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Executive Session

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. to consider S. 1732.
 
Agenda:

S. 1732, the Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015, Sponsors: U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a...

Taking Flight: Small Business Utilization of Unmanned Aircraft

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 11:00am
On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 11:00 A.M., the Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing titled, ​Taking Flight: Small Business Utilization of Unmanned AircraftThe hearing will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The purpose of the hearing is to examine how small businesses will use unmanned aircraft for commercial activities in the United States. Currently, commercial operations of unmanned aircraft are very limited; however, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working towards safely integrating them into the national airspace system.  Earlier this year, the FAA issued a proposed rule to permit small unmanned aircraft (those weighing 55 pounds or less) to operate for non-hobby, non-recreational purposes.  Once the regulation is finalized, the FAA expects that small businesses will conduct the majority of commercial operations. 
 

Opening Statement:

Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

Witnesses and Testimony:
 

  • Mr. Brian Wynne, President & CEO, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Arlington, VA
  •  

  • Mr. Mike Gilkey, CEO and Director of Flight Operations, 3D Aerial Solutions LLC, Dayton, OH
  •  

  • Mr. Brian Streem, CEO/Founder, AeroCine, Brooklyn, NY
  • Additional Items:

    Examining the Governance and Integrity of International Soccer

    U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security, will hold a hearing entitled "Examining the Governance and Integrity of International Soccer" on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 2:30 p.m.

    The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the international nonprofit that organizes the World Cup tournament and is responsible for the global regulation and promotion of soccer. The hearing will examine the integrity and impending leadership changes at FIFA, ...

    "We are pioneers"

    House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 12:00am

    Small Business and the Future of Unmanned Flight

    WASHINGTON - Today, Small Business Committee Members heard from entrepreneurs working on the cutting edge of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) industry. At a hearing, the Committee examined the innovative use of UAS by small businesses, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) progress in developing rules for wider commercial application.

    After the hearing, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) commented on the promise of the industry and the potential threat of stifling these entrepreneurs with overregulation:

    “There are moments when we can unleash a positive force of innovation and job creation if we do not smother it with regulations. Most of the time, the government misses these moments, and we’re left to wonder what could have been. While we must promote public safety and proper usage of unmanned aircraft, we must ensure that the regulations are carefully crafted so that they don’t prevent this new industry from innovating and helping grow our economy. As Chairman of this Committee, it is my goal to work with the entrepreneurs leading this industry to make sure it can be the positive force that we all know it is.”

    The FAA is currently issuing limited authorizations for commercial UAS operations in low-risk, controlled environments. It was required to issue a final rule to allow small UAS operations by August 2014, but missed that deadline. Furthermore, the FAA is required to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace system by September 30, 2015.

    Other notable quotes include:

    “Unmanned systemshold the potential to truly revolutionize our economy and way of lifein the United States… However, the highly restricted nature of the current interim rules and the slow pace of permanent rulemaking continue to stifle the ability of small business to capitalize on this market’s potential… Small business people like me are slugging their way through the obstacles and bureaucracy to fulfill our dreams of creating this new industry.We are pioneers, determined to succeed and believe the country and world will be beneficiaries.-Mr. Mike Gilkey, CEO and Director of Flight Operations, 3D Aerial Solutions LLC,Dayton, OH

    “The FAA’s efforts to integrate UAVs into the national airspace (NAS) are commendable in the face of extraordinary challenges... We recognize the FAA prefers the incremental approach of crawl -- walk – run. But right nowregulation in the United States is sorely lagging behind the technology, which is sprinting.”Mr. Brian Streem, CEO/Founder, AeroCine, Brooklyn, NY

    “UAS increase human potential, allowing us to execute dangerous or difficult tasks safely and efficiently... Given the technology’s potential, it is important that the FAA finalize the small UAS rules as quickly as possible. Moreover, Congress needs to pass – and the President needs to sign into law – an FAA reauthorization measure before the current authorization expires on September 30, 2015.” -Mr. Brian Wynne, President & CEO, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Arlington, VA

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    House Committee Chairmen Call for Withdrawal of Administration’s Harmful, Unnecessary Blacklisting Proposal

    House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 12:00am

    House Committee Chairmen Call for Withdrawal of Administration’s Harmful, Unnecessary
    Blacklisting Proposal

    WASHINGTON – Republican leaders of three congressional committees today wrote to the Department of Labor and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to call for the withdrawal of the administration’s proposed blacklisting guidance and regulation. Expressing concern over the anticipated harmful consequences of the proposal, leaders on the Education and the Workforce Committee, Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Small Business Committee explain:

    The proposed guidance and rule institute new burdensome and unnecessary requirements that will delay an already cumbersome federal procurement process and will impose additional costs on employers, federal agencies, and American taxpayers.

    In 2014, President Obama issued an executive order to require contractors and subcontractors to disclose potential violations of 14 federal labor laws and equivalent state laws from the preceding three years. On May 28, 2015, the Department of Labor and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council issued proposed guidance and a draft regulation intended to implement the executive order.

