Leaders of House Small Business Committee Discuss Job Creation and Economic Growth In Appearance Before Ripon Society Policy Luncheon

WASHINGTON, DC – The Chairman and Subcommittee Chairmen of the House Small Business Committee appeared before a Small Business Policy luncheon of The Ripon Society yesterday afternoon to talk about job creation in the United States and the effort they are leading in the House of Representatives to make sure that the small business engine of our economy is running on all cylinders.

The leaders appearing at the Ripon Society luncheon included: Sam Graves (MO-6), the Chairman of the Small Business Committee; Mike Coffman (CO-6), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations; Renee Ellmers (NC-2), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology; Scott Tipton (CO-3), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade; Joe Walsh (IL-8), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access; and, Mick Mulvaney (SC-5), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce.

Chairman Graves opened the luncheon by discussing not only what his Committee is doing to spur small business job creation, but how it is working with the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to make sure that federal small business dollars are spent efficiently and effectively. “We’re obviously very involved in what the ‘supercommittee’ is doing,” Graves stated. “And we’re going to make our recommendations very shortly. We’re going to recommend some programs to be eliminated or consolidated, which is going to amount to about $100 million in savings for the committee. We’re very pleased about it. We scrubbed it very carefully. These are programs that have already been duplicated elsewhere in government. There’s no reason for us to be spending money twice – and sometimes three times – on the same program.”

In his remarks, Coffman outlined the oversight agenda he has developed for his subcommittee, and discussed a recent field hearing he had convened last month in his Colorado District. The purpose of the field hearing, he said, was to look at how new banking regulations were limiting access to credit and capital and why it was time that “the pendulum” of regulatory authority swing back in favor of small businesses. “We fully understand in this subcommittee,” Coffman stated, “that small business is the engine that drives economic growth and job creation. And if we don’t get that moving, this economy’s not going to be moving forward.”

Ellmers, who is a nurse and the wife of a surgeon, echoed Coffman’s sentiments in her remarks to the crowd. “We have got to be doing everything we can,” she stated, “not only to be rolling back those regulations that are facing our businesses right now – which we know are halting growth – but we also have to be looking forward to the future in research and development.” In this regard, Ellmers discussed her efforts to win passage of the Small Business Innovation Research Grant. “Technology, innovation and research are so important moving forward in the creating of jobs,” she said.

Following Ellmers to the podium, Tipton agreed with the comments of his fellow subcommittee chairs, and criticized the Administration for its antagonistic position with regard to small business. “We have 773,000 small businesses in this country, creating 21 million jobs,” he stated. “And the President wants to attack that. We’re spending in this country right now $1,750,000,000,000 each year in regulatory compliance. That is a tremendous drain. We have a whole series of new regulatory requirements that are being proposed by the President and his administration. We are sapping the energy of America.”

Walsh, who opened his remarks by discussing his decision to miss the President’s jobs speech to Congress and instead hold attend a town hall meeting with small business owners in his district, also expressed concern about the burden Washington is placing on small business owners and how it is dragging the economy down. “There’s no group of people in this country with a target on their back like small businessmen and women,” he stated. “Our job is clear – we need to free them up. They’re overregulated, they’re overtaxed, and they’re scared to death of what’s coming out of Washington.”

In trying to reduce the burden facing small businesses, Mulvaney said that Republicans have an additional problem, as well — a problem that has less to do with economics than communications. “Let’s be honest with ourselves,” he stated. “We lose the messaging. We try to make an articulate, principled argument on a particular matter – whatever it is – and they the opposition trots out the needy child, or disabled vet, or something and pulls the heartstrings, and we lose the storytelling part of the battle. We lose the anecdotes. One of the things we’ve done this year in my subcommittee is try to start winning that battle.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.