The Leader's Ledger

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Good Morning,

Our nation’s small businesses create 65% of the new jobs in this country and House Republicans are leading the way to increase opportunities for small businesses to grow. Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will unveil the Small Business Tax Cut Act, part of the House Republican effort to boost job creation and economic growth. The Small Business Tax Cut Act gives every small business with fewer than 500 employees a 20% tax cut, no matter how they are organized. With this bill, we can put money back into the hands of small business owners to help them build their businesses and create more jobs. The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council said in a statement of support, “small businesses desperately need relief. The 20 percent tax deduction would infuse small businesses with the capital they need to withstand economic headwinds and costs that continue to work against them."

Today In History: In 1963, Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closed down and transferred its last prisoners. At its peak period of use in 1950s, "The Rock, or ""America's Devil Island" housed over 200 inmates at the maximum-security facility. Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons for its record of being inescapable.

Birthdays: Matthew Broderick, Gary Oldman, Eddie Money, Timothy Dalton, and Johann Sebastian Bach

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: Cantor, House GOP Continue To Focus On Job Creation, Small Business Growth

Leader Cantor To Unveil 20% Small Business Tax Cut To Boost Job Creation and Economic Growth. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor hopes his narrow tax cut measure can follow a similar path to that of the JOBS Act, which passed the House by a wide bipartisan margin. With bipartisanship a rare commodity on Capitol Hill and prospects of tax reform this year all but extinguished, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is moving forward with a narrow tax cut measure aimed at reducing small-business tax rates for the next year. Under the Virginia Republican’s bill, which will be introduced in the House today, small businesses with 499 or fewer employees would be able to deduct up to 20 percent of their income taxes, which could total up to 50 percent of the wages they pay employees. The goal, Cantor said Tuesday, is to “help small businesses create more jobs” while Congress continues to struggle with the broader tax reform effort. … Cantor told Roll Call that he and other Republican leaders “would like to drive toward overall tax reform” this year but that he views the 20 percent tax cut as a necessary step “while we are working toward that goal.” Roll Call

Republicans Want To Make It Easier For Small Business People and Families To Operate. House Republicans on Wednesday plan to unveil their proposal to give small businesses a temporary 20 percent tax cut, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Tuesday. The bill has been in the works for weeks, and Republicans hope to time its passage off the House floor to coincide with Tax Day on April 15. “This is a bill that goes directly toward making it easier for small-businessmen and -women to get back into the game, to keep more of their money so it can be invested to retain and create more jobs,” Cantor, who has led the push on the legislation, said following a GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning. He said the proposal was particularly important at a time when Americans are struggling to afford rising gas prices. “We want to make it easier for small-business people to operate, for families to afford to be able to go to the gas pump and do what it is that they want to do,” Cantor said. The Hill

Cantor: The 20% Small Business Tax Cut Is Part Of Citizen CoSponsor. We're going to unveil the 20 percent small business tax cut bill tomorrow. It's called the Small Business Tax Cut Act of 2012. And it's straight up trying to help small businessmen and women have it a little easier so they can retain and create more jobs. That's it. VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so citizens can go on this and either vote yes or vote no. They can co-sponsor it or they can not co- sponsor this. CANTOR: That is correct. And if they co-sponsor it, what they will be able to do is, as you suggest, they can track the bill through the process. But we're also intending to engage in on-line discussion about what people feel about this, how it's going to help their business. I mean, that's what we want to do is to help afford the ownership of this piece of legislation so the small businessman or woman in my district down in Richmond, they'll know that, You know what? I'll really get some help if this bill passes because it'll allow me a 20 percent tax cut, and that is more money for that man or woman and a small business owner to put back into the business, to create a new job or to expand and grow. On The Record

State Of Play: When Will Senator Reid Pass The Bipartisan JOBS Act?

Senator McConnell – Democrats Need To Put Politics Aside and Pass the Bipartisan JOBS Act. “For the past several months, I and others have been calling on the Democrat majority here in the Senate to take up and pass the various bipartisan jobs bills that House Republicans have been sending across the dome. These bills on their own won’t solve the jobs crisis, but they’ll make it a lot easier for entrepreneurs and innovators to get the capital they need to build businesses and create jobs. And because these bills are more concerned with getting Washington out of the way than getting it more involved, these bills also send an important message that the economy and the country are a lot better off when folks have more control over their economic destinies, not less. Last night, we were on the cusp of passing a collection of these bills known as the JOBS act. This bill had overwhelming bipartisan support in the House. Nearly 400 members voted for it. And the President himself says that it will create jobs, he supports it and would sign it into law. Unfortunately, a handful of Democrats here in the Senate want to slow it down. They denied Americans this bipartisan victory for jobs that we could have had last night. … There’s simply no reason for any further delay. This bill is exactly the kind of thing Americans have been asking for — greater freedom and flexibility. And that’s one of the reasons it’s had such overwhelming bipartisan support. At a moment when millions are looking for work and Democrats say they want more bipartisan action on jobs, this is it. This is a layup. Let’s get it done.” Floor Remarks

