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Mr. KIND. I thank the gentlewoman from Maine for yielding me this time.
Mr. Speaker, I do rise in strong support of the rule and of the underlying bill, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act. This bill couldn't be more timely. Many of the provisions that we passed in the American Recovery Act to expand the opportunity of small business loan programs are about to expire.
I know, in my district in western Wisconsin, I haven't been on the phone more often than in the past year talking to small business owners who are struggling to get credit in order to keep their doors open. In fact, earlier this week, I was on the phone with the owner of a small manufacturing business that makes boats. He said that he has got customers lining up who are willing to make purchases of those boats, but because lines of credit are not available to them, they can't move forward and close the deals. This has a tremendous ripple effect throughout our entire economy.
I would submit to my colleagues here today that, unless we figure out a way of freeing up the capital markets so that they are more free-flowing and are more efficient, especially for small businesses and farmers, this will be a very difficult recovery to endure. That's why the Small Business Financing and Investment Act is important. We are expanding and extending the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, not to mention expanding the ARC program, as well as the Working Capital Loan Fund.
I want to just take a moment and commend the regional director of the Small Business Administration in my area, Eric Ness, with whom I've teamed up in the last 6 months to hold multiple small business forums throughout western Wisconsin, which help inform small business owners and farmers about the availability of the SBA programs, as well as the local lenders, so that they do know what's available and how it works.
Now, my good friend and colleague from the State of Texas--and he is my friend--had a few mischaracterizations that I want to clarify. As President Reagan is fond of saying, facts can be a stubborn thing. The facts are these:
When we passed the American Recovery Act, we did have accelerated depreciation and expensing for small businesses in it. We had a net operating loss carryback for small businesses so that the profits that they took in previous years could be immediately written down over the last couple of years when they were suffering losses. This has worked to have an immediate cash infusion into those small businesses. What we're doing here today is directly beneficial to small businesses in trying to free up these capital markets that are not working well. These are proven programs that we clearly need to extend and expand upon.
I commend Chairwoman Velázquez of the Small Business Committee, and I commend every member on that committee for the attention and the energy that they have devoted to the plight of small business owners.
In my region of the world, in my district, I know, unless small businesses have the ability to keep their doors open--to make payroll, to make investments, and to expand jobs--we're not going to see the type of job growth that is required to recover from the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.
I would encourage my colleagues to support this rule and to support the underlying bill. Show your support for small businesses, support that they need today.
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