America’s Small Business Summit Goes to the Hill

May 25, 2011

A standing room only crowd of small business owners packed into the Capitol today for the America’s Small Business Summit Rally on the Hill. The gathering was addressed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Rep. Charles Boustany, and Rep. Steve Southerland.

Cantor, the morning’s first speaker, was particularly familiar with the concerns of small business owners, having been one himself. He shared his frustrations with meeting payroll, controlling a budget, and balancing risk. He also said that Washington needs to stop hurting the ability of small businesses to create jobs. Tomorrow, Cantor said that the House Republicans will offer a job creation agenda that includes fixing the burdensome tax code, arresting regulatory creep, and passing free trade agreements to allow the U.S. to better compete. The Majority Leader said, “We are fighting for the principles of growing America.”

Sen. Kyl turned the discussion to health care, a topic of particular consternation to small business owners. While Kyl still hopes for full repeal of President Obama’s health care law, he recently introduced the Small Business Health Relief Act to remove some of the most troublesome provisions. As he described his U.S. Chamber-supported legislation, small business owners around the room nodded vigorously in agreement with the bill’s primary objectives: eliminate the employer mandate, restrictions on health savings accounts, and new taxes on insurance companies that would trickle down to businesses and consumers while ensuring that people could keep the coverage they have if they like it.

Reps. Boustany and Southerland touched on health care as well, with Boustany calling the administration’s health care law “one of the greatest threats to free enterprise.” Southerland focused on the importance of Washington making the right policy decisions for small business owners, whether on health care or any other issue. He stressed that he was in Congress to do an honest job and not to play politics when he said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to have a good memory.”

Following the rally, the fired up Summit attendees dispersed throughout Capitol Hill for a host of meetings with members of Congress and their staffs. 

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