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Small Businesses and Their Limitations Without Reliable Access to Rural Broadband

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 05/30/2019 - 10:00am

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure will hold a hearing titled, “Small Businesses and Their Limitations Without Reliable Access to Rural Broadband.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Bulltear Industries, 24543 Olinda Trail N, Scandia, MN, 55073. 

Access to reliable and affordable broadband service is imperative to not only the success of small businesses, but the overall economic development of a region. In many rural parts of the country, however, reliable access is far from guaranteed. Over 24 million Americans, the vast majority of whom live in rural areas, lack access to broadband at benchmark speeds. The hearing will focus on broadband deployment efforts in rural America and the challenges small firms in those areas face without reliable broadband services. Additionally, witnesses will suggest potential policy changes Congress could make to improve broadband access in the nation’s rural areas. 


Hearing Notice 

Hearing Memo 

Witness List 

Witnesses 

Mr. Adam Artz
Realtor
Realty Executives
Blaine, MN
Testimony 

Mr. Marc Johnson
Director
East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative
Braham, MN
Testimony 

Mr. Greg Carlson
Executive Director of Partnered & Affiliated Boards
Cambridge Presbyterian Homes
Roseville, MN
Testimony 

Mr. Matt Crescenzo
Owner
Bulltear Industries, Inc.
Scandia, MN
Testimony 

*Witness testimony will be posted within 24 hours after the hearing’s occurrence


 

Sens. Wicker, Blumenthal, Cantwell, Reps. Schakowsky, Ryan, King Announce Legislation on Reducing Hot Car Tragedies

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, Richard Blumenthal and Maria Cantwell, joined U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Tim Ryan and Pete King to announce legislation, the HOT CARS Act, to address injuries and fatalities around the country as a result of hot interiors in vehicles. The legislation would mandate that all new vehicles be equipped with an alert system to remind drivers to check their back seat. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky today chaired an Energy Commerce Subcommittee hearing on summer driving dangers and safety issues.

Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Thune, Markey Bill to Crack Down on Illegal and Abusive Robocalls

U.S. Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., a member and former chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and current chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, Ed Markey, D-Mass., also a member of the Commerce Committee and author of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., current chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, issued the following statements after the Senate overwhelmingly approved their bipartisan Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151) by a vote of XX-XX. It now heads to the House for its consideration.

Wicker, Cantwell ask TSA for Information on Plan to Divert Agency Resources to the Border

Today, Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation sent a letter to Admiral Pekoske and Acting Deputy Administrator Cogswell of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expressing concern about the agency’s plan to divert personnel to the southern border.

Commerce Leaders Introduce HOT CARS Act

U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, together with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., ranking member of the Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection, today introduced the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in the Rear Seat (HOT CARS) Act of 2019. This legislation would help to prevent heat stroke-related deaths due to children being left alone in a vehicle.

Senate Leaders Announce Bipartisan 5G Leadership Act

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mark Warner, D-Va., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., today introduced the United States 5G Leadership Act of 2019. This legislation would establish U.S. policy for the commercial deployment and security of Fifth Generation (5G) networks by creating the Supply Chain Security Trust Fund grant program. This program would help U.S. communications providers remove from their networks Chinese equipment determined to threaten national security.

Immigration and the Small Business Workforce

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 11:30am

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Immigration and the Small Business Workforce.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:30 A.M. on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Temporary and permanent immigration have long been at the forefront of national conversation. Much of the time, the labor force needs and concerns of small businesses in every sector are overlooked. Members will hear testimony from witnesses on the challenges they face in recruitment and retention of domestic workers, and what solutions immigrant labor has provided in addressing these issues. The hearing will also examine the current challenges small businesses face in hiring qualified foreign labor and what legislative solutions would help them.


Hearing Notice 

Hearing Memo 

Witness List 

Witnesses 

Mr. Dan Wallace  
Director of Special Projects  
New American Economy  
New York, NY
Testimony 

Mr. Derek Shoare 
Senior Vice President 
Challenger Sports 
Lenexa, KS
Testimony 

Mr. Nick Sabino 
President 
Deer Park Roofing, Inc. 
Cincinnati, OH 
Testimony 

Mr. Daniel Griswold 
Senior Research Fellow 
Co-Director, Trade and Immigration Project 
Mercatus Center at George Mason University 
Arlington, VA
Testimony 

*Witness testimony will be posted within 24 hours after the hearing’s occurrence


 

Investing in Community: The SBA’s Community Advantage Loan Program

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 10:00am

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations will meet for a hearing titled, “Investing in Community: The SBA’s Community Advantage Loan Program.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The SBA’s Community Advantage loan program was designed to reach communities traditionally underserved by conventional lenders. The program was created in 2011 and has remained in pilot status since its inception. The hearing will enable Members to learn about the program and its effectiveness in local communities.


Hearing Notice 

Hearing Memo 

Witness List 

Witnesses 

Ms. Angela Mavridis
Owner
Tribali Foods
San Marino, CA
Testimony 

Mr. Robert Villareal
Executive Vice President
CDC Small Business Finance
San Diego, CA
Testimony 

Ms. Janie Barrera
President and CEO
LiftFund
San Antonio, TX
Testimony 

Mr. John Kropf
President
Growth Capital Corp
Cleveland, OH
Testimony 

*Witness testimony will be posted within 24 hours after the hearing’s occurrence



 

Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled, “Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The hearing will examine how algorithmic decision-making and machine learning on internet platforms influence the public. Witnesses will provide insights on ways technology companies use algorithms and machine learning to dictate outcomes, and whether algorithm transparency or algorithm explanation are appropriate policy responses.

