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WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, questioned top executives at General Motors (GM) and Delphi about their failures resulting in the GM ignition switch recall at today’s Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance Subcommittee hearing.
“GM has admitted, via a consent order that it failed to report this safety-related defect to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a timely manner,” said Thune. “The internal report prepar...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing titled, “The Federal Research Portfolio: Capitalizing on Investments in R&D,” on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 2 p.m.
Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website. Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to automatically begin streaming the webcast.
Individuals with disabilities who require a...
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) and John Thune (R-SD), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today issued the following statement regarding the committee’s plans to reauthorize expiring provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) of 2010:
“The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will consider and report legislation during the Senate’s September work period, including the reauthorization of expiring provisions of the Sa...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the Senate Committee on Armed Services’ Subcommittee on Strategic Forces will hold a joint hearing titled, “Options for Assuring Domestic Space Access,” on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Science and Space, and Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, will co-chair the hearing.
Maintaining affordable, rel...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing titled, “At a Tipping Point: Consumer Choice, Consolidation and the Future Video Marketplace,” on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. The Committee will discuss the future of the video marketplace, including the impact of the growth of online video and consolidation among pay TV and broadband providers.
Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website
On March 26, 2014, the Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce held a hearing with testimony from entrepreneurs who encountered licensing obstacles to starting small businesses, even when those licenses did not directly apply to their business ideas or protect public health and safety. Today’s second hearing expanded the Committee’s examination of these challenges by looking at the FTC’s role in combating onerous licensure through the enforcement of federal anti-trust laws that promote competition. Andrew Gavil, Director of the Office of Policy Planning, Federal Trade Commission, testified.
“Sixty years ago, only 5 percent of occupations required state licenses. Since then, the number of occupations subject to these requirements has soared to nearly 30 percent, and in many cases, these rules impose a significant regulatory burden on small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Chairman Graves. “Licensing regulations create barriers to work that disproportionately affect lower and middle-class Americans. As state licensing boards are typically comprised of people from that profession, their decisions about who can enter their profession can reduce competition. It is important that these regulations are narrowly tailored to provide a public benefit without unfairly limiting opportunities. As the Committee continues examining ways to reduce barriers to entrepreneurship, the FTC’s testimony today was insightful regarding the agency’s role in protecting a free market.”
Materials from the hearing are available on the Committee’s website HERE.
Andrew Gavil, Director, Office of Policy Planning, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC, said, “[Licenses] can protect consumers from actual health and safety risks and support other valuable public policy goals. However, that does not mean that all licensure is warranted and, most importantly in our experience, it does not mean that the benefits of all of the specific restrictions imposed on occupations are sufficient to justify the harm they can do to competition and mobility in the workforce. We have seen many examples of licensure restrictions that likely impede competition and hamper entry into professional and services markets, yet offer few, if any, significant consumer benefits. In these situations, regulations may lead to higher prices, lower quality services and products, and less convenience for consumers.”
As a woman business owner, you can make some tremendous business and personal gains by serving on the board of an outside organization, even if you have an advisory board or board of directors you regularly interact with in your own business.
It can be a valuable leadership development tool that benefits you and your business. It can also greatly impact the organization, especially a non-profit, as it works to overcome a plateau or reach a new level of growth.
As NAWBO National installed our 2014-2015 Board of Directors last week (read about our new Board in this issue of NAWBO ONE), I’d like to encourage you to explore how board leadership like this can make a difference in your business and in a non-profit cause you’re passionate about.
At NAWBO, the passion, talent and expertise of the women business owners who comprise our National Board of Directors is critical to our organization’s success. We look to them to help further NAWBO’s mission, vision and strategy; to assess our organizational structure, policies and procedures; to review and approve budgets; to make recommendations on any major capital expenditures; to bring in new corporate partners and new members; to monitor performance; and to lend credibility to our organization as a result of their reputation in the business community.
On our board members’ part, they have the opportunity to meet other women business owners from across the U.S. with some incredible success stories and valuable ideas and insights. They get to see first-hand how a non-profit board works from a board member’s perspective, including politics, influence, consensus-building and, of course, decision-making. They also quickly understand that serving as a board member is about more than showing up at meetings. They are handpicked because of the unique talent and expertise they bring to the table, and we definitely capitalize on this during the time they serve.
As our new 2014-2015 Board sets out this next year to achieve great things, from rolling out a brand-new online mentoring program to our members, to growing our membership and member benefits to even greater levels, I hope you’ll consider how you might contribute to a cause you’re passionate about, whether that’s women business owners, education, breast cancer research, etc. Non-profits like NAWBO welcome your time, energy and intellect at the local and national level. Just ask your NAWBO chapter how you might help with an upcoming project or on a committee. I think you’ll be surprised by how much you get back when you give a little of yourself.
