When it comes to an economic plan for the future, Susan believes we have to start with a few key questions - Will it create jobs? Does it grow the economy? Does it help middle class Americans prosper? Does it help small businesses and promote innovation?
Susan strongly supports cutting our debt and bringing down the deficit, but also believes that how we go about doing that is as important as the end result. We have to keep creating good jobs and supporting innovation and education, which are essential for keeping our economy moving.
HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES:
Almost 95% of businesses in the County of San Diego are small businesses. Small businesses continue to fuel our economy during this period of recovery, and Susan is working with San Diego employers to find out what they need to create jobs and sustain growth in the long run.
* Easing 1099 Requirements - After hearing from small business owners in San Diego, Susan voted to repeal 1099 burdensome reporting requirements enacted under previous legislation. Susan thinks the last thing we want to do is put in place unnecessary hurdles for our small businesses; they have enough to worry about and focus on without being buried in paperwork. The 1099 repeal bill was signed into law in March 2011.
* Health Care Tax Credit - One of the reasons Susan supported the health care reform package is because it included provisions to help small business owners provide coverage for themselves and their workers. Already at work, this credit can cover up to 35% of the premiums small business owners pay to offer coverage, and this rate will increase to 50% in 2014. The Congressional Budget office estimates that small businesses will save $40 billion by 2019 through this initiative.
* Small Business Lending & Tax Incentives - Susan strongly supported the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act, which was signed into law in 2010. It created a $30 billion lending fund to give community banks the lending leverage they need to increase loans to small businesses. In addition, the bill included $1.5 billion for state small business programs as well as a one-year extension of the bonus depreciation provision to allow businesses to write off half of the cost of purchasing new equipment.
* Business District Walkabouts - Susan holds small business walkabouts in different neighborhoods throughout her district to talk with owners about what they need in order to hire and grow, and how Congress can continue to play a role. So far she has walked through businesses in the Midway/Sports Arena area, Lemon Grove, Coronado, and Linda Vista (Little Saigon).
* "Congress at Your Company" - Designed to reach out directly to employees at their place of work, Susan visits local companies for townhall-style meetings and tours. This is another resource for her to understand the issues San Diegans care about the most and what affects them at their places of work.
GETTING SAN DIEGANS BACK TO WORK:
Susan knows that many people who have worked hard and played by the rules still face challenges -- whether it's paying the mortgage or rent, dealing with credit card bills, saving for retirement or sending resumes into cyberspace and never hearing back. The recovery is working in many ways, but it hasn't reached across all our middle class communities yet. Susan believes that what San Diego families need the most are good-paying jobs, and is working hard in Congress to make that a reality.
Support for innovative programs, companies, and research are essential to encourage the revolution of innovation that gives the San Diego region with our strong biotech community a competitive edge.
* National Institutes of Health (NIH) - San Diego gets more NIH funding than nearly anywhere else -- it's the Silicon Valley of biotech and an innovation hub that supports thousands of jobs. Susan spearheaded a letter to budget negotiators that was signed by 117 Members of Congress to support continued NIH funding so San Diego can maintain and grow its biotech and research workforce.
* Patent Reform - Susan knows the enormous economic benefits that flow from a strong patent system. That is why she joined her San Diego colleagues in a bipartisan letter in support of streamlining patent reform efforts in Washington.
* Therapeutic Tax Credit - Susan introduced legislation to reauthorize the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project program to encourage innovation in biotechnology and medical device technology. With over 40,000 biotech-related jobs in the region and countless lives impacted by medical discoveries in our area, it's important that the United States do whatever possible to encourage innovation in these key areas.
* Medical Device Tax - After hearing from medical device companies in San Diego, Susan cosponsored the Protect Medical Innovation Act (H.R. 436) to repeal a tax on medical devices. Facing fierce global competition, Susan understands that Congress should help San Diego's biotech and medical device companies thrive in this market place by helping to reduce or eliminate unnecessary taxes and regulations.
SUPPORTING DEFENSE JOBS:
As the home to one of the largest concentrations of naval forces in the world, our regional economy benefits significantly from federal defense spending. In San Diego County, defense spending impacts more than a quarter of our employment (over 300,000 jobs), a number which has grown steadily over the past decade. Susan works hard to maintain the unique economic role played by San Diego's defense community, especially small businesses.
* Unbundling Contracts - Small businesses in San Diego have so much to offer the defense industry in the form of quality products and efficient services. Susan's been frustrated to hear that they continually run into barriers, like the negative impact of contract bundling (when multiple contract requirements are combined into a single contract), which can force out small businesses that can't compete for large contracts. Especially now, our government needs to help bring more businesses into the DOD procurement system, not push them out. Click here for information about legislation Susan has authored to reduce contract bundling.
* Important Shipbuilding Jobs - The Navy announced that General Dynamic NASSCO had been awarded a shipbuilding contract that will preserve 3,600 San Diego jobs. The $744 million contract is to build two Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) ships, with a significant amount of work to be done in San Diego. Susan has been a strong and vocal supporter of the MLP program and the need to bring more shipbuilding contracts to San Diego's "working waterfront." The MLP will be used for resupplying American forces at sea.