Yesterday, House Republicans ushered in a long-awaited “kumbaya moment” (h/t NYT’s Jonathan Weisman) with the JOBS Act – a package of bipartisan measures that will deliver results for jobs, small business and startups and has broad support from Capitol Hill, the White House, and entrepreneurs. The JOBS Act brings together bipartisan House bills and provisions of President Obama’s Startup America Agenda to provide real solutions that will spur job growth by removing regulation impeding small businesses and startups.
It is welcome news that President Obama and Senator Reid indicated they are willing to work with us on the JOBS Act, and as Leader Cantor said last night, “It might seem to be that the stars are beginning to align, and aligning on the one thing that we need to be focusing on, the one thing America wants to see happen which is economic growth. We know that growth happens in the private sector. It happens through small start-ups and it happens through entrepreneurs going to work and putting their capital to work so that we can see jobs created.”
Today In History: In 1972, Hank Aaron signed a three-year deal with the Atlanta Braves that pays him $200,000 per year, making him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball at the time. Two years later, Aaron became baseball’s home run king when he broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing record.
Birthdays: Tony Robbins, Simon Gagné, Cam Ward and Dennis Farina
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: House Republicans Unveil JOBS Act, White House Calls Proposal A “Real Opportunity” To Work Together
Cantor, House Republicans Move to Jumpstart The Economy With Bipartisan JOBS Act. House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a package of largely uncontroversial measures they said will help small businesses raise capital and create jobs while showing that Congress can put aside its partisan differences and act in the country's economic interests. … The six bills would ease federal security regulations to make it easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to attract investors and go public. … "We're here to make sure we can jumpstart the economy," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said. He said the White House has called for action to help new businesses "and that is exactly what the bill does." … The House GOP jobs agenda has focused on passing dozens of bills -- all stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate -- focused on developing domestic energy resources and curbing Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agency regulations that Republicans say have stifled jobs growth. The Associated Press
• Leader Cantor: The White House Said We Need To Get Started Jumpstarting Our Business Startups and That Is Exactly What This Bill Does. “We are here all behind the JOBS Act that we will be voting on in the House next week. This is the JOBS Act, Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. It is a compilation of bills, some of which have been voted on the floor of the House with heavy bipartisan support. These are bills which also reflect the work of the President's Jobs Council. The White House has said we need to get started jumpstarting our business startups, and that is exactly what the bill does.” Press Release
VIDEO: Cantor On Kudlow – The Bipartisan Measures In The JOBS Act Will Spur Small Businesses and Startups: “It's too hard right now for small business people to start up. It's too hard for them to keep the lights on and to start hiring again. That was the purpose for the JOBS Act. This is a compilation of measures, some of which have moved across the floor of the House, and some ideas which have been taken from the President's Jobs Council itself. What the bills do is, one, they get rid of some of the SEC regulations that are impeding small businesses from starting up. We have something called an IPO on-ramp that makes it easier for small businesses to access to capital by going public. There are other provisions that allow for a carve out on the Sarbanes-Oxley issue, so that we can give small businesses a fighting chance to get off the ground. We know small businesses are the job engine of this country and over the last three years there’s been a 23% decrease in the number of start-ups. That's what this package is trying to get at.” The Kudlow Report
White House “Encouraged” By Cantor’s Focus On Common Ground Issues, JOBS Act. White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage encouraged House Republicans and Senate Democrats to negotiate quickly and send Obama a bill that can be signed into law. … “The president is encouraged to see that there is common ground between his approach and what Congressman Cantor outlined today, and we urge members of both parties in the House and Senate to come together on these provisions and do what the President called for in the State of the Union Address: send him a bill without delay.” Politico
• WH Press Secretary Carney: Majority Leader Cantor’s Policy Proposals Provide A “Real Opportunity” To Work Together To Get Things Done In Terms Of Small Business. Press Secretary Jay Carney Tuesday that the White House believes there is "great opportunity" and "great overlap" between Obama's jobs proposals, particularly when it comes to small businesses. Carney specifically noted an op-ed that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor published on POLITICO outlining some of his policy proposals. "There’s real opportunity to work to get a lot of that done," Carney said. Politico
Regulatory Row: Global Business Leader Warns Of Negative Impact Of Overregulation On Innovation and Jobs
