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Thune and Nelson Statement on Deadly Amtrak Derailment

Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson issue joint statement on fatal Amtrack derailment.

Bridging the Small Business Capital Gap: Peer to Peer Lending

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 11:00am
On Wednesday, May13, 2015, at 11:00 A.M., the Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing titled, ​ ​Bridging the Small Business Capital Gap: Peer-to-Peer LendingThe hearing will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing will be webstreamed live HERE.


The purpose of the hearing is to examine the rise of peer-to-peer lending platforms that seek to satisfy that seek the demand for debt capital that is currently not being met by banks and other conventional lenders.


Opening Statement:

Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

Witnesses and Testimony:


  • Professor. Rajkamal Iyer, Associate Professor of Finance, MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, MA

  • Mr. Sam Hodges, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Funding Circle San Francisco, CA

  • Mr. Zachary L. Green, CEO/Founder, MN8 Foxfire, Cincinnati, OH


     Additional Items:



    Rubio Calls Subcommittee Hearing on Fishery Data Collection

    Sen. Rubio will convene a hearing on fishery management and data collection.

    Chabot Urges Administration to Return Waters of the United States Rule to EPA and the Corps

    House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 12:00am

    Chabot Urges Administration to Return Waters of the United States Rule to EPA and the Corps
    Small Business Committee Reminds OMB of Impact on Small Businesses; Regulatory Compliance Requirements

    WASHINGTON--Today, Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter urging the Office of Management and Budget to return the rule defining the “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers for reconsideration.

    In his letter, Chabot pointed out that the final rule, which gives the government regulatory authority over bodies of water as small as streams and puddles on private property, had been submitted “after taking a mere five months to review over one million public comments, many describing the concerns of small business, which were submitted to the agencies on the proposed rule.”

    Chabot continued, “While the agencies have stated that changes were made to the draft final rule in response to concerns raised during the comment period, the definition and the process by which it was developed are so flawed that the defects cannot be cured without reissuing a new proposed rule after fully complying with the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).”

    The letter can be viewed in its entirety here.

    The Small Business Committee has previously examined the negative impact that this rule would have on small businesses. An initial letter to the EPA Administrator outlined the Committee’s findings and urged withdrawal of the rule last year, and in May of 2014, the Committee held a hearing with small businesses to highlight these concerns. In July, the Committee hosted the EPA Deputy Administrator for another hearing on the matter, and in November, the Committee filed formal comments on the proposed rule, to again voice the concerns of America’s small business community. 

    The letter was sent after the House passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act on Tuesday evening. H.R. 1732 is a legislative solution to the rule that has already been met with the threat of a presidential veto. 


    Bridging the Small Business Capital Gap: Peer-to-Peer Lending

    House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 12:00am

    Bridging the Small Business Capital Gap: Peer-to-Peer Lending


    WASHINGTON -- During today’s House Small Business Committee hearing, “Bridging the Small Business Capital Gap: Peer-to-Peer Lending” led by Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), members heard from peer-to-peer lending experts whose testimonies shed light on emerging lending techniques that could expand small business’ access to capital. 

    While access to capital has always been a concern for small firms, as we all know, the Great Recession and recent reforms to our financial markets have made access to capital even more difficult,” said Chabot. “However, recently there has also been an influx of alternative lending options to assist small businesses in getting the financing they so desperately need.”

    Zachary Green, CEO and Founder of MN8 Foxfire based in Cincinnati, Ohio, testified before the Committee about his success with peer-to-peer lending, which helped him grow and save his company specializing in firefighting and safety technology. “Almost every entrepreneur I know has the same recurring nightmare: running out of money,” Green said. “In under 36 hours, Foxfire received the money we needed. This is the perfect example of how the free market can act faster than larger, traditional institutions and keep the American Dream alive.” 

    Also testifying today was Sam Hodges, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Funding Circle USA, who emphasized the need for more affordable long-term financing solutions. “Short durations and very high effective rates drive many small businesses that use such credit products into downward cycles of re-borrowing in which they take out more and more debt to roll over their repayment obligations,” Hodges said.

    The Committee also heard from Rajkamal Iyer, an Associate Professor of Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, who has conducted studies on peer-to-peer lending trends. “One of the big problems of credit markets in general is screening for the underlying creditworthiness of borrowers,” Iyer said. “The interest rate set by [non-expert individual] lenders predicts default 45 percent more accurately than the borrower’s credit score.”

    Chairman Chabot recognized the need to continue examining capital alternatives to traditional loans that are better suited for small businesses. 

    For full witness testimonies and footage of today’s hearing, click here.


