WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued the following news release:
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter today to the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC) urging them to make promoting America's entrepreneurial spirit the centerpiece of the JSC's work.
As Leader Pelosi writes in the letter:
"Your Committee has a great opportunity to reach an agreement that is big, bold and balanced, and that makes promoting America's entrepreneurial spirit the centerpiece of the Joint Select Committee's work
"Small business owners, America's entrepreneurs, told House Democrats that their most urgent needs are greater access to credit, to trained workers and to customers. They recognize that the keys to our economic future include rewarding our entrepreneurial spirit and stopping the erosion of the American manufacturing sector. Some of their concerns are being addressed through Executive Orders and administrative action, but others deserve the immediate attention of the Joint Select Committee."
The full text of Leader Pelosi's letter and its attachment are below.
November 3, 2011
The Honorable Jeb Hensarling
The Honorable Patty Murray
The Honorable Xavier Becerra
The Honorable Max Baucus
The Honorable Dave Camp
The Honorable John Kerry
The Honorable James E. Clyburn
The Honorable Jon Kyl
The Honorable Fred Upton
The Honorable Rob Portman
The Honorable Chris Van Hollen
The Honorable Pat Toomey
Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
Congress of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Co-Chairs and Members of the Joint Select Committee:
Thank you for the leadership, time and energy that you have devoted to identifying policies that will grow the economy, promote job creation, reduce the deficit, set our Nation on a path of prosperity to the future and reignite the American dream.
Your Committee has a great opportunity to reach an agreement that is big, bold and balanced, and that makes promoting America's entrepreneurial spirit the centerpiece of the Joint Select Committee's work.
As you know, since you began your work on the Joint Select Committee, the President has proposed the American Jobs Act. It contains several legislative proposals that are essential to sustaining our recovery, including payroll tax relief for working families and small businesses and extension of the Unemployment Insurance program. The President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness also has released its October report, which contains strong entrepreneurial proposals. In addition, Democratic Ranking Members of the House Committees provided you with ideas and proposals that they and the Democratic Members of their Committees believe will fulfill your mission of reducing the deficit and creating jobs. Many of the proposals have enjoyed bipartisan support.
Over the past several weeks, Members of the House Democratic Caucus have met with thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs to hear their recommendations for encouraging the growth of small businesses, creating new jobs, strengthening our manufacturing base and building strong communities and neighborhoods.
Small business owners, America's entrepreneurs, told House Democrats that their most urgent needs are greater access to credit, to trained workers and to customers. They recognize that the keys to our economic future include rewarding our entrepreneurial spirit and stopping the erosion of the American manufacturing sector. Some of their concerns are being addressed through Executive Orders and administrative action, but others deserve the immediate attention of the Joint Select Committee.
1 Make It In America: The Joint Select Committee should stop the erosion of the American manufacturing base by extending 100% expensing for investment in plant and equipment, by funding targeted programs in the Commerce Department to rebuild the American manufacturing base, and by strengthening and strictly enforcing Buy America provisions. In addition, the Joint Select Committee must avoid tax policies that harm America's manufacturing base and lead to greater reliance upon foreign manufactured goods which are necessary to our national security.
2 Improve access to credit: The Joint Select Committee should authorize the Small Business Administration to make loans directly to sound small businesses that have been turned down for loans by banks despite having a solid credit history. In addition, the Joint Committee should strengthen and broaden the SBA's Microloan program while also providing technical assistance to help them build a successful business. To accomplish this, the SBA should be authorized to lower interest rates and ease collateral requirements. Making microloans more affordable and accessible to a wider range of borrowers will attract more aspiring entrepreneurs to the program, enabling them to startup, become self-sufficient, and eventually create more jobs as they grow larger.
3 Provide a trained workforce: The Joint Select Committee should extend the Unemployment Insurance program and adopt the skills training reforms contained in the American Jobs Act, as well as the initiatives recommended by the President's Competitiveness Council that combine manufacturing skills training with earning community college credits. In addition, the Joint Select Committee should adopt the workforce and training proposals introduced by House Democrats as part of our Make It In America initiative.
4 Increase demand: The Joint Select Committee should extend and increase the payroll tax credit and extend the Unemployment Insurance program which are both due to expire at the end of the year. In addition, the Committee should enhance export opportunities through the Ex-Im Bank and the Commerce Department, ease tourist visa restrictions for foreign visitors consistent with national security requirements, improve small business access to federal contracts and ensure that small business contractors and subcontractors are paid promptly.
