The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Today, the House passed a bipartisan resolution to document the living history of the Members of Congress, current and past, who have participated in the Civil Rights Movement by adding their testimonies to the historic record of the House. Leader Cantor, Representative John Lewis (D-GA), Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) worked together to bring this resolution to the floor on the eve of the 47th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches and the 12th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage hosted by the Faith & Politics Institute.

Rep. John Lewis, who bravely led this historic march, spoke about the resolution yesterday, “Majority Leader Cantor, the Speaker, Leader Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer all are coming together to see that the story is told for generations. It’s wonderful. Our children and their children will have an opportunity to know what happened on the march from Selma to Montgomery, and what role members of Congress played then and even now.”

Today In History: In 1781, the Articles of Confederation are finally ratified. The Articles were signed by Congress and sent to the individual states for ratification on November 15, 1777, after 16 months of debate. Maryland finally approved the Articles on March 1, 1781, affirming the Articles as the outline of the official government of the United States. The nation was guided by the Articles of Confederation until the implementation of the U.S. Constitution in 1789.

Birthdays: Rep. Randy Hultren, Bieber, Roger Daltrey, Ron Howard, Javier Bardem, Booker T, and Lorraine Woellert

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: Bipartisan Support Grows For The JOBS Act

Speaker Boehner: President Obama Is “Very Optimistic” About The JOBS Act. “We had a positive lunch at the White House today ... particularly on jobs and on energy. And I like to think some of the bipartisan bills on jobs we’ve passed through the House will be taken up soon by the Democrats in the Senate,” Boehner told reporters Wednesday afternoon. Boehner said Obama was also receptive to a package of jobs bills cobbled together by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), adding, “The president was very optimistic about moving that bill through the House ... [and] I think the president’s support of the JOBS Act was very welcome.” Roll Call

Silence Is Golden – Pelosi’s office also declined to comment — a sign Republicans took as further encouragement that Obama’s outreach was genuine. One Senate GOP aide said Pelosi appeared to have been taken off guard by Obama’s tone in the meeting and “didn’t look happy” with the discussion between the president and Republicans, particularly when it came to energy issues. Roll Call

AOL Co-Founder Steve Case: Leader Cantor’s JOBS Act Will Provide A Much Needed Boost To Entrepreneurs. On Tuesday, Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), unveiled the JOBS Act – a legislative package that will make it easier for fast-growing, job-creating companies to go public by putting in place an IPO on ramp, increase access to capital for entrepreneurs by permitting crowdfunding, and make a series of other common-sense changes that will help businesses grow, hire, and compete in a global economy. Many of these bills have strong bipartisan support … the message is spreading and Washington is starting to listen: start-ups have created 40 million American jobs in the past three decades – all the net-new jobs produced during that time period. When it comes to innovating, pioneering new industries, competing in an interdependent economy, and creating economic opportunity, we rely disproportionately not on large Fortune 500 corporations or small businesses on Main Street, but on young, fast-growing entrepreneurial businesses like Facebook, Chipotle and UnderArmour. The Hill

McHenry Crowdfunding Bill To Spur Startups. The White House has signaled a willingness to work with Republicans.“I think there is great opportunity to -- and great overlap between this administration’s position on some of these issues, especially with regards to small businesses,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.The crowdfunding bill would ease federal restrictions and allow entrepreneurs to raise capital from a large pool of small investors. The JOBS Act also includes a proposal to remove a Securities and Exchange ban on small companies using advertising to solicit investors and another easing SEC regulations to allow small companies to go public at lower costs. “There’s not much that folks agree on in Washington these days, but getting our economy back on the right track is something that everyone supports,” said McHenry, a Cherryville Republican. “Economists predict that crowdfunding legislation will increase new-business startups by at least 10 percent. With unemployment in North Carolina higher than the national average, I’m hopeful that the Senate is ready to act.” News & Observer