Meanwhile, I hope you’ll join me in extending congratulations and thanks to our new 2014-2015 Board Chair Darla Beggs and to our entire new Board of Directors!
—Billie Dragoo, NAWBO Past Chair and Interim CEO
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, today applauded the U.S. House of Representative’s broad bipartisan approval of the companion bill to his Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (S. 1431), which he introduced with Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon). The House passed the bill by voice vote.
“The Internet is a key driver of economic growth, innovation, and information in our 21st century economy,” said Thun...
EPA's Backyard Blitz Imperiled
By Chairman Sam Graves
President Ronald Reagan once said our “government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Twenty-eight years later, anyone who cashes a paycheck, files their taxes, picks up the local newspaper or turns on the TV knows these words ring true just as they did in 1986.
Back home in Missouri, I frequently speak with people who are worried about our out-of-control federal government. It does not take much effort to see what is happening in Washington. Government bureaucrats at the IRS, the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Energy are becoming increasingly aggressive, and the biggest bully of the bunch, by far, is the Environmental Protection Agency.
During this administration, the EPA has overreached time and time again, seeking to accomplish by regulation what normally becomes law through legislation.
Several years ago, the EPA tried to regulate farm dust, which would impact family farms and agriculture producers. Then it went after wood burning stoves used for inexpensive home heating. Now, the president and the EPA are trying to force some of the most crushing regulations on coal power plants in history. What will this mean for my constituents, small businesses and Americans around the country? Higher electric bills.
But few regulations are more damaging and intrusive than the EPA’s proposed rule to give bureaucrats in Washington a stronger foothold in our backyards. The recent EPA and Army Corps of Engineers “Waters of the U.S.” proposed rule would give the government control over thousands of small streams, ditches and ponds on private property, some of which may contain little or no water. In bypassing Congress and without the consent of the governed, the EPA’s egregious agenda is poised to smother economic activity and job growth.
After a lengthy period of intense public outcry and bipartisan objections from lawmakers, including from the Small Business Committee, which I chair, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers delayed the rule. This is good, right? After all, a longer period to review this proposal allows Americans more time to voice their concerns to the EPA. However, the agencies haven’t been forthcoming about the rule’s actual consequences for small businesses, which makes it more deceiving and difficult to comprehend.
What we already know is that the EPA’s new federal regulatory scheme employs arbitrary, ambiguous, and confusing terms to vastly expand the size and scope of its authority. Yet, the agencies have failed to assess the impacts of the proposed rule on small businesses as the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires. As a result, the proposed rule is actually creating more confusion for businesses. And, slow-walking its proposed rule will do little to dispel the many fears held by property owners and small businesses around the country. It would be wiser to simply withdraw the rule altogether.
The EPA’s overreach is nothing new. With so much at stake, Congress needs to have more say when the EPA comes out with rules that will significantly impact our economy, and we should be given an up-or-down vote. The EPA should be required to take a second look at regulations already on the books, and further regulation should not take place until this happens.
The president has made clear that his administration will go to any length to enact his environmental agenda. His model of big government is spiraling out of control. Higher costs, more confusion and economic stagnation are all on the way unless the EPA is stopped. Our government is putting the squeeze on middle class Americans and small businesses, and the water rule needs to go. It’s time to close the flood gates on this administration.
Rep. Sam Graves is a Republican from Missouri and chairman of the House Small Business Committee.
Read the article online HERE.
The Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, under the chairmanship of Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), today held a hearing to examine the slow implementation of the numerous small business procurement reforms included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013. The law was signed by the President on January 3, 2013, yet the regulatory promulgation process has not begun yet.
The reforms make various changes to procurement law that help small businesses compete for federal contracts, including making small business goals part of senior agency employee reviews and bonus discussions, preventing contracting fraud by penalizing companies that front for large businesses, and changing limitations on subcontracting to make it easier for small companies to team on larger contracts, just to name a few. Given that most procurement regulations affecting small businesses must undergo a two-step regulatory process by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Acquisition Council, these delays make it unlikely that the reforms will be fully implemented before the next President takes office in 2017.
"The slow implementation of these critical small business contracting reforms is extremely disappointing, not only to legislators but also to the small businesses that could benefit from better public policy,” Chairman Hanna said. “Taxpayers want the Administration to actually implement laws which will help grow the economy. Unfortunately, the delay we are witnessing is the real-world consequence of an overly bureaucratic federal government. The priorities of our federal agencies are misplaced and need to change so that the sound policies approved by Congress and signed into law become a reality for American small businesses desperate to grow and create jobs.”
