Immigration and Cybersecurity Hearings on Hill

March 7, 2013

pic-congress-committeeAmong the various topics being discussed this week on Capitol Hill are two hearings focused on issues of importance to small business: immigration–namely addressing highly-skilled workers–and cybersecurity.

Earlier this week, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing entitled “Enhancing American Competitiveness through Skilled Immigration.” The key topic of discussion was how to best deal with the shortage of highly-skilled workers currently facing U.S. businesses.

The importance of attracting and retaining highly-skilled immigrant entrepreneurs and workers is crucial to promoting and facilitating job creation and new business formation. Likewise, it is certainly recognized by NSBA and its members as necessary for the long-term economic success of our country. NSBA greatly appreciates those efforts already underway to help improve our immigration system and encourages the relevant parties to work together on legislation to address the unique needs and limitations of small businesses so that they can continue to hire new workers and expand their firms.

On Thursday, March 7 at 2:30PM EST in Dirksen Senate Office Building room G-50, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold a joint hearing entitled “The Cybersecurity Partnership Between the Private Sector and Our Government: Protecting our National and Economic Security.” The purpose of this hearing will be to discuss the implementation of President Obama’s recently released Executive Order “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” and the need for legislation on the issue.

NSBA believes that addressing our cyber vulnerabilities is a critical issue for America’s small-business community and must be dealt with as soon as possible. Small businesses are very concerned about safeguarding our nation’s digital networks and critical infrastructure, as well as ensuring that any new legislation or policy does not place a disproportionate burden on our small business community. According to a recent study released by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Symantec, in 2011, 18 percent of all cyber-attacks targeted small businesses. By October 2012 (when the study was released) that number had increased to 36 percent. NSBA will keep its members apprised of any relevant developments.