The Decline of Small Business Optimism
The National Federation of Independent Business, an organization that regularly surveys small businesses across America, reported a decline in small business optimism for the third straight month. Nearly two-thirds of small business owners responding to the survey said it was a bad time to expand their business operations. The economic data released by the NFIB makes it clear that the increasing role of government in the lives of small businesses has left them treading in rough waters. Read more.
The Weight of Regulations
Congressman Forbes has cosponsored a bill to help lift the burden of federal regulations from businesses. More...
A Simplified Tax Code
Congressman Forbes supports an optional flat tax to simply the tax code and help small businesses. More...
Working for Small Businesses
Read about Congressman Forbes' work to reform the tax code, repeal burdensome regulations, and stand up to big government.More...
Worked to simplify SEC filing requirements for small businesses. Congressman Forbes supported a bill, H.R. 701, which requires the SEC to finalize rules that exempt certain companies making initial public offerings of up to $50 million from full SEC registration, as required by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS) Act. Although the JOBS Act, directing the SEC to create regulations for exempting these businesses from full registration and filing requirements has been in effect for a year, the SEC has not yet taken any action to implement these changes. This bill passed by a vote of 416-6.
Supporting Small Business Growth. Congressman Forbes supported a Senate amendment to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, H.R.3606, to increase capital formation for small businesses by loosening restrictions on how smaller businesses raise money from investors. This bill is designed to remove barriers to job growth, jumpstart business startups and create jobs. This bill passed the House by a vote of 380 – 41.
Standing Up to Big Government on Behalf of Small Businesses. Congressman Forbes supported two bills that address the adverse effects of new regulations imposed by the federal government on small businesses across America. Specifically, Congressman Forbes voted for the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, H.R. 527, to expand the scope of review that agencies must take when issuing new regulations, including an examination of the indirect impact on small businesses. The bill also grants authority to the Small Business Association to intervene in agency rulemaking to provide advice on how particular rules and decisions would affect small businesses. Congressman Forbes also supported the Regulatory Accountability Act, H.R. 3010 , to modify the rule-making process by requiring federal agencies to consider alternatives and the potential costs and benefits prior to issuing new rules and regulations.
H.R. 527 passed the House by a vote of 263-159 and H.R. 3010 passed the House by a vote of 253-167.
Increased access to capital for small businesses. Congressman Forbes supported H.R.2608 to extend key programs increasing access to capital and continuing tax incentives to allow small businesses to grow, expand, and create jobs. These programs were initially created through the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act. This bill passed the House by voice vote.
Supporting Small Business Innovation. Congressman Forbes voted for S.1082, a bill that extends the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Through these two competitive programs, the Small Business Administration ensures that the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts. The development of SBIR and STTR programs are not only significant to the unique needs of each of the participating federal agencies, but also to our national economy. The SBIR and STTR programs are widely supported and recognized as one of the country’s most important engines of innovation. Importantly, the programs operate without any additional funding. This bill passed the House by a vote of 387-33.
Working to Reduce Bureaucracy for Small Businesses. Congressman Forbes signed on as a cosponsor to the Regulatory Openness, Accountability and Disclosure to Jobs (ROAD to Jobs) Act of 2011, H.R.1049, which would allow Congress to monitor the effects of environmental bureaucracy and its debilitating impact on the ability of small businesses to work on projects like road resurfacing or construction.
Opposed taxes on online businesses. Congressman Forbes cosponsored a resolution, H.Res.95, encouraging Congress to refrain from enacting any legislation that would grant state governments the authority to impose any new burdensome tax collecting requirements on small online businesses.
Protected Small Businesses from Overreaching EPA. Congressman Forbes voted to protect jobs and small businesses by supporting legislation, H.R.910, to stop the EPA from instituting additional burdensome regulations and restrictions under the guise of the Clean Air Act. This legislation would amend the Clean Air Act to prevent the EPA from regulating emissions beyond its original mandate. The EPA will be able to continue to enforce the Clean Air Act to protect the public health, but the House voted to stop any effort by the EPA to raise costs on businesses with additional regulation. This bill passed in the House by a vote of 255-172.