Crowdfunding Set To Explode With Passage Of Rep. McHenry’s Entrepreneur Access To Capital Act But what if there was potential for a financial return on crowdsourced investments? If startups could offer stock to their small-stake supporters, some (including Amy Cortese in this New York Times Op-Ed) predict that the practice of crowdfunding would explode, opening up far more resources to entrepreneurs, spurring innovation, and creating jobs. That’s exactly what the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (HR 2930) aims to achieve. Forbes

State Of Play (2): Bernanke’s Comments Highlight The Need For Further Growth, Republicans Offer More Bipartisan Solutions

Bernanke: The Jobs Market Is Far From Normal – Growth Needed. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday offered a tempered view of the U.S. economy, pouring cold water on the notion that recent upbeat signs herald a stronger recovery. Bernanke told Congress that unless growth accelerated, the unacceptably high U.S. unemployment rate would not keep dropping. … "The job market is far from normal," Bernanke said. "Continued improvement ... is likely to require stronger growth…” Reuters

There Are Additional Bipartisan Pro-Growth Measures Available To Boost Job Creation. Cantor’s office sees an opening on a number of other issues where the White House could break through with Republicans: H-1B visa reform, federal pension reform, expedited government land sales and a number of regulatory reform bills. … The ideas are in the small-ball mold: Comprehensive immigration is not going to get done, but perhaps the parties can tweak visa requirements. It’s what Cantor has been advocating for since last summer — to move ahead on measures both sides agree on. Plus, Republicans are pushing issues that Obama has voiced support for. Politico

Pro-Growth: Republicans Are Working Across The Aisle To Create An Environment Where Startups and Entrepreneurs Can Grow, Expand, and Flourish

How An Entrepreneur’s Dream Became Seattle’s Latest Startup Experiment: Seaton Gras wants to talk about surfing. Why surfing? Well, for one Gras — a 56-year-old entrepreneur and mobile app developer — says there’s nothing quite like the thrill of picking out that perfect wave and riding it to shore. In fact, Gras sees all kinds of parallels between surfing and startups. “You have to be in the right place at the right time and you have to give it your all –paddle like crazy and forget the rest of the world,” says Gras. “You drop into your wave and have the ride of a lifetime — but you have to watch out for coral reefs and rocks and snakes and sharks. But, at the end of the ride, you are going to be surrounded by a bunch of strangers who are there to help you. And that’s what I envision in this business setting.”Gras is hoping to apply some of the lessons of the sea to SURF Incubator, a new 15,400 square-foot technology incubator that plans to open next month with room for as many as 100 entrepreneurs. Geek Wire

Biopharmaceutical Coalition Highlights Economic Impact In Virginia. A coalition is focusing on the contributions that the biopharmaceutical sector makes to the Commonwealth's economy and to the health of Virginians. The formation of the We Work for Healthcoalition was announced Wednesday morning in Richmond. Wednesday, the group released numbers showing the economic impact of Virginia's healthcare and biopharmaceutical industries. We Work for Health says biopharmaceutical companies support more than 76,000 jobs and invest more than $1.5 billion to develop drugs and treatments for Alzheimer's, cancer, and diabetes. Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry DuVal said, "It's obviously important for the long-term economic impact in the commonwealth of Virginia as well as important for improving the health and the lives of Virginians who are served by this important industry." We Work for Health says Charlottesville is one of the fast growing areas in the state for high-paying biopharmaceutical jobs. The coalition is co-chaired by former Virginia State Senator Edd Houck, Virginia Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Barry DuVal, and Virginia Biotechnology Association Executive Director Mark Herzog. NBC 29

The Road Ahead: Republicans Have Laid Out A Solutions-Based Approach To Energy Independence That Creates Jobs and Increases Energy Security

Rep. Pete Olson: President Obama Needs To Adopt A Pro-Growth, Solutions Based Approach To Energy Like Republicans Have. Despite his recent spin about presiding over an increase in domestic production, since the beginning of his Administration, President Obama has worked to sabotage American energy development. … Tapping the SPR in this environment won’t have a meaningful impact on gasoline prices. … A better solution to relieve the pain Americans are feeling at the pump begins with a balanced approach to energy policy. Our country faces significant challenges, but if President Obama can abandon the “Solyndra Economy” and adopt a pro-growth and solutions-based approach, our country will be set on a strong path forward. … We should focus on reducing government overreach and removing the barriers that stand in the way of innovation. The Hill

