Chabot, Connolly Introduce Bill to Help More Small Businesses Export
WASHINGTON – Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) have introduced H.R. 2586, the Export Coordination Act of 2015, a bill to improve the coordination of federal export promotion resources and to streamline the export process so that more small businesses can sell goods overseas.
“When it comes to exporting, most small businesses don’t know where to start,” said Chabot. “The process can be incredibly complex and the federal resources that are supposed to help them navigate the process are just as intimidating. The Export Coordination Act would streamline these resources and take steps to make the process easier for businesses.
Chabot added, “It is my hope that this bill – and other solutions that the Small Business Committee is currently working on – will open the door for more small businesses to sell their goods overseas, which ultimately provides more opportunities for working families.”
Congressman Connolly said, “The federal government stands ready to help small businesses access foreign markets and create jobs through exports. This bill will ensure that federal trade promotion agencies are reaching out to state and local partners and making access to these resources as straightforward as possible.”
U.S. exports support more than 38 million American jobs – including 1 in 3 manufacturing jobs. Despite the fact that 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, only 2 percent of all small businesses export their goods.
H.R. 2586 would require the United States Department of Commerce’s Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) to clearly define each federal agency’s role in the export process, establish a central listing of all trade events, give state trade agencies a voice in setting our national export strategy, and reduce overlap of current export resources.
The purpose of the hearing is to examine the challenges faced by the SBA in response to "Superstorm" Sandy, including a discussion of a September 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office.
Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Witnesses and Testimony:
The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. to consider the following legislative measures and nominations.
1. S. 1626, Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act, Sponsors: Sen. Roge...
The hearing will examine the General Services Administration's March 5, 2015 Proposed rule on transactional data reporting.
Chairman Richard Hanna ( R-NY)
Witnesses and Testimony:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today, on a voice vote, approved the bipartisan “Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act,” sponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), with seven amendments. The measure improves rail safety, reauthorizes Amtrak services, and improves existing passenger rail infrastructure. It also leverages private sector investment, empowers states, and cuts red tape to make critical infrastructure dollars go further.
“Senator Wicker and...
Chabot on Supreme Court Obamacare Decision
WASHINGTON - Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) made the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's decision on King v. Burwell:
"For last 5 years, Washington has tried to figure out what’s actually in Obamacare. If you really want to understand Obamacare, you don’t have to sift through the thousands of pages of poorly designed--and ineptly implemented law--you just have to look at your premium statement. You have to look at your health care bills. Americans and small businesses tell us every day how this law is burdening them. So while Washington continues to interpret, we will continue to act on solutions that empower families and American workers."
Rokita Statement: Hearing on “Child Nutrition Assistance: Looking at the Cost of Compliance for States and Schools”
That’s why we on the Education and the Workforce Committee have been examining child nutrition programs to ensure they are effectively and efficiently providing children access to nutritious meals. It goes without saying your commitment to serving students is vital to achieving that goal.
The question we want to answer today is: are federal policies giving you the tools and flexibility you need to succeed in implementing child nutrition programs so that your students can succeed in the classroom? Based on what we have heard from other stakeholders, the federal role in these programs may be doing more to hinder your success than help it.
Following the 2010 reauthorization of the national school lunch and breakfast programs, the Department of Agriculture issued a number regulations that expanded Washington’s influence over K-12 cafeterias. The department has narrowly defined what types of food can be served in schools and how often, the maximum number of calories students are allowed to eat per meal, and the price a student must pay per meal.
While these regulations are well intended, states and schools are struggling to comply with them, and the very children we aim to serve are paying the price. While program costs, administrative burdens, and food waste are piling up, portion sizes, food offerings, and the number of students participating in the program are on the decline. In my home state of Indiana, for example, the number of lunches served each year has declined by more than six million since the regulations went into effect in 2012.
I’ve heard these concerns from my colleagues and constituents, and I’ve read the reports from government watchdogs, but – as the saying goes – I needed to see it to believe it. Earlier this year, I joined students and staff for lunch at Cloverdale Middle School in Indiana, where food service director Billy Boyette described the challenges he and his staff face to provide meals that both comply with federal regulations and appeal to students.