Made it easier for businesses to reinvest. Congressman Forbes cosponsored H.R.158, the Expensing Property Expands our Nation's Strong Economy (EXPENSE) Act. This legislation will spur overall economic and job growth by creating incentives for American enterprise to reinvest in their businesses, new equipment, and people to run that equipment. The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) repeal the limitations on the expensing of depreciable business assets; and (2) allows taxpayers to elect a two-year recovery period for depreciable property.
Protecting Small Businesses. Congressman Forbes cosponsored and voted to support the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011 (H.R.4). This bill repeals the burdensome 1099 tax reporting provisions included in the new health care law. Two additional provisions from H.R. 705, originally introduced by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, were added to the legislation. They are: 1) a repeal of additional 1099 reporting requirements that Democrats placed on owners of certain rental properties last year; and 2) a taxpayer protection provision that reduces waste, fraud and abuse in the health care law by forcing greater repayment of improper taxpayer-funded subsidies. H.R. 4 will reduce the deficit by $166 million over the first ten years. This bill passed by a vote of 314 – 112.
Supported Removing Unprecedented Burdens on Small Businesses. Congressman Forbes became an original cosponsor of H.R.144, the Small Business Paperwork Elimination Act of 2011, which would repeal controversial language in last year's healthcare law requiring small businesses to report goods and services transactions valued over $600 to the IRS.
Hearing from Small Business Owners and Representatives. Congressman Forbes hosted a conference call with small business leaders to ask them what Congress can do to create an environment in which small businesses can grow and increase payrolls. To read some of Congressman Forbes’ ideas, click here.
Opposing Permanent Bailouts and Burdensome Rules for Businesses. Congressman Forbes voted to oppose the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill (H.R.4173), which creates new government bureaucracies, institutionalizes taxpayer bailouts of large financial firms, saddles businesses with new regulations, and fails to address the root causes of the financial meltdown. Instead, Congressman Forbes is a supporter of meaningful financial reform (H.R.3310) , which would reform the federal reserve, streamline bankruptcy, phase out taxpayer funding for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and reform the regulatory system. This bill passed the House by a vote of 237-192.
Protecting Small Businesses from Onerous Provisions of Government-Run Healthcare. Congressman Forbes cosponsored legislation (H.R.5141) that would repeal a provision in the new healthcare bill that extends to corporations that are not tax-exempt the requirement to report payments of $600 or more. As currently written, this provision would substantially increase the price of doing business in an economic environment that is already challenging for small businesses.
Supported America’s small businesses. Congressman Forbes supported a three month extension of Small Business Administration lending programs (S.3253) while a more permanent extension is still being negotiated. This bill passed the House by voice vote.
Ensured Access to Small Business Loans. Congressman Forbes voted to extend the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (H.R.4938), which is designed to help small entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses. This bill passed the House by a voice vote.
Opposed Higher Taxes on Businesses. Congressman Forbes voted to oppose the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act (H.R.4849), which raises taxes on international companies with U.S. employees. This bill passed the House by a vote of 246-178.
Supported Meaningful Tax Incentives for Small Business. Congressman Forbes voted for an amendment to the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act that would have provided assistance to small businesses without raising taxes on international employers with U.S. employees. For example, small business capital gains taxes would be suspended and businesses would be able to deduct more start-up expenses than currently allowed.This amendment failed in the House by a vote of 184-239.
Supported the extension of important small-business assistance programs. Congressman Forbes supported H.R. 4508 to reapprove the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and other Small Business Administration programs designed to help small high-tech businesses in federal research activities and help commercialize cutting-edge high-tech research.
Supported access to investment capital for small businesses. Congressman Forbes voted for H.R. 3854 to increase the size of loans available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs and reduce interest rates on loans made to small businesses under current programs. The bill is estimated to generate $44 billion in new lending for small businesses. This legislation passed by a vote of 389-32.
Read more about Congressman Forbes' work on small business issues here.