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Posted by Randy | July 28, 2015
Not all education can be effectively accomplished in a classroom.  On-site technical training is invaluable in many industries, especially in the maritime and energy sectors. That’s why I am cosponsoring the Maritime and Energy Workforce Technical Training Enhancement Act, H.R. 2923, to establish maritime workforce training Centers of Excellence and support colleges’ efforts to expand maritime and energy workforce training programs, so our students are best equipped to succeed.

This bill is especially relevant to the 4th District because it prioritizes Centers of Excellence for colleges with existing partnerships with federal agencies or businesses in the public and private sector.  One example of this is Tidewater Community College in Hampton Roads, which has one of the most robust Maritime Workforce and Training Simulation Programs on the East Coast, making it an ideal candidate for a Center of Excellence.  I’m excited about the potential this provides for our students and our employers, and will continue to support initiatives that support our community colleges in the 4th District as they strive to provide critical educational and workforce training.
Posted by Randy | July 24, 2015

Transparency is the foundation of every efficient system – especially in government.  That’s why I’m championing the ALERT Act (H.R. 1759), to require all federal agencies to provide detailed information about how much proposed regulations will cost and what impact they will have on American businesses – before the new regulation goes into effect.  This does two things: it increases the accountability of these agencies and it minimizes the risk of new regulations harming our entrepreneurs and small business’ ability to create, compete, and succeed. The ALERT Act accomplishes these goals by:  

            1.  Forcing federal agencies to give more detailed annual disclosures about planned regulations and their expected costs, final rules, and cumulative regulatory costs;

            2.  Requiring monthly, online updates on planned regulations and their expected costs, so that those who will be affected know in real-time how they can better plan for the impacts on their budgets, operations, and hiring; and

            3.  Preventing new regulations from taking effect unless the required disclosures are made during the 6 months preceding the regulations’ issuance.

I will keep you posted on this bill’s progress.

Not too long ago, I visited Rep. Bill Posey’s office where he created a physical representation of the burden of these regulations, by stacking up all the new and proposed federal regulations from April 2011-present in a big pile. Our small businesses already contribute so much to our economy -- just imagine what they would be able to accomplish if they were freed from all this bulky bureaucracy.  Check out a picture and more of my thoughts, here.

Posted by Randy | May 18, 2015

A recent study by American Action Forum (AAF), an independent policy institute, provides some data-driven insight into the impact that regulatory cost burdens are having on the private sector.

The study details how the Administration’s regulatory policies support big government and create big problems for the rest of America – particularly for small businesses. That’s not surprising: While today’s heavy load of regulations burden businesses of all sizes, larger businesses can be better able to adapt and absorb the costs associated with regulations. Small businesses, on the other hand, may not have the time or resources available to comply with the costs of burdensome, duplicative, or confusing regulations – which can result in companies closing and lost jobs.

To give you an idea of the enormous number of regulations on the books, below is a picture I took recently in Representative Bill Posey’s office, who says he has been stacking up all the new and proposed federal regulations from April 2011-present. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words – or in this case, thousands of regulations.

To me, it simply doesn’t make sense. We want our small businesses to be growing, thriving, innovating, and creating value and jobs – so why cripple them with a back-breaking amount of regulations to comply with? That is not to say certain regulations are not necessary and beneficial – they are. But they must be streamlined, make sense, and be weighed against the impact they will have on our small business owners who were responsible for generating 60% to 80% of net new jobs created annually over the last decade.

That’s why I recently cosponsored a bill to require federal agencies to provide timely, detailed information about how much proposed regulations will cost and what impact they will have on businesses, families, and communities – before the regulation is allowed to go into effect. It’s commonsense.
Posted by Randy | April 01, 2015
It’s true there is a myriad of complex issues facing our nation, but there are also common sense action steps Congress can take right now, which shouldn’t be that difficult to agree on. Here are three things Washington needs to do to light up the economy and better support small businesses:

1)    Streamline and cut back on unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations.
2)    Create a tax system that is more fair, less complex, and allows American companies to stay competitive.
3)    Get out of the way. Allow entrepreneurs the freedom to innovate, grow their businesses, and create jobs.

I’m working to reintroduce sanity and accountability to the regulation process, require federal agencies to consider the impact their rules will have on small business growth and job creation, and create a simpler, fairer tax code.
Posted by Randy | March 12, 2015

Small businesses are one of the greatest tools we have for lighting up the economy. That’s why I make it a priority to ease regulatory burdens, provide access to capital, and support small business growth. It’s why I cosponsored the REINS Act (H.R. 427), which reintroduces common sense into the regulatory process by requiring Congress to vote on all new major regulations before they are enforced on citizens and businesses. And it’s why I make it a point to regularly check in with small business owners across the 4th District and get their feedback, ideas, and insight on the challenges they’re facing.

Bureaucrats in Washington do not create jobs. Instead, the federal government should act to enable (not obstruct) economic growth for the real job creators in America: small businesses and American entrepreneurs.

Posted by Randy | September 29, 2014

Recently, the House of Representatives considered The Jobs for America Act, which is a package of bills supporting job creation through streamlining regulations, encouraging the hiring of American veterans, and providing relief for small businesses from Obamacare.

Some of the bills included are The REINS Act, (H.R. 367), which ensures that Congress votes on all new major regulations before they are enforced on citizens and businesses; The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, (H.R. 3086), which protects internet access for all Americans and fosters growth in the digital economy; and the America's Small Business Tax Relief Act, (H.R. 4457), which ensures small businesses have the certainty they need to grow their businesses and create jobs.

Government should be an enabler of economic growth, not a barrier.