From firsthand experience, I can verify that despite the increased federal involvement in the school meals programs, many students are still going to class hungry. Furthermore, reports from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office raise concerns about whether or not the resources for these programs are going to the students who need it most.
If our shared goal is to increase student success in the classroom, and if we know that nutritious meals play an important role in that success, wasting limited taxpayer dollars hardly seems like a favorable outcome.
That’s why we are here today. As education leaders who have committed themselves to serving students, you provide critical insight into what’s working and what isn’t and what types of policies Congress should consider as we move forward with reauthorization.
It’s time to provide those responsible for implementing child nutrition programs with the flexibility they need to ensure taxpayer dollars are well spent and students are well served. I am confident learning from your experiences, observations, and recommendations will inform our efforts to accomplish just that.
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Best-Selling Author, Media Personality and Business Owner Bonnie St. John Headlines National Women’s Business Conference Hosted by NAWBO
Senior VA Official Exposes Gross Mismanagement and Fraud
“Massive violations of public trust continue unabated”
WASHINGTON-At a joint hearing hosted by the Small Business and Veteran Affairs’ investigatory subcommittees held Tuesday, a senior official and whistleblower at the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) revealed more details about how the Department broke the law in hiding billions in spending from the public and deprived small businesses of the opportunity to compete for contracts.
Mr. Jan Frye, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Logistics at the Department of Veterans Affairs described the manipulation and misreporting of contract dollars as “one of the most deceptive schemes” he has seen in his 41 years of government service.Specifically, he alleged that $6 billion to $10 billion in procurements were being concealed in an attempt to inflate the Department’s small business goaling numbers. As a result of this fraud, the Department received an “A” rather than the “D” or “F” they earned using the actual numbers. Small businesses lost out on at least 200,000 contracts.
“VA senior leaders have willfully violated the public trust, debasing federal procurement and financial laws,” said Frye. “We have senior-leader integrity malaises [at the] VA. Like substance abusers before the journey to recovery, [the VA] will not be cured until we admit we have a disease… We are guilty… we have deceived the veteran-owned small-business community, while violating federal laws.” He also noted that these “massive violations of public trust continue unabated.”
Small Business Subcommittee Chairman Cresent Hardy (R-NV) issued the following after the hearing:“Based on what we heard today, it is evident that the VA and the Obama Administration have failed our veterans, small business owners and the American taxpayer. If the VA had followed the law, small businesses – including many veteran and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses— would have had the opportunity to compete, which would have saved money and allowed more services to be provided to our veterans. Instead, the VA simply ignored the law.”
Mr. Thomas Leney, the Executive Director at the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the VA disputed the allegations claiming that the department had not broken the law, but simply conducted “improper accounting.” Later, it was also revealed that Mr. Leney received nearly $9,000 in performance bonuses in Fiscal Year 2013 that were based on those misreported numbers.
“Because of this hearing, we now know that the VA awarded bonuses based on false pretenses – inflated numbers,” said Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “It’s no different than a student cheating on a test to get a better report card. Our committees will continue to investigate these issues so that we can hold those responsible for this fraud to account and improve the services earned by our veterans.”
Click HERE for more information on this hearing.
On Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at 4:00pm., the Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations with the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations will hold a joint hearing titled, "Manipulation and Fraud in the Reporting of VA Small Business Goals." The hearing will be held in Room 334 of the Cannon House Office Building.
The purpose of the hearing is to examine manipulation and Fraud in the Reporting of VA Small Business Goals.
Chairman Cresent Hardy (R-NV)
Witnesses and Testimony:
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a full committee hearing entitled “Update on the Recalls of Defective Takata Air Bags and NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Efforts” on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.
The hearing will examine the role of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the Takata defective airbag recall investigation, Takata’s remediation efforts, how car manufacturers are addressing defective Takata airbags, and ongoing oversight by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector Gen...