Leader Cantor's Remarks On House Repeal of 3% Withholding Rule
October 27, 2011
Contact: Doug Heye, Megan Whittemore

It is clear that many businesses across this country are feeling the ill effect of the regulatory and tax burdens placed upon them by continued policies coming out of Washington and this Administration. Small businesses in particular, the backbone of our economy, face a cloud of uncertainty. This uncertainty prevents these entrepreneurs from taking a risk, from starting a business, and creating jobs. But, House Republicans want to work with our colleagues across the aisle and we want to help empower these small business men and women to once again begin the engine that drives our economy. This is the focus of the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. This is about jobs.

There are some who repeatedly claim that they want to vote on a jobs bill. Well, we passed one yesterday on a bipartisan basis. And today they will have another chance and we will pass another. Currently, the House has passed 16 bills focused on job creation that are sitting idly in the U.S. Senate. The President has traveled the country telling Americans, “We Can’t Wait” to pass some jobs bills. Well, we aren’t waiting. We continue to pass jobs bills. Perhaps it’s time for the President to deliver the “We Can’t Wait” message to the other body in the Capitol.

Today, the House will take another step in solving our jobs crisis by repealing the 3% withholding rule. Under this rule, federal, state and many local governments will be required to withhold 3% of all government payments made to contractors and suppliers. The impact of this rule would be huge accounting burdens on governments and potentially harmful cash flow disruptions for suppliers, contractors and subcontractors. Those are dollars that could otherwise be used to grow a business or hire more workers.

The cost of this law would then be felt by state and local governments, universities, like Virginia Commonwealth University that told me it is an “unreasonable burden on an institution of higher education.” It is an unreasonable burden on heavy equipment dealers, and other businesses across the country. Compliance costs would move capital, that could otherwise be used to hire additional workers, to the government.

Many of my fellow Virginians in the county in which I live would be severely impacted by this law. For example, if this law had been in effect in 2009 and 2010 in the county of Henrico, Virginia an estimated $15 million would not have reached small businesses that are already operating within small margins of profit. This is not the time to be adding additional costs to our job creators. In May of this year, my County Manager stated that, “The effect of this law may also be harmful to the economy with a significant amount of money being directed to the federal government instead of to businesses that would potentially use those funds to create jobs and grow their business.”

By passing another bill, another jobs bill, House Republicans are helping companies cope with this era of uncertainty. This is another bipartisan and common sense solution to support the small business men and women of our economy so that they can begin to support and begin to regenerate our ailing economy.

In the past week we have passed the long-awaited Free Trade Agreements, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, and next week we will further help entrepreneurs access capital with the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act. The President says “We Can’t Wait.” We agree. It’s time to get America working again, and we call upon the Senate not only to act on this jobs bill, but the other 16 that currently sit idly in the Senate.