recent discussions in Congress and the Administration have centered on the need to increase lending to small businesses.  This resolution would express the sense of Congress that appropriate actions should be taken to provide regulatory relief with the aim of increased lending to small businesses.  If you wish to become a co-sponsor, or for further information, please contact Stephen Beck at 5-7882 or stephen.beck@mail.house.gov.

Review of Senate Activity:

• This week Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Ranking Member Olympia Snowe (R-ME) of the Senate Small Business Committee introduced legislation that would make permanent the enhanced Section 179 expensing limits enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  According to Ranking Member Snowe’s press release, “Our bill will permanently allow small businesses to expense up to $250,000 of new investments, enabling them to acquire vital new facilities and equipment.  By permitting small businesses to deduct more of their equipment purchases today, they will retain substantial savings instead of waiting a period of years to recover their costs through depreciation.  Additionally, this change would simultaneously save small firms the vital time currently required to comply with complex and confusing depreciation rules.”

• On Thursday the Senate Small Business Committee held a staff-led roundtable entitled “What is Working: Tax Incentives to Aid Small Business Recovery.”  The roundtable assessed the expiring tax incentives that are critical to small business growth and stability.

• The Senate continued to debate health care reform legislation.  On Thursday, the Senate passed by a vote of 61-39 an amendment offered by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) that requires health insurance companies to provide free mammograms and other preventative care. The Senate rejected by a vote of 42-58 an amendment offered by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to send the bill back to the Finance Committee with instructions to eliminate the Medicare spending reductions, which total almost a half a trillion dollars over ten years.  The Senate debate could last for several weeks. 

 

Other Small Business News off the Hill:

• The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released its "Small Business Survival Index 2009: Ranking the Policy Environment for Entrepreneurship Across the Nation." 

• The NFIB complied its “Top 5 Recommendations to Spur Job Growth.”

• The IRS issued “Proposed Regulations on Reporting Requirement for Payment Card and Third-Party Payment Transactions.”

Looking Forward:

There are no hearings scheduled for next week.

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