    International Opportunities and Impact

    NAWBO National - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 2:30pm

    When you see the words “women” and “international” in the same sentence, so many things come to mind: Women business owners thinking bigger about the potential of scaling their businesses by expanding in overseas markets. Women in developing nations struggling to gain basic rights women in the U.S. have enjoyed for decades, including the right to start and run your own business and access to the education and capital that make it all possible.

    At NAWBO, many of our women entrepreneurs have taken their businesses global in recent years or are now thinking about it. That’s why we have always had an international breakout session track at our Women’s Business Conference hosted by NAWBO—this year, September 28-29 in San Antonio, Texas—and we make it a priority to provide valuable resources and education to our members who are interested in international business throughout the year. Additionally, through our new MentorCloud online mentoring platform that we are preparing to roll out this year, global-minded women in business will be able to seamlessly connect for valuable support and advice.

    At the same time, we remain committed to positively impacting entrepreneurial women the world over. That’s been increasingly evident through our growing number of partnerships with organizations that are focused on identifying and supporting women in developing nations. In this issue of NAWBO ONE, I hope you’ll take the time to read our Member Spotlight on longtime NAWBO member and leader Terry Neese, who, after successfully running her own staffing agency for 31 years, founded the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women whose PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Program empowers and mentors women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda. Now in its ninth year, the program has graduated more than 500 women who have created more than 12,000 jobs for their communities and countries.

    In this issue, we also feature a Q&A with a leader from Opportunity International. This new NAWBO partner is helping women entrepreneurs around the world to break the cycle of poverty and thrive. Opportunity International is accomplishing this by providing loans, savings programs, insurance, business training and other financial services to empower community entrepreneurs to launch and expand businesses that break the cycle of poverty, transform their lives and strengthen their families and communities. Be sure to read how NAWBO members can get involved to make a difference.

    In the Unites States, there are currently 9.1 million women business owners, making us the fastest growing segment in today’s economy. However, in many other countries around the world, women remain an untapped economic resource. According to the International Labor Organization, there are 812 million women living in developing countries with the potential to contribute more fully to their economies.

    This month, I encourage you to consider what international opportunities exist for your business as well as what you can do to help other women around the world who share your entrepreneurial passion and spirit.

    —Darla Beggs, NAWBO National Chair


    Categories: Latest News

    WLF Pens Guest Blog Post on 1st Amendment Victory for Craft Brewer

    WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 11:30am
    Washington Legal Foundation Chief Counsel for Legal Studies Glenn Lammi published a guest commentary on May 4 on the blog of the San Francisco law firm Hinman & Carmichael, Booze Rules. The post, Appellate Court Ruling Strikes Blow Against State’s Arbitrary Beer Label Ban, discusses the implications of a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth […]
    Categories: Latest News

    Sixty-One U.S. Senators Call on FCC to Modernize Support for Rural Broadband Services

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and fellow Committee Member Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today released a letter signed by sixty-one senators to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler calling for a modernization of rules intended to ensure that Americans in rural areas have access to affordable broadband services. Under current rules, Universal Service Fund (USF) support for broadband in rural areas is dependent on the outdated requirement that customers also si...

    Sen. Cruz and Ranking Member Nelson Introduce U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act

    The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act aims encourage the competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space industry.

    Senators Introduce Port Transparency Bill in Wake of Prolonged West Coast Ports Strife

    Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune, along with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, Sen. Deb Fischer, and Sen. Cory Gardner introduced common sense sunshine reforms as a part of S. 1298 to help with early identification of port disruptions caused by labor strife or other factors before they inflict serious damage on businesses and the broader U.S. economy.

    ***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Department of Interior Official to Testify on Native American Schools

    Education & the Workforce Committee - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:00am

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, May 14 at 10:30 a.m., the Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will hold a hearing entitled, “Examining the Federal Government’s Mismanagement of Native American Schools.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

    There are 185 Native American schools serving more than 40,000 students across the country. Three separate divisions under the Department of Interior – the Bureau of Indian Education, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management – and the Department of Education are responsible for ensuring Native American students receive an education comparable to their peers by providing schools with funding, academic support and operational support, as well as overseeing personnel, transportation, and financial management.

    At a recent oversight hearing, members of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education learned about the deplorable conditions of Native American schools, including falling ceilings, broken water heaters, and ventilation problems. Witnesses cited layers of federal bureaucracy for failing to provide Native American students safe and healthy schools. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office reports the federal government’s efforts to restructure this ineffective system have not been implemented.

    Thursday’s hearing provides members an opportunity to learn about how and when the Department of Interior and the Department of Education will implement reforms to improve Native American schools.