Posted by Randy | September 19, 2014
This week, the House passed the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act, (H.R. 5405) which reduces the regulatory burden on small businesses and spurs growth. It also includes several provisions to help emerging companies raise capital and grow.

By reducing the regulations crushing small businesses, we take a step towards freeing them up to light up our economy. It makes sense: real growth isn’t created by pulling a lever in Washington – real growth happens when our small businesses, innovators, and entrepreneurs have the ability and opportunity to create jobs, expand their companies, and push us forward.

I also cosponsored the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, (H.R. 367), which requires Congress to take an up-or-down vote on every new major rule issued by a Federal agency before it could be enforced on businesses and the American people.  This ensures that the Executive Branch is being held accountable for the barrage of burdensome regulations being imposed on job creators. It’s common sense.
Posted by Randy | June 27, 2014

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014, H.R. 4457, with my support. This bill makes Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code permanent, providing important tax relief to small U.S. companies. It helps small business streamline records, purchase equipment, and reduce uncertainty for planning. This legislation passed by a vote of 272 – 144.

Bottom-line: It’s simple. Washington needs to get out of the way. We need to eliminate burdensome regulations and reduce the crippling tax load on small businesses so that they have the freedom they need to work, earn, grow, and create jobs.    

Standing up to big government on behalf of small businesses is a duty I take very seriously. Read about my recent work to ease burdens, provide access to capital, and support small business growth, here.
Posted by Randy | May 15, 2014

As we celebrate Small Business Week and recognize the value and importance of small businesses not just to our communities, but to the economic stability and prosperity of our nation, I wanted to share this article with you written by Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee.  

Small Business Week
By Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) - 05/14/14 09:00 AM EDT 

Every small business throughout the country is a story of someone’s hard work, a good idea, or a plan to make life better for their family. Many succeed, some don’t. We should respect the courage, risk and sacrifice required to build a business. One of the purposes of National Small Business Week is recognition of that effort, but there’s more to it. We should examine policies that are helping and hurting small business and make the appropriate changes to encourage their growth because our economy hinges on their success.

Small businesses are responsible for about half the nation’s economic output, and when it comes to jobs, small firms have an outsized impact. Small companies comprise about half of all private sector jobs in total, and lead the way in job creation with 60-to-80 percent of all new jobs, depending on the year. All told, small firms can take credit for 65 percent of jobs created over a recent 17-year span, according to the Small Business Administration.

It’s fair to say that if small businesses are thriving, then the economy is likely to be healthy. If small businesses are struggling, then the economy is not strong. 

Over the past month, the latest economic information has been a mix of good news and bad. The unemployment rate has fallen, but a closer look shows far too many Americans leaving the workforce. Moreover, the economy slowed to a mere 0.1 percent growth last quarter. Throughout the very slow recovery of the past several years, the economy has never really roared back or created jobs at the pace the country needs.

Small businesses are a major part of the solution for jobs and growth. When small firms grow, the benefits spread throughout the economy. The irony is that these businesses are often treated by Washington as though they are part of the problem. During the last five years, small businesses have faced numerous roadblocks to growth, including mounting federal regulations, higher taxes, economic uncertainty, and burdensome requirements from the health care law.

As one Connecticut small business owner, Dan De Clercq, commented to the Small Business Committee through our interactive website Small Biz Open Mic, “Since ObamaCare became a discussion in 2008, our yearly premium has doubled from 113k to 220k presently. Plus our deductibles and co-pays have increased to obscene levels. Eliminate or halve my corporate income taxes, help bring my company-sponsored health care back to normal levels and I'd hire four more people.”

Dan’s not alone in his experience. A recent NFIB study shows that ObamaCare’s Health Insurance Tax will cost the economy up to 286,000 jobs, and 57 percent of those jobs would be from small businesses. Over the past five years, the cost of new regulations on the American economy has spiked by $73 billion annually. The Administration has issued a burdensome 157 new major rules, each with economic costs of $100 million or more. This government power grab is predictably not leading to robust economic growth.

Despite the state of the economy, the U.S. Senate continues to ignore nearly 40 growth and jobs bills passed by the House. These bills range from reducing red tape to ensuring access to affordable energy.

Small businesses are widely supported by Americans, but they could use some more common-sense from Washington. The nation’s 28 million small businesses don’t need new bureaucracies or more government control; they need the administration to get out of the way so they can grow.

National Small Business Week is a great time to say “thank-you” to a small business in your neighborhood and “shop small.” I also believe this week is a great reminder that if Washington is going to talk-the-talk then Washington needs to get serious about a small business growth agenda that is going to back up that rhetoric. 

Graves has represented Missouri's 6th Congressional District since 2001. He is chairman of the Small Business Committee and also sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Posted by Randy Forbes | March 18, 2014

According to The Center for Regulatory Solutions, a project of the Small Business & Enterprise Council, the regulatory cost per U.S. household is $14,678.  In 2012, the median household income was $51,017.  That means the regulatory cost per household is nearly 29% of the average family income.  


 At the end of February, the House passed a package of bills, with my support, to address this over regulation, and instead focus on spurring job and economic growth.

The Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency Act,H.R.2804, requires the head of each federal agency to submit a monthly report for each rule they expect to propose or finalize during the upcoming year; requires agencies to choose the lowest cost rulemaking alternative that meets statutory objectives (while permitting costlier rules when needed to protect public health, safety, or welfare); requires advance notice of proposed major rulemakings to increase public input; and ensures that agencies fully analyze the effects of regulations on small businesses and consider ways to reduce unnecessarily burdensome rules.

It’s time to cut the red tape and foster an environment that allows businesses to thrive and grow. I will continue to work to reduce burdensome regulations on American families and small businesses.