    While the chairmen note in their letter that “bad actors denying workers basic protections should not be rewarded with government contracts funded by taxpayer dollars,” they assert current laws already provide the tools necessary to hold them accountable. As the members write:

    We do not see the need to implement measures through executive fiat to fix a problem that simply does not exist. Rather than implement another layer of bureaucracy, the Administration should work with Congress and stakeholders to use the existing system to crack down on bad actors and ensure the rights of America’s workers are protected.

    Furthermore, the committee leaders write that agencies must have a strong basis for implementing regulations, especially when they “threaten due process, impose onerous reporting burdens, and limit competition by favoring certain competitors while blacklisting others, resulting in significant job losses.” According to the chairmen, the proposed rule and guidance rely on biased reports lacking objective empirical evidence in order to impose this “new and burdensome” reporting requirement.

    If the proposed guidance and rule are not withdrawn, the chairmen ask that the administration extend the public comment period by 90 days to “ensure that interested parties have adequate time to review, assess, and provide meaningful input.” The current period, they argue, does not provide stakeholders enough time to “effectively evaluate the full ramifications of the proposals.”

    The letter was signed by:

    • Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN);
    • Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT);
    • Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH);
    • Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN);
    • Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI);
    • Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH);
    • Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee Chairman Richard Hanna (R-NY); and
    • Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations Subcommittee Chairman Cresent Hardy (R-NV).

    To read the full letter, click here.

    # # #

    Unlocking the Cures for America’s Most Deadly Diseases

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, will hold a hearing entitled “Unlocking the Cures for America’s Most Deadly Diseases” on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.
     
    The hearing will focus on incentivizing cure development for the most deadly diseases. In recent years, U.S. biomedical research and innovation has been lagging. According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the U.S. share of global biomedical research and development expendi...

    Taking Flight: Small Business Utilization of Unmanned Aircraft

    House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 12:00am

    On Wednesday, the Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing titled, ​Taking Flight: Small Business Utilization of Unmanned AircraftThe hearing will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

    The purpose of the hearing is to examine how small businesses will use unmanned aircraft for commercial activities in the United States. Currently, commercial operations of unmanned aircraft are very limited; however, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working towards safely integrating them into the national airspace system.  Earlier this year, the FAA issued a proposed rule to permit small unmanned aircraft (those weighing 55 pounds or less) to operate for non-hobby, non-recreational purposes.  Once the regulation is finalized, the FAA expects that small businesses will conduct the majority of commercial operations. 
     

    Opening Statement:

    Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) 

    Witnesses and Testimony:
     

  • Mr. Brian Wynne, President & CEO, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Arlington, VA
  •  

  • Mr. Mike Gilkey, CEO and Director of Flight Operations, 3D Aerial Solutions LLC, Dayton, OH
  •  

  • Mr. Brian Streem, CEO/Founder, AeroCine, Brooklyn, NY
  •  

  • Dr. Tim McLain, Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Director of the Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

  • Additional Materials: 

  • Hearing Notice
  • Witness List
  • House Passes Four Small Business Bills Opening Doors for Veterans, Entrepreneurs, and Disaster Victims

    House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 12:00am

    WASHINGTON -The House of Representatives just passed four bills offered by Small Business Committee members that will provide better access to capital for small businesses and accountability for the federal government.

    It’s a Monday evening, and while small businesses and hopeful entrepreneurs across the country are taking stock of what they accomplished today, I’m proud of what my colleagues in the House of Representatives did for them,” Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) said. “These bills will help veterans start new businesses, modernize a microloan program that that can help entrepreneurs get off the ground, strengthen thriving public-private partnerships through SBICs, and make sure that the government is prepared to help communities rebuild in the aftermath of disasters.”

    The following pieces of legislation are now one step closer to becoming law:

    H.R. 2499: "Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015"

    H.R. 208: "Superstorm Sandy Relief Act of 2015"

    H.R. 1023: "The Small Business Investment Company Capital Act of 2015"

    H.R. 2670: "Microloan Modernization Act of 2015"

    All four bills passed with bipartisan support out of the Small Business Committee in June. H.R. 208, H.R. 1023, and H.R. 2670 passed the House of Representatives this afternoon by voice vote, and H.R. 2499, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, passed by a vote of 410-1 tonight.

    ###

    Technology Allows Us to Work Smarter, Faster

    NAWBO National - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 1:14pm

    Websites. Social networks. Video conferencing. Virtual office technology. Technology is everywhere in business today. It brings us closer together when we’re communities, states or even countries apart. It allows us to connect from virtually anywhere. It streamlines processes and makes us more efficient. It allows us to communicate with our audiences in unique and exciting new ways.

    The theme of this issue of NAWBO ONE is technology. We’re proud to feature tech tips from Leslie Fishlock, owner of Geek Girl—a NAWBO media partner that provides training and conferences targeted at helping women become comfortable with using technology in their businesses and everyday lives. From sending mass e-mails to protecting yourself from viruses and hackers to wisely tweeting, posting and sharing, Leslie has great tips for staying safe and savvy when it comes to using technology in your business. Be sure to check them out!