Editorial: The Obama Administration’s “Actions Lay The Groundwork For Oil Shortages.” It is a matter of record that Energy Secretary Stephen Chu used to say that “we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” – which are about double the U.S. level. While Chu disowned his comments before taking office, his policy prescriptions didn’t change. … “Our domestic oil production is at an eight-year high,” Obama campaign aide Robert Gibbs said last week. This is beyond slippery. The primary reason domestic oil production has grown rapidly in recent years is development of new fields on private land in North Dakota. Oil production on federal lands is down sharply. … Meanwhile, the administration obstructs efforts to access Alaska’s vast offshore oil reserves even as other nations with Arctic land holdings move quickly to develop their reserves. To those who want to drill in promising areas in the Gulf of Mexico and off the West and East Coasts, it offers token concessions. … the most basic market condition is supply and demand. Even if a plausible argument can be made that the current market conditions yielding $4.50-a-gallon gasoline are not the president’s handiwork, his administration’s actions lay the groundwork for oil shortages. San Diego Union-Tribune

House Republicans Have Passed Multiple Pro-Growth Energy Solutions That Will Increase Our Domestic Production, Increase Our Energy Security and Create Jobs, Yet The Senate Refuses To Act! The House has passed several bills to achieve a strong domestic energy policy that will provide a stable, affordable energy supply, create hundreds of thousands of American jobs, strengthen our national security and bring billions of new revenue into the federal government. The President should encourage Democrats in the Senate to pass these bills before he blows through our strategic reserve of petroleum. The Hill

ObamaCare Update: Bipartisan Support For Repealing IPAB Continues To Mount

House Committee Votes To Repeal IPAB In A Bipartisan Vote Of 17-5. On a 17-5 vote that included two of the senior Democrats on the Health subcommittee of Energy and Commerce, the motion to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board will move to the full committee and almost certainly to the House floor: Bipartisan legislation to repeal the healthcare law’s cost-control board sailed through a House panel on Wednesday, raising pressure on the Senate to take up the bill and dealing President Obama a political blow. The Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee vote was 17-5, with ranking member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) crossing the aisle to vote for repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. There were no amendments. They weren’t the only Democrats favoring a repeal, either: Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) said she favors getting rid of the board but wouldn’t because the repeal bill offered no alternative for controlling Medicare costs and wasn’t paid for. Hot Air

Former House Dem: IPAB Repeal Is Not A Partisan Issue. Unlike some of the other challenges with ACA, IPAB should not be branded a partisan issue. In fact, many prominent Democrats who supported the healthcare law were squeamish about the concept of the IPAB before it was included in the final version of the ACA. This is for good reason: it strips oversight of Medicare from Congress and puts it into the hands of an unelected board accountable to no one. The Hill

Keeping Tabs

Anti-Growth: The President’s Budget Is A $1.9 Trillion Tax Hike On Working Families and Small Business Job Creators. … for a country that desperately needs job creation, it does nothing to empower entrepreneurs or encourage small-business owners, the real engine of a free-enterprise economy. Businesses and working families also set budgets. Budgets should not only set priorities but reflect reality as well. … For the job creator, watching Washington spend taxpayer dollars it doesn’t have raises concerns that taxes will have to be raised on society’s most productive in an attempt to slow the growth of our nation’s debt. That is what this budget does. Instead of prioritizing spending, it proposes raising taxes by $1.9 trillion on working families, small businesses and job creators to enable - you guessed it - more spending. In my nearly three decades in business, I’ve never heard of a single job that was created by taking more money from the hiring class. … Just as important as what this budget does is what it doesn’t do: propose any solutions for entitlement programs that are well on their way to insolvency or do anything to mitigate the onslaught of regulations that are crushing our small businesses, startups and innovators. The Washington Times

GOP Health Care Reforms