Today, the Ways and Means Committee will mark up Leader Cantor's Small Business Tax Cut Act to give small business owners a 20% tax cut. The House will vote on the Small Business Tax Cut Act around Tax Day to provide immediate tax relief to small businessmen and women, no matter how their business is organized. Both parties agree we need to do everything we can to help small businesses, and the measure has the support of entrepreneurs, small business groups, franchisers, health care professionals and small-scale manufacturers. We ought to build on the bipartisan momentum we gained with the passage of the bipartisan JOBS Act, and come together to deliver real results for small businessmen and women to help them grow and hire new workers.
Today In History: In 1941, workers started clearing trees from hundreds of acres of land near Ypsilanti, Michigan, some 30 miles west of Detroit, in preparation for the construction of the Ford Motor Company's Willow Run plant, which utilized Henry Ford's mass-production technology to build B-24 bomber planes for World War II. During the war, Detroit was dubbed the "Arsenal of Democracy," as American automakers reconfigured their factories to produce a variety of military vehicles and ammunition for the Allies.
Birthdays: Lady Gaga, Julia Stiles, Vince Vaughn, Reba McEntire and Lindsay Frimodt
Here is what's in today's Ledger
State Of Play: Bipartisan JOBS Act Heads To The President's Desk
House Overwhelmingly Passes JOBS Act, Sends It To President Obama For His Signature. The House overwhelmingly approved a measure Tuesday designed to make it easier for growing companies to attract investors and comply with securities laws. The bipartisan measure, strongly backed by both parties and the White House, passed 380 to 41. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, first passed the House earlier this month with wide bipartisan margins and the Senate approved it last week after adding amendments that provide additional safeguards on "crowdfunding" to prevent credit scams. The House needed to approve the changes before sending it to the White House for President Obama's signature. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said passage of the bill was "an increasingly rare legislative victory in Washington where both sides seized the opportunity to work together, improved the bill and passed it with strong bipartisan support." The Washington Post
* WH Says President Obama Will Sign The JOBS Act. White House officials said today that President Obama will sign legislation designed to help small businesses raise capital by loosening certain federal regulations. "We are pleased Congress took bipartisan action to pass key initiatives the President proposed last fall to help small businesses and start-ups grow and create jobs," said a statement from White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage. USA Today
Leader Cantor On Passage Of The Bipartisan JOBS Act: The House today overwhelmingly passed Majority Leader Eric Cantor's JOBS Act in a rare moment of bipartisanship. The Virginia Republican's bill, which had been modified by the Senate last week, passed on a 380-41 vote, with 145 Democrats joining all voting Republicans in supporting it. The measure would remove some regulatory hurdles for small businesses to raise capital. In a statement following the vote, Cantor hailed its passage: "Both parties in Congress, the President and entrepreneurs like Steve Case came together on this bill that will increase capital formation and pave the way for more small-scale businesses to go public and create jobs. The bipartisan JOBS Act represents an increasingly rare legislative victory in Washington where both sides seized the opportunity to work together, improved the bill and passed it with strong bipartisan support." Roll Call
Rep Fincher: The JOBS Act Helps Create An Environment Where Startups, Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Can Flourish. "Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our nation and our economy. This bill puts the focus on the private sector, capitalism, and the free market, providing the jumpstart our nation's entrepreneurs and small businesses need to grow and create jobs. Our nation has seen a decline in small business start-ups over the last few years, which means less jobs created for American workers. The best thing our government can do right now to get our economy moving in the right direction is to help create an environment where new ideas and start-up companies have a chance to grow and succeed." Press Release
* Cantor: Let's Continue The Bipartisan Momentum and Pass The 20% Small Business Tax Cut To Help Small Businesses Grow and Hire. Cantor is hoping to translate today's bipartisan success into other smaller victories, including with a small-business tax package the House is expected to take up next month. "We should build on this momentum going forward and use the opportunity provided by the Small Business Tax Cut in April, so we can continue to help small businesses and job creators in this country to grow and hire," Cantor said. Roll Call
State Of Play (2): ObamaCare Under Fire At The Supreme Court
Editorial: A Bad Day For ObamaCare and Unlimited Government At The High Court. Tuesday's two hours of Supreme Court oral arguments on ObamaCare's individual mandate were rough-going for the government and its assertions of unlimited federal power. Several Justices are clearly taking seriously the Constitution's structural checks and balances that are intended to protect individual liberty. "Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?" inquired Justice Kennedy, in the first question from the bench. To ask another way, does the Administration think it has plenary police powers to coerce individuals into economic transactions they would otherwise avoid? Mr. Verrilli replied that health care is "unique," so Justice Samuel Alito brought up the "market for burial services" and asked if the government could mandate funeral insurance. After all, in the long run we are all dead and thus could transfer the costs of our deaths to the rest of society. Mr. Verrilli's error is that even if health care and health insurance were intrinsically different from all other markets--and they aren't--that fact is constitutionally irrelevant. Any federal exercise of police powers is untenable because the Constitution gives such powers to the states. The Wall Street Journal
Republicans On The Senate Judiciary Committee: The Democrat Controlled-Congress Exceeded Its Constitutional Limit With ObamaCare. The powers of Congress are limited to those that are enumerated in the text of the Constitution. Yet, over the years, those powers have been expanded through judicial interpretation so that Congress now regulates more than what the Constitution actually allows. If the individual mandate is upheld, the federal government could, for the first time in history, force Americans to purchase a government-approved commercial product. As a practical matter, this would dramatically erode the limits to what the government could command citizens to do - radically altering the relationship between Americans and their government. Congress and the states have ample powers to address our health care problems. Congress has gone 230 years without the power to make Americans buy goods or services from private companies. It has overreached before in asserting unjustified powers. The Supreme Court's decision will be quite significant as a constitutional principle. The Washington Times
* Chief Justice Roberts Questions The Limit Of Congress's Power To Regulate. Conservative justices attacked the heart of President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, expressing deep skepticism that the government can force Americans to buy insurance. On the second day of oral arguments, the Supreme Court grappled for two hours with that central element of the landmark legislation: the so-called individual mandate. Before the arguments, many court watchers said they expected the law would be upheld, and a few even predicted that as many as eight justices would back the constitutionality of the mandate. However, through their comments and questions Tuesday, the justices signaled they may defy those expectations. . Chief Justice John Roberts argued that if the court says Congress can regulate anything people buy just because of how they pay for it, "all bets are off." Today it is health insurance, he said, and then "something else in the next case." "Once we accept the principle, I don't see why Congress's power is limited," Roberts said. Politico
Regulatory Row: The Obama Administration Wants To End The Use Of Coal "As We Know It."