    Meanwhile, NAWBO has a major technology launch on the horizon that we’re excited to tell you about. We are in the final stages of introducing a brand-new NAWBO National website that reflects the beautiful new branding we rolled out last year! The site is more user friendly than ever, responsive from any device (PC, tablet or phone) and packed with valuable content, from articles to videos to recorded webinars, that we will update regularly to help our members learn and grow. As part of this, we will offer similarly branded microsites to our chapters to help streamline their website management by providing national content yet allowing for the local chapters to customize and integrate local content. Stay tuned for details in the weeks ahead!

    In the spirit of pride as we just celebrated Independence Day, it’s important to remember that we stand united as one voice. We would also like to congratulate the USA Women’s Soccer team for making history and winning the 2015 World Cup! If you didn’t catch it, the tagline of their Nike ad read, “Strong alone. Unstoppable together.” Fantastic! It’s a mantra we can all rally around. Here at NAWBO, we are a community of extraordinary women doing extraordinary things through our businesses and other passions. While technology allows us to work and communicate faster and smarter, it’s the personal connections we make with one another along the way that really make us better together as women business owners.

    Along these lines, we are celebrating NAWBO’s 40th anniversary with an incredible and one-of-a-kind event at the National Women’s Business Conference in the fall! I encourage you to join me in San Antonio, Texas, September 27 for our Leadership Boot Camp and September 28-29 for our National Women’s Business Conference. We have three amazing days of personal connections, inspiration and resources planned for you that will truly inspire and change your world. Learn more and register here. I hope to see you in person in September!

    —Crystal Arredondo, 2015-2016 NAWBO National Board Chair


    Categories: Latest News

    Thune Sets Mark-Up of Transportation Bill with Regulatory and Consumer Protection Reforms

    The Committee will convene on Wednesday, July 15 to consider and vote on the Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015.

    Senate Lawmakers Propose Sweeping Auto Safety Reforms

    WASHINGTON, DC -- Automotive industry executives who cover up or conceal the death and injury risks of defective vehicles or parts could face up five years in prison, under sweeping auto safety legislation filed in the Senate late today.

    The measure, sponsored by three leading Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee, comes in advance of a mark-up the panel will hold next week on a broader Republican transportation bill that includ...

    The Calm Before the Storm: Oversight of SBA's Disaster Loan Program

    House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 12:00am
    On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at 11:00 A.M., the Committee on Small Business will hold a held a hearing titled, ​ ​The Calm Before the Storm: Oversight of SBA's Disaster Loan Program. The hearing will be held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

     

    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.
     

    Opening Statement:

    Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

    Witnesses and Testimony:

     

  • Mr. James Rivera, Associate Administrator, Office of Disaster Assistance, United States Small Business Administration, Washington, DC
  •  

  • Mr. William Shear, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, United States Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC
  •  

     

    Additional Items:

    Technologies Transforming Transportation: Is the Government Keeping Up?

    The Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security will hold a hearing entitled “Technologies Transforming Transportation: Is the Government Keeping Up?” on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. (time changed from 10:00 a.m.).

    This hearing will focus on innovative technologies that improve the safety and efficiency of our nation's transportation network, particularly the movement of goods through the supply chain. Witnesses will provide an overview of the development and implementation of new technologies within their busines...

    Supreme Court Observations: Michigan v. EPA

    WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 3:52pm
    Featured Expert Column – Environmental Law and Policy by Samuel B. Boxerman, Sidley Austin LLP with Ben Tannen, Sidley Austin LLP On June 29, in Michigan v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (“MATS”) rule to the D.C. Circuit, holding the agency should have considered costs when […]
    Categories: Latest News

    King v. Burwell’s Implications for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

    WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 1:33pm
    Guest Commentary Kim Wilcoxon, Thompson Hine LLP Three years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision in NFIB v. Sebelius and upheld the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last week, the Supreme Court announced its decision in King v. Burwell and upheld the Internal Revenue […]
    Categories: Latest News

    Attorneys as Qui Tam Relators?: False Claims Act Doesn’t Preempt Ethics Laws and Cannons

    WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 1:12pm
    Guest Commentary by Tara Parker, a 2015 Judge K.K. Legett Fellow at the Washington Legal Foundation and a student at Texas Tech School of Law. A federal district judge in the Southern District of Mississippi recently reaffirmed something that should be intuitively obvious to most attorneys:  the federal False Claims Act (FCA) does not relieve […]
    Categories: Latest News

    Supreme Court Observations: Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC

    WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 9:19pm
    Featured Expert Contributor – Intellectual Property (Patents) Jeffri A. Kaminski, Venable LLP The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided a closely watched case concerning contract rights and patent royalties. In Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC the Court upheld its long standing precedent and determined that parties cannot agree to patent royalty payments that extend beyond the […]
    Categories: Latest News

    Eleventh Circuit Weighs in on Need for Consumer Class Actions’ Plaintiffs to be Ascertainable

    WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 4:26pm
    Whether a class of plaintiffs must be “ascertainable”—i.e. capable of being feasibly identified through an objective process—continues to be one of the most contested legal issues in class-action litigation. We’ve written about ascertainability mostly in the context of food labeling lawsuits (our collection is here) but it has arisen in claims involving other consumer products. […]
    Categories: Latest News

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