President Obama today sent to Congress his "Startup America Legislative Agenda" to expand tax relief and improve access to capital for job-creating startups and small businesses, featuring several key elements of the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship (AGREE) Act introduced by U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in November.
"Helping entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and create jobs is a critical component of our economic recovery," Senator Coons said Tuesday. "The AGREE Act I introduced with Senator Rubio contains an array of ideas for helping young businesses grow that already have bipartisan support, and I was pleased this morning to see that so many of those ideas have become important parts of the President's Startup America strategy. Congress needs to come together now to pass this legislation, work with the President, and help get more Americans back to work."
The Startup America Legislative Agenda expands tax cuts for small businesses to free up resources for job creation and makes it easier for startups and small business to access the capital they need to innovate, grow and create jobs. It also takes steps to attract and retain foreign-born entrepreneurs and highly skilled immigrants so they can start up the next generation of small businesses and great American companies.
The Startup America Legislative Agenda includes four of the main components of the AGREE Act:
Expand and make permanent zero capital gains on small business investments
Extend 100 percent depreciation for qualified property through 2012
Create an "IPO on-ramp" that phases in certain securities laws and regulations for smaller, young companies in their first years after going public
Eliminate country specific caps for certain immigrant visa categories to attract more high skilled foreign workers including entrepreneurs.
"President Obama knows that our country is so much stronger when Americans work together -- regardless of their political party -- to do what's needed," Senator Coons said. "There is so much that both parties agree on that we could take up and pass immediately, including the AGREE Act provisions now also part of Startup America. We have to find a way to work together and, certainly, the millions of out-of-work Americans can't wait for us to try."