The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Small business job creation is key to boosting employment and growing the economy. Unfortunately, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats are stalling the House-passed JOBS Act that would produce real results and move the dial on small business job creation. Yesterday, Senator Merkley summed up the Senate Democrat’s position on moving the JOBS Act saying, “We need to slow this train down.” Small businesses and startups already face an uphill battle with the constant threat higher taxes and increased regulation coming from Washington. Instead of playing politics, Senate Democrats need to act as quickly as possible and pass the JOBS Act to remove the red tape that stands in the way of small business job creation.

Today In History: In 1970, Boston Bruin Bobby Orr becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to score 100 points in a season, after scoring four goals in one game against the Detroit Red Wings. Orr would finish the 1969-70 season with 120 points, a record for a defensive player that cemented his status as the best offensive defenseman in NHL history.

Birthdays: Rep. Morgan Griffith, President Andrew Jackson, Judd Hirsch, Fabio, and Dee Snider

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: Harry Reid and Senate Democrats Continue Stalling The JOBS Act

Roadblock Reid, Senate Dems Move To Slow The Overwhelmingly Bipartisan JOBS Act. The Senate has agreed to begin debate Thursday on fast-moving legislation to loosen securities regulations that affect smaller companies, and, although passage appears certain, it is unlikely to occur before early next week. Democrats and Republicans generally remain at odds over how best to spur economic growth and curb still-high unemployment, but they have reached consensus on the desirability of helping small enterprises raise capital. That has led sponsors to say they are promoting a “jobs” bill, which, in turn, has pushed the bill (HR 3606) toward enactment relatively quickly. A vote on passage in the Senate appears unlikely Thursday, said a Senate Democratic aide, and that probably means action on the measure will slip until at least March 20, as Democratic opponents of the measure try to bolster protections for investors. “We need to slow this train down,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. CQ

By Stalling the JOBS Act, Reid Delays Efforts To Boost Economic Growth and Job Creation. Cantor gave them a three point plan. One of them has already passed the House — the JOBS Act. Another, that Cantor is set to roll-out next week, is a proposed 20 percent tax cut for small businesses. The third is likely to be a series of bills aimed at curbing what Cantor called “overly-aggressive” regulation, particularly environmental strictures that conservatives view as being motivated by ideology, not science. But this being Congress, even the issues the parties agree upon are fodder for dispute. Take the JOBS Act … The measure, which would ease some of the Sarbanes-Oxley rules for start-ups to ease their access to capital, passed the House 390-23. It earned praise from the White House and even murmurs of assent from Senate majority leader Harry Reid. But that was last week. … So all sides agree that something must be done to spur economic growth. A package of bills is generated that would address at least one facet of the problem. It earns kudos from the President, the Senate leader and the President’s private sector economic advisers. The House embraces it, the Senate stalls it … Bearing Drift

Senate Democrats Gum Up A Much Needed Boost For Small Business, Startups and Entrepreneurs. The House bill is a collection of six measures, each reducing regulation on an aspect of a small business or emerging company. The aim is to free up small companies from some regulatory burdens so that they can grow and create jobs. … For small companies that have held off filing to go public, another provision in the House bill creates an “on-ramp” by relaxing some regulations until a company is bigger in terms of its revenue. Regulations would be phased in over a five-year period or until the company reaches $1 billion in annual gross revenue. The bulk of a company’s job growth happens after it goes public, say supporters, and by reducing some regulations for a short period of time, companies are more likely to take this important step in their maturation. “The relief embodied in this legislation is temporary and very targeted,” said Kate Mitchell, managing director of Scale Venture Partners who headed the IPO Taskforce, a group of investors and others who looked at the issue of why IPOs have dropped off. “Public investors were part of the team that made the recommendations that eventually were embodied in the bill, and maintaining significant investor protections was a core part of the mission.” Politico

Examining The Record: Leader Reid has stalled or blocked 30 House-passed bipartisan jobs bills making it clear that he is more interested in playing politics than boosting job creation.