House Will Act Today To Roll Back Federal Regulations That Have Hurt Farmers, Agriculture, Employment in San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. The opinions [of the Fish and Wildlife Service and federal courts] have superceded the water contracts of farmers and resulted in 3.4 million acre-feet of fresh water flowing into San Francisco Bay each year—enough to irrigate over a million acres of land. More than 10,000 farm jobs have been lost as a result, and regional unemployment stands at about 15%. Environmentalists blame the water shortages on drought, but even in wet years farmers aren't getting the water they're due…Regulators have told farmers to expect only 30% of their contractual water allowance this year….GOP Congressman Devin Nunes of Fresno is trying to restore some certainty to farmers and sanity in the water wars. He's introduced legislation that would cap the amount of water that annually flows into the Bay at 800,000 acre-feet per year, which is what Congress agreed to in 1992 before environmentalists started suing. The House is expected to pass his bill Wednesday, but its prospects in the Senate are less sanguine. The Wall Street Journal
• Chairman Graves Op-ed: Removing The Obstacles Preventing Small Business Job Growth Is The Key To A Full Economic Recovery. If we want to see Americans get back to work and our economy recover fully, we must start with our nation’s best job creators — small businesses — and remove obstacles that prevent growth and job creation. This is the sentiment we hear weekly from small-business owners around the country, such as David Ludlam, director of the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association in Grand Junction, Colo., who said during a September Small Business Committee hearing last year, “We can give the administration a more practical jobs plan for America that is quite simple: Remove regulatory roadblocks to ‘shovel-ready’ energy projects … We believe this would be a great first step to creating high-paying jobs.” The Hill
Google Chief Warns Of Overregulation, Says “The Unintended Cost Of Regulation Is Often The Loss Of Innovation.” "If you have to regulate, try to regulate the outcome not the technology. If there's an outcome that you don't like, don't specify in law a technical solution because technology moves forward," he told regulators during a keynote address at the world's biggest mobile fair. "There're so many new technologies that help protect privacy ... that you hope the privacy regulator will never restrict that," he said, pointing out that the "unintended cost of regulation is often the loss of innovation." AFP
The Road Ahead: While Small Business Owners Express Concern Over Rising Gas Prices, The Obama Administration Says High Gas Prices Aren’t Their Focus
Small Business Owners Fret They Will Have To Let Employees Go Due To Increased Fuel Costs. Businesses that rely on fuel to get their products directly to customers are bracing for a sharp rise in gas prices. Among those most affected are online grocers, Internet bakers and food trucks. … "We're terrified," Fain-Rossen said. "We don't want to let anyone go, but we have a family to support. We're actually wondering if we should raise prices now in anticipation of prices going up so that we don't get hit later unexpectedly." … If the spike continues, Yamini expects his suppliers to charge him more for goods, a cost he'll pass along to consumers. He expects suppliers to also apply fuel surcharges. But if that translates into slower business, Yamini said he'll be forced to let go of drivers and operators, too. CNN
OUT OF TOUCH – Secretary Chu Admits The Administration Is Not Focused On Lowering Gas Prices. Americans need relief now, Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) said — not high gasoline prices that could eventually push them to alternatives. “I can’t look at motivations. I have to look at results. And under this administration the price of gasoline has doubled,” Nunnelee told Chu. “The people of north Mississippi can’t be here, so I have to be here and be their voice for them,” Nunnelee added. “I have to tell you that $8 a gallon gasoline makes them afraid. It’s a cruel tax on the people of north Mississippi as they try to go back and forth to work. It’s a cloud hanging over economic development and job creation.” … “But is the overall goal to get our price” of gasoline down, asked Nunnelee. “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy,” Chu replied. Politico
GOP Turns Up Heat After Obama’s Keystone Double Back Flip. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), joined by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other top Republicans, challenged Obama at a press conference to push several energy and jobs bills stuck in the Democratic-controlled Senate. “The president says he’s for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy plan. Has anyone seen it?” Bohener said of the White House’s contention that a mix of fossil fuels and alternative energy production is necessary. “I’ve not seen it. And the fact is, is the president blocked the Keystone pipeline, he’s blocked efforts to expand energy production in the Intermountain West, over in the Gulf and in a small portion of Alaska. “If the president’s serious about working with us to expand energy production in America and to deal with the rising oil prices, it’s time for him to lay his cards on the table,” Boehner said. PJ Media
• Click Here to view the list of bipartisan bills passed by the Republican-led House to increase domestic energy production, create jobs, and help provide relief at the pump. When will Senator Reid act?
Virginia Eye Institute Opening Two New Locations. Virginia Eye Institute, a multioffice comprehensive eye-care practice, is expanding into two of the region's growing population centers. The medical practice last week opened an office in the Short Pump area of western Henrico County, and in May it will open an office in Watkins Centre in Chesterfield County. … The Virginia Eye Institute office in Watkins Centre will be about 9,000 square feet and will replace smaller offices at St. Francis Medical Center and at CJW Medical Center (Johnston-Willis). The Johnston-Willis office will close. Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond Area Manufacturing Activity Expands. Economic activity among manufacturers in the central Atlantic region of the U.S. expanded for the third consecutive month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond reported Tuesday. … The bank’s manufacturing general-business index rose to 20 from 12 in January. Numbers above zero indicate expanding activity. The Richmond report follows other regional Fed bank surveys that indicate the factory sector around the U.S. is doing well. The Wall Street Journal