Editorial: The JOBS Act Is An American Growth Bill – That The Senate Needs To Pass NOW. A rare example of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill may yet beat the odds and make it into law. The JOBS Act — short for Jumpstart Our Business Startups— sailed through the House on March 8 in a 390-23 vote with the support of President Barack Obama. It looked like Senate Majority leader Harry Reid would move on it swiftly. That changed in recent days, though. The JOBS Act has run into head winds, and no one expects such a lopsided result when the Senate votes on the measure, which is expected this week. Would the Senate really bury a jobs-creation bill that had such broad support in the House? We sure hope not. … Our nation's economy is growing only sluggishly. Job growth has been encouraging, but the nation's unemployment still stands at a demoralizing 8.3 percent. Our business climate is in a fog. Many entrepreneurs and business owners believe their government is working against them. Pass the JOBS Act. Undo some of the mistakes of the past to let companies start and grow and put people to work. The Chicago Tribune

Senate Democrats Attempt To Stall The Bipartisan JOBS Act Fails – When’s The Vote On The House Passed Bill? The Senate on Tuesday voted down a Democratic alternative to a House Republican small-business package, leaving the Democratic-controlled upper chamber with two options: accept the House bill or reject a measure supported by President Obama. After losing votes on two Democratic amendments to the measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, ended the day’s session, pushing back to Wednesday the key test vote on the House bill. The Washington Times

Senate Democrats Bog Down The Bipartisan JOBS Act. Concerns over cumbersome regulations, complex taxes and dysfunctional immigration have boiled up in our nation’s discourse, but unfortunately remain stymied by political wrangling. Take the JOBS Act, which is even now being debated in Congress. This bill, officially the Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups Act, which sailed through the House (390-23) and has been endorsed by the president, has bogged down in the Senate. It offers modest regulatory reforms intended to help small companies – those with less than $1 billion in revenues. These firms are arguably the most burdened by the heavy-handed requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank. Notwithstanding bipartisan enthusiasm for the bill, Democrats in the Senate have decided that even a slight relaxing of the regulatory noose threatens wholesale misbehavior in the corporate suite. The Fiscal Times

Modernizing Congress: Cantor Unveils Citizen CoSponsor, A New Way For Citizens To Engage In The Legislative Process

Leader Cantor: Get Involved With What’s Going In Congress With Citizen CoSponsor. Citizen Cosponsor is a new media phenomenon that we've unveiled today. And what it does is it allows people to engage in the legislative process, get behind bills, advocate for positions in the arena in which they live on line. And all you do is go to the Web site of Citizen Cosponsor. You become a Citizen Cosponsor. And you then can put it on the Facebook page that you know and that your friends know. And it's almost like clicking on a "like" button. And basically, you're saying to the world that you like this piece of legislation. And any time something moves with that legislation -- perhaps the member or the sponsor of the bill will have an on-line town hall, or there may be a tweet about it -- it will show up on your news feed, and it will, hopefully, engage the public in a much different but much more rapid way in the legislative process. On The Record

What Is Citizen CoSponsor? This is a dynamic communications platform that creates a more open, visible and participatory legislative process. Built on Facebook, Citizen CoSponsor will enable you to follow legislation that you’re interested in. You will then receive first-hand information and updates on the status of the bill as it moves through the legislative process. Check Out Citizen CoSponsor For Yourself HERE

Want To “CoSponsor” A Piece Of Legislation … Now You Can! Ever wanted to cosponsor a piece of legislation, but didn’t want to spend the time and energy on a run for Congress? Now you can, kind of. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) calls the project, which uses Facebook’s Open Graph platform, “an innovative way for you to stay in touch with your member of Congress, to be engaged in the legislative process and to make sure you’re speaking out on issues that are of particular concern to you.” “We’ll keep you informed, and you’ll be engaged throughout the legislative process,” Cantor said. “It’s about making sure that more people understand the importance of becoming aware and engaged in the legislative process.” The Washington Post

Two Futures: The GOP Budget Draws A Stark Contrast Between The President’s Plan and The Republican Vision For The Future

WSJ: The Ryan Budget Draws Clear Contrast Between The Republican Vision and The Obama/Pelosi/Reid Status Quo. The White House in its re-election bunker claims that all of this will "destroy Medicare as we know it," but in fact it is the only reform that will prevent Medicare from destroying itself. Mr. Obama's demagoguery on this subject is his Presidency at its most cynical. The Ryan budget also stakes out clear policy differences with the President on taxes and spending. Mr. Ryan's proposal would reduce spending over a decade by some $5 trillion. Mr. Obama's would increase spending by $1.5 trillion above the current budget baseline. Spending as a share of GDP never falls below 23% under Mr. Obama but slows to 20% of GDP under Mr. Ryan. Mr. Obama's budget contains $1.9 trillion in tax increases over the next decade and raises income, dividend and capital gains tax rates. The Ryan budget outlines an ambitious tax reform, collapsing today's six rates to two—25% and 10%—while retaining the 15% tax rates on capital gains and dividends and eliminating inefficient tax deductions and credits. He gets the corporate tax down to 25%, roughly the international average, and below the 28% rate Mr. Obama suggests. The Ryan plan isn't a pure flat tax, but it takes the IRS code a giant stride in that direction and creates a tax system far more conducive to faster job creation and greater investment. The Wall Street Journal

