Sen. Shaheen to Serve as Ranking Member on Small Biz Panel

April 8, 2015

Sen.ShaheenOn April 2, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) announced that she has been appointed to serve as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship for the 114th Congress. Sen. Shaheen will succeed Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) who will take over the top Democratic spot on the Foreign Relations Committee, since Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), is stepping aside temporarily to fight his federal indictment charge.

Sen. Shaheen has served in the Senate since 2009, and is a member of the Senate Committees on Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Appropriations, as well as the Small Business and Entrepreneurship. A former small-business owner, Sen. Shaheen has worked to keep the U.S. economy competitive in the global marketplace. As an active member of the Small Business Committee, Shaheen helped craft the Small Business Jobs Act, which assisted small businesses by providing them with tax breaks, access to credit, and exporting opportunities. She has also been a leading advocate for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, cosponsoring legislation to extend the program and advocating repeatedly for its renewal.

In her statement, Sen. Shaheen said that as ranking member her top priorities will be to help small businesses grow by improving their access to credit, enhancing their ability to reach new markets overseas, and increasing their contracting opportunities with the federal government. Sen. Shaheen went on to say that she was looking forward to working with her colleagues on the committee to continue in those efforts that spur job creation and economic growth in the U.S.

For the past four years, Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have been pushing for passage of their NSBA-supported Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, which has continuously fallen prey to unrelated partisan divides over nonrelated issues. However, the Senators did manage to pass a “scaled-back” version of their comprehensive bill, the Energy Efficiency Improvements Act (S. 535) on March 27, which will create jobs, save consumers money, and reduce pollution in a smart, effective and affordable way.  For more information about this measure, please click here to read an in-depth article on the bill.

She also authored legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank).The Promoting U.S. Jobs through Exports Act of 2015 (S.824), would extend the Ex-Im Bank charter through 2022. In addition to providing long-term certainty for small businesses by extending the Bank’s charter for seven years, S. 824 would increase the Bank’s lending cap by $20 billion over that period, contingent on the Bank’s default rate remaining below two percent. It would also increase the Bank’s loans to small businesses by five percent up from 20 percent to 25 percent.

NSBA looks forward to working with Sen. Shaheen on the issues most critical to small businesses; especially those recognized by NSBA members at our biennial Small Business Congress where our top 10 priority issues for the 114th Congress were determined. For more information about NSBA’s priorities, please click here.