NSBA Members Hear from Members of Congress

September 15, 2011

The final event for the collective group during the Washington Presentation was the Congressional Breakfast. Held this morning (Sept. 15) in the Capitol Visitor’s Center, four distinguished members of Congress attended.

The first Representative to speak was Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) who said in his remarks that Republicans would stop any attempt to raise taxes. He argued that the most important thing government can do for small businesses is to get out of their way by reducing the tax and regulatory burden on small businesses. Walsh argued against the President’s jobs bill, primarily because of the spending it contains, and went on to indicate that he believes there will be bipartisan support for a highway bill and for reauthorizing the FAA and SBIR program.

Next to address the group was Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) who spoke about his Fair Tax efforts, which has led to the highest number of cosponsors on the House and Senate legislation than ever before. Woodall stated that his experience so far, as a freshman member, has been one where everyone is very passionate about their beliefs—whichever side of the aisle they’re on—which can be a good thing. He went on to also speak positively about bipartisan efforts, and the need to work in a bipartisan manner to get things done.

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) closed the event by speaking to the importance of the SBIR program. An outspoken supporter of the SBIR program as it currently operates, Tsongas outlined her efforts to help secure a Continuing Resolution for the program before it expired at the end of the month, and her desire to see a long-term reauthorization packaged approved during this Congress.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) also attended the breakfast, but unfortunately due to time constraints, was unable to formally address the participants.

Following the breakfast, NSBA members set out on their hill visits to talk with their elected officials about key small-business issues. Washington Presentation members also will have the opportunity to attend the SBA Symposium on small-business access to capital concerns.