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Public Statements

Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. RICHARDSON. I would like to extend a thanks to Chairman Smith and to Ranking Member Conyers for having their hard work brought to fruition here with this legislation.

Madam Chairwoman, the Richardson amendment would allow the government to take significant regulatory action if and when the monthly national unemployment rate is above 6 percent, thereby allowing for the action and proper implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

The sponsors of H.R. 4078 suggest the legislation will promote job growth. I argue that the Affordable Care Act, when fully implemented, will promote job growth, support economic growth and spur deficit reduction in our economy in terms of the deficit that we currently are experiencing. My amendment is intended to ensure that adequate health care through the Affordable Care Act can be fully implemented.

Because so many Americans rely on their employers to have access to health care, high levels of unemployment can leave many of our U.S. citizens uninsured and underinsured. When the monthly unemployment rate is above 6 percent, something this Nation has unfortunately incurred for approximately 2 years now, that is the very time, I would argue, that our government was created to assist U.S. citizens and all of those who obviously need health care. A strong economy needs healthy workers.

There is a common and persistent misconception that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will pose an undue burden on small businesses and will limit job creation, but this is absolutely untrue. Rather, the Affordable Care Act offers $40 billion in tax credits for small businesses to help pay for employee health insurance coverage. In 2011, this tax credit was used to pay for the coverage of over 2 million uninsured Americans. In my home district, the 37th Congressional District of California, 510 small businesses have already received this tax credit to maintain or expand the health insurance coverage for their employees.

The Affordable Care Act also establishes health insurance exchanges in which small business owners and employees can pool their buying power to shop for affordable plans. Beginning in 2014, all the plans offered in these exchanges will have guaranteed sets of minimum benefits to ensure that small businesses are not faced with gaps in coverage or fine print restrictions, which are documented problems that have plagued recipients in the past.

Despite the unfounded claims that this bill will raise taxes for everyday Americans, the Affordable Care Act will bring a significant and immediate savings to the middle class at a time when we need it most.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. RICHARDSON. I am convinced that President Obama does care, but today, I am here to talk about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Regarding that act, I think it's important to note that this amendment is not simply a blanket exemption; rather, it deals with the time when unemployment exceeds 6 percent. For those American people--many of whom I represent, who have struggled through no fault of their own to be able to gain employment--this is a significant exemption that is needed.

Madam Chairwoman, when we look at the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it passed this body in Congress; it passed the body in the Senate; it was signed into law; and now it has been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. Health care reform is finally here to stay, and the time has come for us to commit ourselves and our attention and our efforts in this Congress to wholeheartedly supporting its enactment. Where changes and revisions and improvements need to be made, we have an opportunity to do so.

The Richardson amendment I bring forward today does not obligate additional funds to address health care reform. It would simply give the Federal Government the freedom--the freedom that we all believe in--to pursue all available options in the future, especially in the greatest times of need. My amendment ensures that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is implemented without adding time and cost-consuming procedural burdens.

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting Richardson amendment No. 8 and to reaffirm this Nation's commitment to providing the basic necessity. Certainly, I think that equates to the level of the right to the pursuit of happiness, which is what America was built on.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

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Ms. RICHARDSON. Madam Chairwoman, the Richardson amendment simply improves the bill by allowing for necessary regulations to be promulgated when the monthly national unemployment rate is above 6 percent in order to protect consumers against unintended consequences that they might suffer under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

This amendment promotes job growth by ensuring small businesses have fair and accurate credit scores to obtain competitive interest loans. This amendment enables the appropriate Federal agencies, such as the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to issue regulations necessary to protect consumers and to promote small businesses.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, also known as FCRA, is an important piece of legislation that protects the accuracy, fairness, and the privacy of information collected at credit bureaus. It gives consumers the right to view and challenge the information in their respective credit reports. Although this legislation was originally passed well over 40 years ago, this issue has remained in the forefront of public consciousness, and in 2003 we had provisions that were added to deal with identity theft.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that consumer reporting agencies, also known as CRAs, ensure that they provide up-to-date information and remove negative information after 10 years. These requirements mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act provide entrepreneurs with fair credit scores and enable them to seek competitive loans to start or expand small businesses.

There are 28.6 million small businesses in the United States, and small businesses create two out of every three jobs in this country. In the State of California that I represent, small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the State's 16 million workers and represent 90 percent of the job growth for higher income.

With that, Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. RICHARDSON. Madam Chair, in relation to the comments that have been made, I'd like to speak to why the fair credit reporting agencies would be exempted in this particular amendment.

When you consider that we're national representatives--and rational legislators do know, I would say, and I think small business owners are aware, that without capital, without the ability to have appropriate credit scores and not to be able to extend that, not to be able to get appropriate capital to have your business to be successful, there are no jobs. There is no thriving economy. That's why, in fact, this Agency should be exempted.

The statistics are clear: small businesses are the key to our economic recovery and our continued growth. Relieving the financial burdens of small businesses stabilizes the uncertainty and encourages critical job growth. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the engines of innovation and economic growth, and the small businesses in my district are at the forefront of that innovation.

It would be wrong and counterproductive to limit the Federal Government's ability to support small businesses when they need it most. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting Richardson Amendment No. 9 and reaffirming our commitment and this Nation's commitment that when businesses need the assistance, when they, in fact, can qualify for the assistance, that improper reporting or old reporting certainly shouldn't hinder their ability to have that vibrant business.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

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