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Public Statements

Issue Position: Business

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Growing Our Economy

Congresswoman Hirono understands the importance of small businesses to our economy in Hawai"i and all of America. She serves as a member of the House Small Business Committee, a position she sought so she can better enable small businesses to grow and succeed, create new jobs by supporting cutting-edge research that leads to further innovation in the private sector, and provide tax relief for small businesses to help them invest in new equipment and hire new workers.

Enable small businesses to grow and succeed:

Small businesses represent the overwhelming majority of businesses in Hawai"i and play a vital role in economic growth for our state.

* Help small businesses compete: Congresswoman Hirono voted for the Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act, which passed the House. This bill strengthens small business by increasing the share of federal contracts going to small businesses and limiting the ability of federal agencies to bundle smaller projects into larger contracts.

* Invest in small business and rural development: Congresswoman Hirono voted in support of the Fiscal Year 2008 Financial Services-General Government Appropriations Act, which passed the House. This bill will spur job creation and economic growth, including restoring the President's cut in small business loans and investing in greater efforts to expand availability to capital and financial services in rural communities.

* Support Native Hawaiian-owned businesses:

Congresswoman Hirono also voted for H.R. 2284, which amends the Small Business Act to authorize additional grants that provide services to assist with outreach, development, and enhancement of small business startups and expansions owned by Native Hawaiians.

The Innovation Agenda:

Congresswoman Hirono is working with her colleagues in the House to pass legislation that grows our economy with investments in innovation.

* Strengthen U.S. competitiveness in the global market: Congresswoman Hirono voted for the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Act, which passed the House. The bill makes major investments in U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness, including Manufacturing Extension Partnerships and the Advanced Technology Program.

* Spur technological innovation: Congress passed legislation which provides funds to small high-tech firms and stimulates investments in innovative technologies by small manufacturers.

* Encourage entrepreneurship: Congresswoman Hirono voted in support of the Small Business Lending Improvements Act, which passed the House. The bill provides small businesses with tools to encourage entrepreneurial innovation, including making 7(a) loans more economical.

* Train a quality workforce for "green" jobs: The House passed an ambitious energy package that creates an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training Program to train workers for jobs created by federal renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.

Provide urgently needed tax relief:

Congresswoman Hirono supports legislation that provides tax relief for hard-working business owners.

* Repeal a tax provision that will hurt businesses with government contracts:

Congresswoman Hirono is a cosponsor of the Withholding Tax Relief Act. If enacted, this bill will repeal a new 3 percent withholding requirement on government payments to vendors that will take effect in 2011. Companies doing business with the government should not have to worry about a provision that will impinge on company cash flows and increase administrative costs.

* Extend tax relief for small business owners:

Congresswoman Hirono voted in support of the Small Business Tax Relief Act. This bill, which passed the House, extends the work opportunity tax credit through 2008 and increases the amount of small business assets eligible for expensing.

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