Speaker Boehner Calls On Senator Reid To Remove The Roadblock and Allow A Vote On The House-Passed Bipartisan Job Bills. “The House has passed nearly 30 pro-growth bills as part of our plan for jobs, and recently passed the bipartisan JOBS Act to help boost small businesses. It’s long past time for Senate Democrats to allow votes on these measures so they can begin to benefit our economy.” Press Release

The Road Ahead: Cantor To Unveil 20% Small Business Tax Cut Next Week

Cantor Details 20% Small Business Tax Cut To Richmond Chamber. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, told members of the Greater Richmond Chamber on Wednesday that he'll unveil legislation next week to provide for a 20 percent small business tax cut."It doesn't matter how you are organized. … It is money straight to the bottom line of the small businessman and woman to be able to retain more of the monies earned to be able to invest back in those businesses and create more jobs," he told nearly 30 high-level chamber members at a luncheon at The Jefferson Hotel. Richmond Times-Dispatch

Cantor Focused On Job Creation: Announces 20% Small Biz Tax Cut Will Be Unveiled Next Week, Talks Boosting Small Business Via The JOBS Act and Stresses The Need For Corporate Tax Reform. Cantor, speaking to a small gathering at the Jefferson Hotel hosted by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, said he is going to unveil a bill next Wednesday that would give businesses with fewer than 500 employees a tax cut. “It’s not the kind of total tax reform we need, but we need to do something quick to help small businesses invest in their companies and maybe hire new employees,” Cantor said. … Cantor also touted the House’s 390-23 passage of the Jobs Act, which has President Obama’s support and is waiting to be taken up by the Senate. The Jobs Act allows small businesses to seek funding from a larger pool of smaller investors, who might not be “accredited” by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Accredited investors have a net worth of more than $5 million.) … Cantor also told the crowd … not only was the individual tax rate too high but the corporate tax rate also needed to drop. “We have, next to Japan, the highest marginal rate on corporate taxes,” he said “We’ve got to bring those rates down. I’d like to see them at 25 percent.” Richmond Biz Sense

State Of Play (2): Cost Of ObamaCare Will Exceed $2 Trillion, More Than Double What President Obama Promised

CBO Finds The Cost Of ObamaCare To Double Costs Promised By President Obama, Democrats. ObamaCare is taking on water as we head into the second anniversary since it passed, and the news about the president’s signature legislation gets worse by the day. To mark the law’s two-year anniversary, the House of Representatives is planning a vote to repeal one of the law’s most unpopular provisions — the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which many seniors fear will become Medicare’s rationing board. … ObamaCare will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law. The new 10-year projections cover nine years of ObamaCare’s implementation (2013-2022). Original estimates counted only six years of implementation — a budget gimmick to obscure the true cost of the law. At this rate, the conservative estimates of ObamaCare’s cost will be $2 trillion over 10 years, not the $1 trillion that President Obama promised. Forbes

Another Broken Promise: CBO Also Finds That 4 Million More Americans Will Lose Their Employer-Based Health Care. CBO’s estimate also shows that the new health law will dramatically increase Medicaid spending and result in 4 million fewer people getting health insurance through their jobs. So much for being able to keep the coverage you have now “no matter what,” as the president promised. Forbes

Keeping Tabs

RoadBlock Reid Threatens To Shutdown The Government Because He Refuses To Cut 2 Days Worth Of Spending. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is worried House Republicans might try to save a little money with the budget they’re set to release next week. The Nevada Democrat got wind the plan will authorize less than the absolute maximum amount allowed under the debt-ceiling deal signed into law last summer. … House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan found it hypocritical for the Senate leader to complain when he hasn’t produced a budget since President Obama was elected. “It is difficult to take Sen. Reid’s comments seriously when the United States Senate that he and his party control have been in violation of the 1974 Congressional Budget Act for over 1,000 days,” the Wisconsin Republican said in a written statement. Mr. Reid will avoid writing a budget once again and instead use the spending caps set in the Budget Control Act (BCA), the final deal made between congressional Republicans and President Obama to lower spending to account for borrowing another $2.1 trillion. The law allows Congress to spend up to $1.047 trillion in 2013. Last year’s House-passed budget planned to spend $19 billion less in 2013. “Webster’s Dictionary defines a ‘cap’ as an upper limit on expenditures - and that’s what it means,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner. The Washington Times

GOP Health Care Reforms