Yesterday, the Blue Dog Coalition’s Special Task Force on Rural America held its second panel discussion on rural issues. The Task Force met with representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Midco, and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America) to discuss ways we can strengthen our nation’s rural economy.
Members of the fiscally conservative, Democratic Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to President Obama on June 13, 2013 to express their strong support for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline . The letter highlighted the positive economic and national security effects of constructing the pipeline, most notably increased job creation and decreased American dependence on foreign sources of oil.
“Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline will provide a positive impact to a broad spectrum of the American economy,” the Blue Dogs wrote. “An estimated 13,000 direct jobs will be created, with an additional 7,000 direct jobs needed to keep it operational. If the recent jobs report shows us anything, it’s that Americans are still in need of the highly-skilled, good-paying jobs that are created by a project of this magnitude.
“The security risks we will avoid by construction of this pipeline are notable… Construction of this pipeline gives us the opportunity to displace a significant portion of the oil we import from these less-than-friendly nations, whose instability causes severe fluctuations in our gas prices here at home.
“The Blue Dog Coalition agrees with the broad alliance of business, labor, and community leaders that the time for this pipeline has come. The economic impact and national security benefits indicate that this project is clearly in the national interest. We urge the Administration to move swiftly to approve the construction of this pipeline for the benefit of the entire country.”
The SBAExpress program gives small business borrowers an accelerated turnaround time for SBA's review. Small businesses receive a response to their application within 36 hours. In addition, lower interest rates are often available to borrowers when they apply through an Express program.Unlike traditional 7(a) loans, SBA Express loans carry a 50 percent guarantee and can be used as revolving lines of credit – to help restock inventories and support larger revenue sales – which are particularly critical for small businesses as they emerge out of the recession.Maximum loan amount is $350,000. The Small Business Jobs Act temporarily increased the maximum to $1 million so more small businesses could take advantage of the streamlined approval process for working lines of credit and other capital they need. That increase ends on 9/26/2011PROPOSAL: Extend the $1 million max until Dec 31, 2012.
Market research shows that a large percentage of commercial mortgages outstanding are set to mature within the next few years, particularly those held by community banks. As real estate values have declined, however, even small businesses that are performing well and making their payments on time can have a hard time refinancing these loans and may need to restructure their debt.Under the Small Business Jobs Act, the SBA authorized a temporary program—until Sept. 27, 2012—allowing small businesses to refinance eligible fixed assets in its 504 program without requirement of an expansion, as is the case with typical 504 loans. This program provides small businesses the opportunity to lock in long-term, stable financing, as well as protect jobs.PROPOSAL: Extend program for 1 year.
It is the policy of the United States, as stated in the Small Business Act, that all small businesses have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in providing goods and services to the government.To ensure that small businesses get their fair share, the SBA negotiates annual procurement preference goals with each federal agency and reviews each agency's results. The SBA is responsible for ensuring that the statutory government wide goals are met:< >23 percent of prime contracts for small businesses; (actual was 20.3% in 2010)5 percent of prime and subcontracts for small disadvantaged businesses; (actual was 7% in 2010)5 percent of prime and subcontracts for women-owned small businesses; (actual was 4.4% in 2010)3 percent of prime and subcontracts for HUBZone businesses; (actual was 2.4% in 2010)3 percent of prime and subcontracts for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (actual was 2.2% in 2010)There are no punitive consequences for not meeting the procurement goals. However, the SBA’s Small Business Goaling Report is distributed widely & receives media attention.PROPOSAL: Amend Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644) to increase the small business procurement goals by 1% each.
Today, the chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition’s Special Task Force on Rural America, Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), released the following statement in response to the failure of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, to pass the House:
The Blue Dog Coalition has launched a Special Task Force on Rural America, which will produce commonsense solutions for the rural communities across the country that were left behind after the Great Recession.
Today, the co-chairs of the fiscally-responsible, Democratic Blue Dog Coalition—Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)—released the following statement in response to the House passing the GOP budget resolution: