Keep Your Eye on Congressional Players and Actions on Small Business

Small business owners know that not much has happened in Congress to help them access capital, hire new workers, or take any other steps to improve their bottom lines. Who are the key players in Congress that are in positions to help small businesses and what key actions are pending now?

Here’s a rundown so that you can contact key players to encourage action, as well as keep track of legislation:

Key players
The House's Small Business Committee is headed by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo). The ranking member on the committee is Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). Other committee members include:

  • Lou Barletta (R-PA)
  • Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
  • Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
  • Steve Chabot (R-OH)
  • Judy Chu (D-CA)
  • David Cicilline (D-RI)
  • Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
  • Mike Coffman (R-CO)
  • Mark Critz (D-PA)
  • Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
  • Janice Hahn (D-CA)
  • Richard Hanna (R-NY)
  • William Keating (D-MA)
  • Steve King (R-IA)
  • Jeff Landry (R-LA)
  • Mike Mulvaney (R-SC)
  • Bill Owens (D-NY)
  • Gary Peters (D-MI)
  • Cedric Richmond (D-LA)
  • Bobby Schilling (R-IL)
  • Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
  • Scott Tipton (R-CO)
  • Joe Walsh (R-IL)
  • Alan West (R-FL)

In the Senate, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee is headed by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA); the ranking member on the committee is Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Other committee members include:

  • Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
  • Scott Brown (R-MA)
  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Ben Cardin (D-MD)
  • Mike Enzi (R-WY)
  • Kay Hagan (D-NC)
  • Tom Harkin (D-IA)
  • John Kerry (D-MA)
  • Carl Levin (D-MI)
  • Joseph Lieberman (I-CT)
  • Jerry Moran (R-KS)
  • Rand Paul (R-KY)
  • Mark Pryor (D-AR)
  • James Risch (R-ID)
  • Marco Rubio (R-FL)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • David Vitter (R-LA)

Key bills
There have been a number of proposals in this Congress to aid small businesses. Key measures to keep an eye on are:

The Small Business Tax Cut Bill (H.R. 9) is a bill that would provide small businesses (up to 500 employees) with a 20% tax cut in order to bolster job creation. The bill would allow eligible businesses a tax reduction of 20% of their active business income. Unfortunately, the Senate is not expected to even consider the measure.

Extension of expired and expiring tax rules—to date, there has been no bill that would extend the tax breaks that expired at the end of 2011 and those set to expire at the end of 2012.

Final thoughts
While large corporations often engage lobbyists to push their agenda; small business owners can’t afford lobbying costs and need to do things on their own. Become more proactive and voice your opinion. Contact your representatives. Support small business advocacy groups, like NFIB and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. If you do nothing, you have nothing to complain about!


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