Materials from the hearing are available on the Committee’s website HERE.
Charlotte Baker, President of Digital Hands in Tampa, FL said, “The delayed implementation of this “similarly situated entity” [Section 1651 of P.L. 112-239- subcontracting transparency] provision has negatively impacted the [women-owned small business] community. Digital Hands’ recent experience is a clear example of why this is so important.
“My recommendation is simple: urge the SBA to implement this provision as quickly as possible to bring these necessary changes that impact businesses who are the economic engine in the United States. Thanks to this Committee’s leadership, Congress passed the change; now, the SBA needs to implement it. The longer the delay, the more that all small businesses will continue to miss out on opportunities.”
Larry Allen, President of Allen Federal Business Partners in McLean, VA said, “I am here today to discuss Sections 1681, 1682, and 1683 of the FY’13 NDAA. Collectively, these laws will limit the liability of companies receiving advice from federally-supported entities on government contracting matters, provide greater clarity about small business suspension and debarment procedures, and provide this body with additional reporting on that process to ensure the fair treatment of small business government contractors.
“Our firm recommends that Congress continue to provide oversight on the SBA’s lack of progress in implementing these three key elements of the 2013 NDAA and take steps to hold senior agency officials accountable for this inaction. Small firms are not getting the benefit of the protections originally envisioned. Businesses that are not truly small are still competing with legitimate businesses for small business work.”
Angela Styles, Partner at Crowell & Moring, LLP. in Washington, DC, said, “SBA’s failure to act has created significant ambiguity for federal contractors—both small and large. While this uncertainty keeps the lawyers busy, it costs government contractors—and ultimately results in higher prices for the federal government and taxpayers.”
The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), today held a hearing entitled, “Protecting America’s Youth: An Update from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.” During the hearing, Mr. John Ryan, president and chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), discussed the center’s ongoing work to protect children and return victims to their families.
Mr. Ryan noted, “NCMEC’s success is a testament to Congress’ unwavering commitment to the work NCMEC does, and in particular to this committee’s support as we continue expanding our public-private partnerships to help protect children from abduction and exploitation and introduce new prevention initiatives to educate parents, teachers and communities on how to keep children safer.”
“The only way to describe the work of NCMEC’s staff is heroic,” said Rep. Rokita. “They are making a difference in the lives of countless children and families. Protecting children has been and must remain a national priority. Mr. Ryan and his staff are to be commended for their hard work and dedication.”
Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) echoed those sentiments: “The center and its staff provide an invaluable service to families each and every day. Despite its impressive achievements, we must do more to protect the nation's most vulnerable youth. Toward that end, I am hopeful we will move forward with bipartisan legislation to strengthen support for victims of youth sex trafficking. These efforts, as well as the continued work of NCMEC, will help provide vulnerable youth the assistance they desperately need.”
Throughout this morning’s hearing, members emphasized the need for continued congressional support of NCMEC and bipartisan efforts to protect vulnerable youth:
Rep. Phil Roe (T-TN)
With our human trafficking bills that Congress passed in a bipartisan way just a few weeks ago, it really helped educate me about the enormity of this problem… if you’re not really paying attention, and if you don’t know what to pay attention to, someone could be right there in front of you, carrying on an apparently normal life and they’re not carrying on a normal life.
Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN)
As a U.S. Attorney, I had the opportunity to tour [NCMEC] and was very involved in our Internet crimes against children taskforce…thank you so much for your incredible help, I’m interested in learning whether there are any legal impediments that you have in working even closer with law enforcement.
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
One of our most crucial missions [is] keeping our children safe and I appreciate your work. I was pleased to learn of your initiative ‘Safe To Compete,’ which raises awareness of child athletes’ sexual abuse and provides training and preparedness opportunities.
Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
[NCMEC reauthorization] shows that when we find common ground in the House and the Senate, we can work together. Senator Leahy (R-VT) and I were the primary sponsors of your reauthorization, and I came to tour [NCMEC], which I recommend to all of my colleagues...The techniques you have to go through to find missing children is certainly a skill and an ability and something needed.
To learn more about today’s hearing, or to watch an archived webcast, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.
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We are pleased to hear today from Mr. John Ryan, the president and chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or NCMEC. Mr. Ryan will give us an update on NCMEC’s important work and how a number of legislative changes enacted last year are enhancing the efforts of this organization.
At a ceremony opening the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, President Ronald Reagan said, “All Americans, and especially our youth, should have the right and the opportunity to walk our streets, to play and to grow and to live their lives without being at risk.” Spoken 30 years ago, President Reagan’s words are just as true now as they were back then.