The Obama Administration's Utility MACT Effectively BLOCKS The Construction Of Coal-Fired Power Plants. The Obama administration on Tuesday announced long-awaited rules to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from new power plants that will effectively block the construction of new coal-burning plants power companies expect the cumulative impact of federal regulations to raise electricity rates for consumers in areas where coal is a big part of the generation mix, such as the Midwest. Despite the EPA's insistence that the new rule will still allow advanced coal plants to be built, many critics aren't convinced. "This really is a ban on new coal-fired generation. The EPA knows that," said Jeff Holmstead, a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Washington and former head of the EPA's air office under President George W. Bush. "They are threatening to destroy coal-based generation," said Luke Popovich, a National Mining Association spokesman. He mocked the EPA's claim that the rules provide "certainty" to the marketplace, saying "putting a gun to one's head" also provides certainty. "When combined with the myriad of other regulations proposed, adopted or currently planned by EPA, the [new rules] will present a near and present danger to the reliability of the electric grid and the nation's economy," the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a trade group mostly consisting of coal-burning utilities, wrote to the administration earlier this month. The Wall Street Journal
Senate Democrat Joe Manchin: The Administration's Announcement Ends The Use Of Coal "As We Know It."
* Kicker: The Administration Is Raising Costs, Killing Jobs, and Endangering Grid Reliability For NOTHING. Ironically, the EPA said the new rule "is not likely to produce changes in emissions of greenhouse gases or other pollutants." The Wall Street Journal
The Road Ahead: The House Energy Action Team (HEAT)
VIDEO From GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy -- What Has President Obama Done About Our Energy Crisis?-- Watch It HERE
* Whip McCarthy, HEAT Put House Republicans On Offense Against President Obama's Failed Energy Policies. See How HERE
House Republicans Call For An Examination Of The Impact The Administration's Regulatory Policies Have On Raising Gas Prices. Republicans leading the House Energy and Commerce Committee are taking up that message this week, charging that the agency does little to determine how its regulatory agenda could affect prices at the pump -- in particular, with a much-debated plan to require refiners to reduce the amount of sulfur in gasoline. First up to bat: Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), with new legislation that would require a presidential commission to investigate the impact of Environmental Protection Agency regulations on consumer gas prices. A discussion draft of the bill would also clamp down on any new regulations until six months after the commission issues a report to Congress. "There's never, at least not recently, been any comprehensive study on what is affecting gasoline prices," Whitfield said. Between 2004 and 2007, refiners met first-time federal requirements to drop the amount of sulfur in gasoline from 300 parts per million to 30 ppm. Now, the EPA wants them to bring it down to 10 ppm. In a new study last week, the American Petroleum Institute scaled back the cost and impact estimates for a tightened sulfur limit, saying it could cost refiners an additional 6 cents to 9 cents a gallon to process gasoline. Politico
Speaker Boehner On The House GOP Budget: "This week-- we're gonna be passing a budget. We're gonna lay out-- our vision-- for how we get America back on track, how we bring prosperity back to our country, how we save the next generation. We've done our job every year. It's been over three years since the United States Senate has done a budget. This is totally irresponsible." NBC's Today Show
The View From Houston: Senate Democrats Constant Assault Against Hard Working Texans Is Unwarranted and Below The Belt. Here in the world's energy capital, Big Oil means tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors going about the hard and necessary work of finding and developing the resources the nation's economy needs to run. We'll say it plainly: These folks don't get respect. As far as we know, this is the only group of employees engaged in legal activities in this country whose efforts are regularly singled out, under the banner of bludgeoning Big Oil, for calumniation and berating. We think they deserve better. Ironically, they get better from the British government than our own. Writing on Tuesday's Outlook page about his own country's efforts to develop its natural gas resources ("U.K. boosts Texas businesses," Page B11, March 27), Andrew Millar, the British consul general to Houston, wrote: "Nobody knows better than Texans how to find, extract and transport fossil fuels." Amen. The Houston Chronicle