5~ Build America's infrastructure: The Joint Select Committee must invest in our transportation, water and telecommunication infrastructure. Public resources can be leveraged through an infrastructure bank and public-private partnerships to create jobs and promote commerce. In addition, the Joint Select Committee should consider a robust public school modernization initiative. These efforts must include extensive outreach to small businesses including veterans, women and minority-owned small businesses.
These are just some of the ideas and proposals that we have received from House Democrats. The Attachment to this letter describes the priority suggestions in each of these areas. We look forward to any additional ideas from the Joint Select Committee that make promoting America's entrepreneurial spirit the centerpiece of the Joint Select Committee's work.
Thank you again for your leadership and attention to our entrepreneurial priorities.
MAKE IT IN AMERICA
Extend the 100% expensing law so that small and large firms can take an immediate deduction on investments in new plants and equipments.
Authorize the Department of Commerce to provide small to medium-sized businesses in communities with high unemployment with the resources to retool and retrofit operations and train workforce to transition to the manufacturing of high technology and advanced products.
Provide tax credits to incentivize the private sector to invest in advanced energy manufacturing facilities that will boost manufacturing in a critical sector that will provide high paid jobs and secure American competitiveness in the marketplace.
Reauthorize and fund the Department of Energy's vehicle technology research programs to ensure that the next generation of advanced vehicles is made in America.
Strengthen Buy American requirements for steel, iron and manufactured goods in Transportation programs that rely upon federal funding with appropriate waivers when the cost of American made goods increases overall costs by more than a specified amount.
IMPROVE ACCESS TO CREDIT
Authorize the Small Business Administration to make direct loans to small businesses that are currently unable to secure the funds they need to expand, seek new business opportunities and hire additional workers. The SBA should be authorized to engage in underwriting, loan closing, funding, and servicing of small business loans and, as appropriate, sell these loans to the private sector through asset sales. This program would be in effect for a period of two years from date on which the program becomes operational.
Provide a payroll tax credit equal to one-half of the payroll tax up to the first $5 million of wages. This targets 98% of all American businesses. Provide a payroll tax holiday on the full employer payroll tax for any growth in payroll whether due to new hires or increased wages up to $50 million annually. These initiatives will improve cash flow and working capital needs so that small businesses and entrepreneurs are better positioned to access credit.
PROVIDE A TRAINED WORKFORCE
Reform and extend the Unemployment Insurance program so that unemployed workers receive improved training that qualifies them for actual job openings and projected job openings.
Create a national manufacturing certification system to deliver "just-in-time" workers to small manufacturers through accelerated community college-run programs that identify priority needs for skilled production jobs.
Authorize states to permit wage-sharing programs that preserve UI payments when an employer chooses to adopt work-sharing policies in lieu of layoffs in order to retain experienced employees.
Strengthen American innovation by investing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education through the development of rigorous core standards; encourage teaching careers in these areas; and fully funding STEM education as provided in the America COMPETES Act.
Reform and extension of the Unemployment Insurance program not only will improve access to trained workers, but it also is a critical element in maintaining consumer demand in 2012 and sustaining the economic recovery.
Extend and expand the payroll tax cut passed last year to cut workers payroll taxes in half in 2012. This provides a $1500 tax cut to the typical working family without impacting the Social Security Trust Fund, and will drive additional consumer demand in 2012 and sustain the economic recovery.
Accelerate government payments to small contractors and subcontractors to put money in their pockets faster. Small businesses do not enjoy the cash advantages and credit lines available to big businesses for covering payroll and overhead even when receivables and contract payments are slow to come in. The government needs to make its payments to contractors more quickly and, just as important, make sure that prime contractors pay subcontractors for their work on equally timely bases.
Barriers to tourism need to be reduced and, where appropriate, removed. Government must streamline the tourist visa process and incentivize U.S. tourism through marketing; reduce visa interview wait times and expand the Visa Waiver Program consistent with national security needs.
BUILD AMERICA'S INFRASTRUCTURE
Establish a National Infrastructure Development Bank to facilitate private investment in financing infrastructure projects from broadband networks to energy delivery systems necessary to spur economic growth and keep America competitive.
Fund highway, rail, port and other transportation infrastructure projects to the extent necessary to close the growing gap in America's infrastructure and enable American manufacturers to supply the machinery and tools to close the gap and reinvigorate the capacity of American infrastructure to transport American manufactured goods at home and abroad.
Fund the modernization American schools by building new science and computer labs and upgrading technology. Also, modernize community colleges and tribal colleges.
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