Atmospheric Science Research and Forecasting Innovation

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather, will convene a hearing titled, “Atmospheric Science Research and Forecasting Innovation,” at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2019. The hearing will examine the current state of atmospheric and forecast research. Witnesses will provide insight on how to make atmospheric science research more broadly accessible and available. The panel will also provide feedback on the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 and the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act of 2018.

Oversight of the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 10:00am

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure will meet for a hearing titled,“Oversight of the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (NDAA) brought significant changes to the Women-Owned Small Business Program (WOSB Program). Specifically, it authorized the Small Business Administration (SBA) to implement sole-source authority; eliminate the possibility of businesses to self-certify eligibility to the WOSB Program and; allowed SBA to put in place a new certification process. In 2019, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a study discussing the extent to which these changes had been implemented and other oversight concerns that had been previously identified. The hearing will focus on GAO’s findings and SBA’s actions to address them. 


Hearing Notice 

Hearing Memo 

Witness List

Witnesses 

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

Mr. Robb N. Wong
Associate Administrator
Office of Government Contracting and Business Development
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC
Testimony

*Witness testimony will be posted within 24 hours after the hearing’s occurrence


 

Wicker Statement on Huawei Announcement

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today released the following statement upon the announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it has placed Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei on the Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List.

Committee Approves Maritime Administration Authorization and Enhancement Act

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today approved the Maritime Administration (MARAD) Authorization and Enhancement Act, authorizing appropriations for MARAD for Fiscal Year 2020, as well as four additional bills.

Nomination Hearing for Administrator of Federal Aviation Administration

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a nominations hearing on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 to consider the presidential nomination of Stephen Dickson to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. The hearing will immediately follow the executive session in Dirksen Senate Office Building G50.

Member Day Hearing: Committee on Small Business

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 05/15/2019 - 11:30am

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Member Day Hearing: Committee on Small Business.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:30 A.M. on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Participating Members will testify before the Committee about their legislative interests and priorities as they relate to policies under the Committee’s legislative jurisdiction. House Rule X, Clause 1(q) defines the legislative jurisdiction of the Committee.


Hearing Notice 

Hearing Memo 

Witness List 

Witnesses 

The Honorable Ed Case
Member of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC
Testimony

The Honorable Gilbert R. Cisneros
Member of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC
Testimony 

*Witness testimony will be posted within 24 hours after the hearing’s occurrence


 

Executive Session

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene an executive session on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in Dirksen Senate Office Building G50 to consider the following legislative measures.

<p>The committee now convenes to

The committee now convenes to consider the nomination of Stephen M. Dickson for the position of Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Prior to his retirement last year, Mr. Dickson served as Senior Vice President of Flight Operations for Delta Air Lines. Mr. Dickson began his career nearly 30 years ago with Delta and as a pilot following over a decade of military service as an Air Force fighter pilot. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and Georgia State University’s law school.   

The President nominated Mr. Dickson to be FAA Administrator at an especially challenging time for the agency. The FAA is the world’s Gold Standard for aviation safety. However, the recent overseas crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have raised serious questions about the FAA’s role in aircraft certification. I hope to hear how Mr. Dickson plans to restore the flying public’s full confidence in the agency if he is confirmed. I can assure him that this committee will continue its oversight and hold the FAA accountable for any mistakes we uncover, but we also stand ready to work with the FAA on any necessary reforms.   

Although safety is FAA’s foremost responsibility, the agency must also facilitate innovation in our airspace. The committee held a hearing last week on the safe integration of new entrants into the national airspace. Unmanned aircraft are increasingly everyday tools with over 2 million drones projected to be operating in the U.S. airspace over the next five years. The commercial space launch sector is set to increase the number of launches and reentries through the airspace on the way to-and-from outer space. Urban Air Mobility companies are fast developing “air taxies” which will revolutionize travel – and I want to be among the first customers. The bottom line is that the airspace, especially at low altitudes, is going to get busier and the FAA must help manage the safe and efficient integration of all users – new and existing – into the national airspace.

If confirmed, Mr. Dickson will also need to ensure that longstanding efforts to modernize the air traffic control system, especially NextGen, stay on track. The DOT Inspector General and Government Accountability Office have documented cost overruns, significant delays, and other problems in many ATC modernization programs. Mr. Dickson has experience working with the FAA in these areas, and if he is confirmed, I hope that he will be able to improve the overall management of these critical efforts.

So, I look forward to Mr. Dickson’s testimony and the question and answer and I now turn to the distinguished Ranking Member for her opening statement. 

Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled, “Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The hearing will examine how algorithmic decision-making and machine learning on internet platforms influence the public. Witnesses will provide insights on ways technology companies use algorithms and machine learning to dictate outcomes, and whether algorithm transparency or algorithm explanation are appropriate policy responses.

The Emerging Space Environment: Operational, Technical, and Policy Challenges

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, will convene a hearing titled, “The Emerging Space Environment: Operational, Technical, and Policy Challenges,” at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. The hearing will examine civil-military coordination, cooperation, and related issues within the space domain.

Committee Leaders Urge FCC Chairman to Speed Deployment of Spectrum for 5G

On Friday, U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai urging the commission to redouble its efforts to make mid-band spectrum available for 5G.

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