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Startup Companies

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. MORAN. I thank the Senator from South Dakota. I am pleased that we are here finally on a topic of significant importance to the country. We have heard for a long time about the necessity of creating jobs, of creating an opportunity for Americans to succeed. In fact, I would guess that is the primary motivation for why many of us serve in the Senate: so that every generation, those who follow us, but those even today have the opportunity to pursue the American dream.

I think our goal is not to create a circumstance in which no one fails, but the goal is to create a circumstance in which many succeed. So while it has been very disappointing that the Senate has failed for so long to get to the important topic that we should be addressing, job creation, we are finally here today.

I commend the leaders of both parties for reaching an agreement that allows us to begin the discussion and ultimately, hopefully, pass the JOBS bill in a form just like the House passed a few days ago.

I came to this issue of job creation and innovation and entrepreneurship with a realization that this Congress is failing--this administration is failing to address the issue of the deficit and the financial condition of our country. I believe my kids and those Americans who follow us are going to be in much worse shape because the administration and Congress have failed to address the issue we face today, which is our country is broke. We are spending money we do not have.

We cannot seem to resolve that issue in a way that puts us on a path toward a balanced budget. I will not ever walk away from my belief that is necessary. I will continue to work as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and in every capacity I have to see that we get our spending under control and that we are on that path toward balancing the budget. Because of the failure of the administration and the leadership of the Senate to address this issue of the deficit, I started looking for ways in which we could approach the deficit in perhaps a way that is easier for us to grasp, easier for us to deal with.

And that is job creation, because the more people who are working the more taxes that are collected and the more money comes into the coffers of the U.S. Treasury to pay down this tremendous debt. These two issues are actually related. I have tried to figure out how to explain to Kansans why the deficit matters in whether they have a job or can pursue a better job. The answer is that no business is going to expand, grow, or invest in capital and plant and equipment and hire new people if they are concerned that the United States might be the next Greece--the next country in which our creditors decide that we are no longer capable of paying back this tremendous debt that has accrued over a long period of time now and escalated in the last few years.

The goal of paying down the debt is certainly worthy in and of itself. But if we can do that, we also have the opportunity to create an environment in which business feels comfortable in hiring more employees and adding plant and equipment and investing in their business and growing it.

Today we come to the floor in support of the JOBS bill, as passed by the House of Representatives, in hopes that the Senate will do so in short order. It is the opportunity we have to make a tremendous difference so that Americans can, today and in the future, pursue that American dream.

We, over a long period of time, have created many impediments toward the success of that job creation. The Senator from South Dakota talked about the regulatory environment, and we have highlighted on the Senate floor a major overreach that fundamentally alters the way we live our lives back home in Kansas in regard to family farms. Farming and ranching in our State is a family operation. Yet the Department of Labor believes it is their role to tell parents what that relationship should be with their own children and their ability to work on their own family farm. It is just an example of this mindset in our Nation's capital that exists today that says we know better than the American people, better than the moms and dads, about the families, about what is the role for a young person working on a family farming operation in Kansas and across the country. That is an example.

Those regulations are there today and they are being proposed all the time. In my view, if the Federal Government believes it has this significant role to play in defining the relationship between moms and dads and working on a farm, what can't the Federal Government tell us back home what we can and cannot do? If they can go so far as to--I guess I should say, who more than a parent cares more about the safety of their own children, whom they are working side by side with or working with a neighboring farm? This is but one example in which we have decided that the government knows best, the Department of Labor knows better than moms and dads.

Once we reach that kind of conclusion, then there is nothing off limits for the Federal Government to say we know better than the citizens of our country. That is a misguided approach to the Federal Government, the role that we are to play. But it is a handicap and hindrance toward the ability of the American people, the entrepreneurs, and those who believe in the free enterprise system--it is an impediment to them ever pursuing that opportunity to create jobs and an economy that encourages job creation.

I appreciate earlier Senator Warner, the Senator from Virginia, being on the floor talking about legislation he and I are working on called the Startups Act. We continue to believe there is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs. In fact, research from the Kaufman Foundation shows that startups less than 5 years old have accounted for nearly all of the net jobs created in the United States from 1980 to 2005. In fact, startups create 3 million new jobs every year.

What we are about today is a portion of this legislation that Senator Warner and I have introduced, the Startups Act, about the capital formation provisions of the bill. We have been working with Senators Coons and Rubio and others to blend these provisions into the Startups Act, but a portion is now on the Senate floor. I am here to commend the opportunity that we have today to pursue that portion of job creation. It is not enough, but it is certainly a great beginning point for us in the Senate to follow the lead of the House of Representatives and create an opportunity for capital formation.

This legislation creates tax incentives that will spur investments in startups, reduce the regulatory burden and barriers that make it harder for startups to grow, and win the battle for us to see that the United States remains a highly competitive, innovative, entrepreneurial environment in which businesses succeed. I suppose what we say about businesses succeeding--it is not about necessarily the business success but about the consequences of that success, which is that Americans will have jobs, the opportunity to put food on the families' tables, save for their kids' education, save for their retirement, and meet the responsibilities we have as parents and members of the family.

I join the Senator from South Dakota in my strong support for moving forward and passing this JOBS legislation. I also ask the Senate to consider further legislative initiatives, such as the one Senator Warner and I have, to make sure we do more to create that circumstance, that opportunity in America, where everybody has that opportunity to succeed, and that many will.

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Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, I have no doubt that the ability to have an economic recovery and create jobs is, in so many ways, determined by what happens with our actions in regard to an energy policy and the development of our own resources.

Certainly, while we are here to talk about jobs today, there is a national security, military stance issue that is, unfortunately, related to our strong dependence upon foreign energy supplies. This Congress, this administration, in my view, needs to get out of the way and let the private sector begin the process of meeting our country's energy needs.

When we talk about high prices and complain about the price at the pump, what we are complaining about is that the supply is insufficient to meet the demand. The supply is not increased and the demand goes up, and the resulting consequence is increasing prices. You can remedy that by increasing the supply of energy in this country. We have a vast array of those resources that, because of the regulations, environment, and the policies of the Federal Government, we are unable to pursue. The market would send the message that we need more supply, but the regulators are in the way of making that happen.

In a State such as ours, as the Senator from South Dakota says, we have to drive long distances. Agriculture is dependent upon natural gas for fertilizer and fuel, for irrigation, and diesel fuel matters to us; and we have many industries that consume energy in the creation of manufactured products. Every time the price goes up, the ability to create a new job goes down.

This country desperately needs an energy policy that is focused on the production of energy, using our own resources to meet our own country's needs. It is a significant and critical component if we are going to get the economy back on track and have jobs created.

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Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, just to conclude, I would like to thank and commend the Senator from South Dakota for his leadership on these issues and again express my pleasure that we are finally taking up legislation that will make it easier for new businesses to raise capital, creating a phase-in period for small, growing companies to comply with government regulations that will help young businesses expand and could ease the decision to go public, and, finally, to update our securities laws that have been in place since the 1930s to reflect a 21st-century marketplace so they can expand access to capital for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. And all this is done with the goal of creating the circumstance where many will succeed.

I thank the Chair.

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