    To learn more about the hearing, visit http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.



    Dr. Charles M. Roessel
    Bureau of Indian Education
    U.S. Department of Interior
    Washington, D.C.

    William Mendoza
    Executive Director
    White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education
    U.S. Department of Education
    Washington, D.C.

    Senate, House Committee Leaders Urge Passage of Legislation to End NLRB’s Ambush Elections

    Education & the Workforce Committee - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 2:00pm

    After Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a simple up or down vote to override President Obama’s veto of a Congressional Review Act resolution that would stop the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) ambush election rule, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), and Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA) urged passage of their legislation to ensure fair union elections by ending the board’s damaging rule.

    “The board’s ambush election rule will stifle employer free speech, cripple employee free choice, and threaten the privacy of workers and their families," said Chairman Kline."The American people deserve better, and that is precisely why this fight isn’t over. The legislative response we have proposed will ensure workers and employers have access to the fair union election process they deserve. It is time Washington Democrats stopped looking out for Big Labor’s interests and started focusing on what’s best for America’s hardworking men and women.”

    “Republicans have not finished the fight against the NLRB’s ambush election rule, which can force a union election in as little as 11 days—before an employer and many employees even have a chance to figure out what is going on,” said Chairman Alexander. “It’s unfortunate that Senate Democrats have obstructed an opportunity to overturn this damaging rule, which sacrifices every employer’s right to free speech and every worker’s right to privacy—but I intend to continuing working in Congress to restore fairness to American workplaces.”

    “While I am disappointed the Senate failed to override President Obama’s veto, I remain committed to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to protect American workers from the NLRB’s overreach, " said Rep. Roe."Workers and employers deserve better, and it’s a shame the president and his political appointees continue to put the interests of labor bosses above the rights of hardworking Americans.”

    “The National Labor Relations Board continues to skew the playing field between management and labor, and I am disappointed Senate Democrats are condoning that by blocking this vote,” said Sen. Isakson. “I have been fighting against these unfair rulings by the NLRB since President Obama took office. I will continue to fight to restore a level playing field, protect free speech and ensure that workers are afforded the opportunity to make informed decisions about their right to organize, while safeguarding their personal information and privacy.”

    A Senate majority voted to stop the rule on March 4. A House majority voted to stop the rule on March 19. The president vetoed the resolution on March 31, but Democrats have objected today to a simple up or down vote to override this veto.  

    The NLRB’s rule – which went into effect on April 14 – can shortens the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held to as little as 11 days. In 2014, more than 95 percent of union certification elections occurred within 56 days. Additionally, the median number of days from petition to election was 38 days. These numbers surpass the performance goals set by the NLRB itself. The rule gives employers essentially no time to communicate with their employees before a union election and undermines the ability of workers to make an informed decision. In addition, it forces employers to provide employees’ personal information to union organizers without employees’ consent.

    The legislative response introduced following the president’s veto by Reps. Kline and Roe and Sens. Alexander and Isakson would:

    • Ensure workers have enough time to make an informed decision in a union election by prohibiting any election from taking place in less than 35 days.
    • Provide employers at least 14 days to prepare their case to present before a NLRB election officer and protect the right to raise additional concerns throughout the pre-election hearing.
    • Reassert the board’s responsibility to address critical issues before certifying a union, including voter eligibility and the appropriate unit of employees that will form the union.
    • Empower workers to control their personal information by allowing each employee to determine the personal contact information that is provided to union organizers.

    To learn more about the legislation introduced in the House, click here.

    To learn more about the legislation introduced in the Senate, click here.

    # # #  

    Nominations Hearing

    The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. to consider two pending nominations.

    Nominations Under Consideration:

    - Daniel Elliott, of Ohio, to be a Member of the Surface Transportation Board (reappointment)
    - Mario Cordero, of California, to be a Member of the Federal Maritime Commission (reappointment)

    Hearing Details:

    Wednesday, May 6, 2015
    10:00 a.m.
    Full Committee hearing on nomin...

    WCOETurning Point for 5/5

    Turning Point RSS - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:08pm

    Surface Transportation Reauthorization: The Importance of a Long Term Reauthorization

    Senator Fischer will convene a hearing on surface transportation reauthorization.

    Women Business Owners’ Optimism Climbs for Third Straight Year, Finds Report by NAWBO, Web.com

    NAWBO Media - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 3:00am
    2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report shows economic optimism up 16 percent from 2013; flexibility for family not a primary motive to start a business; and marketing tops list of investment intentions
    Categories: Latest News


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