If we are truly fighting for all people, so that they can build better lives for themselves and their families, one of the key things we must help them with is the safety of their children.
No child should be afraid to walk home from school, hang out with friends at the mall, or surf the Internet. Yet sadly we know that’s just not the case. Too often a predator is lurking in the shadows, ready to do harm. Each year thousands of children go missing or fall victim to sexual exploitation and other heinous crimes. As the father of two young boys, I cannot fathom the pain and suffering these families are forced to bear. No one can, but we can do something about it.
For 30 years a national public-private partnership has worked to protect children and safely return victims to their families. NCMEC is at this center of this vital effort. The organization provides services, resources, and other assistance to victims of abduction and sexual exploitation, as well as their families and those who serve them.
The center’s 24-hour Cyber Tipline has provided law enforcement with more than 2.3 million leads of suspected child sexual exploitation. On its own this would constitute a stellar record, but the tip line is only one part of a larger effort. The center also manages a national database on missing children, organizes case management teams to serve as a single point of contact for families, and offers training and technical assistance to law enforcement and professionals working in health care and the juvenile justice system.
These are just a few of the services and support provided each and every day. The only way to describe the work of NCMEC’s staff is heroic; they are making a difference in the lives of countless children and families. In fact, just this year, in partnership with the FBI and Department of Justice, NCMEC participated in Operation Cross Country VIII. This week-long national campaign led to the arrest of 281 child traffickers and the rescue of 168 children – besting its work from the prior year.
However, we all know that despite these achievements, more work needs to be done. To help support that effort, last year Congress passed the E. Clay Shaw, Jr. Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act. Enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support, the legislation extended our partnership with NCMEC while providing additional accountability and oversight protections. The law also includes reforms to encourage greater coordination between law enforcement, states, and schools.
As one of many partners, Congress cannot stop there. There is more that can and should be done on behalf of these vulnerable youth. Toward that end, a number of important legislative proposals were introduced that will help strengthen our commitment to youth who are victims of sex trafficking. While no legislation can provide a perfect solution, the bills put forward last week will move our country in the right direction.
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Whenever I’m practicing baseball with my son, Nick, I always remind him to keep his eye on the ball. Of course, like any kid, he rolls his eyes and says “I know dad”…but he forgets unless I remind him, because I see it.
It’s the same in every sport… baseball, football, golf, tennis, soccer, etc…watching the ball is the key to success. If you take your eye off the ball in almost any sport you are doomed. I know it sounds so easy but we need to do it over and over again for days, weeks, months, throughout our career or we will overlook doing that one simple little thing in the most critical moment that will determine winning or losing…making the team or getting cut. You have to practice until it’s just instinctive and then you need to keep practicing it so you don’t lose the instinct. If you ever watch sports on TV and you see some world class athlete make an amazing play many times, you will hear the announcer say he/she never took their eye off the ball…its why they made the spectacular play. Hitting, kicking or catching the ball is the goal of an athlete.
So what does watching a ball have to do with us being successful in life/business? To accomplish our goals in life, business, or anyone of the areas of our F5 (Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness, Finance) we have to do exactly the same thing an athlete does. Our goal may not be fielding, catching or hitting a ball, but whatever our goal is we need to keep our eye on it all of the time. We need to be constantly focused on it and have rituals we do daily, weekly, monthly, annually that help us to keep our eye on the ball (the goal). It’s not just an every now and then thing…it’s something we need to be doing all of the time. Because if we don’t, just like my son who plays baseball, you are going to whiff it and strike out.
Spend time daily reviewing you goals…make it a ritual. If you do, your chances of turning those goals into accomplishments increases exponentially. Now if you don’t have specific goals for your life, business, etc. take the time to create them. It is amazing to me how most people don’t really have any specific goals around what they want to accomplish…most just want things to get better but don’t really know what that means. Get specific…think about each one of the areas of your F5 and then write down one or two things in each one of those areas you want to accomplish and put a date on when to have it happen. Then review them daily, think about them constantly, share them with your family, share with your friends, make them the screen saver on your computer, put them on a sticky note that is on the mirror in your bathroom, etc. Do it and you will be amazed with what will happen. You will knock it out of the park!
CHARLESTON, W.V. – Senator Jay Rockefeller today called on Congress to get serious about fixing our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges.
During a statewide transportation summit examining the condition—and future—of our country’s transportation infrastructure, Rockefeller expressed continued disappointment with Congress’ failure to act on infrastructure investment.
Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, welcomed United States Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx as the keynote...