Chairman Ryan: We Are Sharpening The Contrast Of The Republican Vision and The Path Of Debt and Decline President Obama Has Placed Us On. The plan, authored by Congressman Paul Ryan, seeks to draw a sharp contrast between Republicans' vision of a smaller, less-intrusive federal government with that of President Barack Obama, who stresses the importance of social safety nets and emphasizes the positive role government plays in the economy. "We are sharpening the contrast between the path we are proposing and the path of debt and decline that the president has placed us upon," Ryan said in a speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Where Obama and many Democrats want to raise taxes on the wealthy and boost near-term spending on infrastructure and education, Republicans want to cut taxes and spending, except for defense. They reckon that the Ryan budget will help portray them as better-equipped to govern responsibly and make tough fiscal choices. Reuters

ObamaCare: Democrats Delayed Implementation Of ObamaCare To Hide It’s True Cost

Pulling Back The Curtain: Democrats Purposefully Hid The True Cost Of ObamaCare To Ensure Passage. Now let's take a closer look at the numbers and how Obamacare became law before we decide who is being dishonest here. First, lets get rid of the 11-year window the CBO uses in their most recent report, and make a new ten-year window so we can have a apples-to-apples ten-year comparison. Full Obamacare implementation doesn't start until 2014, so the CBO still hasn't procured an estimate of what a full 10-years of Obamacare spending looks like. But let's be generous to Obamacare's defenders and assume that the spending in 2023 is the same as 2022. That would make the true, 2014-2023, 10-year cost of full Obamacare implementation around $2.02 trillion. … A CBO score with a price tag below $1 trillion was absolutely essential to getting Obamacare passed in the House. No price tag under $1 trillion, no Obamacare. That is why the bill was designed to delay implementation: to purposefully hide the true cost. Now that time has caught up the Democrats shenanigans, the CBO is reporting that the real 10-year cost of full implementation is more than double what Democrats advertised in order to get the bill passed. This is not the CBO's fault. They dutifully and professionally scored the bill as the rules set by Congress dictate. The Washington Examiner


Dodd-Frank Fallout—Regulatory Costs Are Causing Small Richmond Areas Banks To Merge If They Want To Stay Open. The cost of implementing regulations under the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation could push small banks to merge or consolidate, a senior official at Union First Market Bank said Tuesday. David Fairchild, president of Union First Market Bank, told those attending the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate breakfast meeting that some smaller banks are already "under stress" from the Dodd-Frank regulations, which are still being implemented. Richmond Times-Dispatch

Keeping Tabs

Senate To Take Up House-Passed STOCK Act. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who pushed the get the legislation through that chamber, said he was pleased by the Reid-McConnell action. “Insider trading by members of Congress is unacceptable, and the STOCK Act will ensure the public knows that the same rules apply to elected officials as everyone else,” Cantor said in a statement. And in a rare moment of bipartisan comity, Cantor praised Democratic Reps. Tim Walz (Minn.) and Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) for their work on the measure. Walz was the original sponsor of the House version of the bill. “Members on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol have worked hard on this issue and deserve tremendous credit for their efforts,” Cantor added. “Here in the House, Representatives Tim Walz and Louise Slaughter deserve our thanks for their dedication to increase transparency and accountability as we take a step to restore the public’s trust in the federal government.” Politico

Energy Producers Plan Protest Of President Obama’s Visit To Oklahoma. The President is scheduled to speak in Payne County this Thursday morning. It may be rural Oklahoma, but when it comes to pipelines, it's the Capitol. The President is expected to talk about energy, though many in that industry are not impressed. They are even planning to protest his visit, calling it a political ploy more than a genuine interest. Mike Cantrell with the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance says, "For the last three years he's been anti-fossil fuels." Mickey Thompson, an energy industry expert and political analyst, says, "He calls our industry an industry of the past and they'd like us to go away." KFOR

President Obama’s Adds $4.93 Trillion To The Debt In Just Over Three Years. After just three years and two months in office yesterday, President Obama has already racked up more government debt than George W. Bush totaled in eight years. The debt has climbed by $4.93trillion under Obama, compared to $4.89 trillion during Bush’s two terms, according to a report from the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt. Obama, who called the debt accumulated under Bush “unpatriotic,” has so far on his watch let the nation’s red-ink level reach $15.5 trillion, from $10.626 trillion when he took office. New York Post

GOP Health Care Reforms