Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy which is why Congress and President Bush have worked over the duration of the 108th Congress to enact legislation which reduces the tax and regulatory burdens that hinder small businesses and ultimately overall economic growth and job creation.
In May 2003, the President signed the Jobs Growth and Reconciliation Act of 2003 which among other things accelerated the tax cuts by speeding up the individual income tax rate reduction, and increased small business expensing from $25,000 to $100,000 until 2005.
In June 2003, the House voted overwhelmingly to completely repeal the unfair death tax. The simple fact is that with this tax in place, families cannot afford to pass on their small businesses to future generations. It is often cheaper for people to sell a business rather than pass it on to their children. This is outrageous.
The House also passed the Small Business Health Fairness Act which creates national Association Health Plans allowing small businesses to band together and purchase health insurance through national associations at group rates. And then there are the Health Savings Accounts which were part of the larger Medicare bill passed at the end of last year. These accounts further increase the availability of health care by allowing a tax deduction to uninsured individuals or folks in health plans with high deductibles-usually those who own a small business or work for one.
In 2003, President Bush signed into law legislation which removed the $500,000 lending cap in the Small Business Administration's main business loan guarantee program.
The Small Business Advocacy Improvement Act of 2002 strengthens and improves the Office of Advocacy within the Small Business Administration to ensure that there is an office within the Executive Branch that is equipped to act as an effective advocate on behalf of small businesses.
This same legislation provides significant funds for the Office of Advocacy, providing them with resources needed to conduct credible economic studies and research, without which it would be impossible for them to accurately convey the impact of various federal regulations on small businesses.
The Paperwork and Regulatory Improvements Act which passed the House in May of this year will help curb the growth in federal regulatory and paperwork burdens.
These are just some of the legislative highlights from this Congress which positively impact small businesses. Small businesses are an integral part of our national economy, having helped sustain unprecedented levels of growth in the last decade. I am encouraged by these measures and remain committed to passing additional legislation, which rewards ingenuity rather than stifling it and which supports small businesses rather than dragging them down.