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The Leader's Ledger


Location: Washington, DC

Good morning,

Dysfunction, thy name is Harry Reid. The JOBS Act sailed over to the Senate backed by the White House, both parties, small businesses and start ups. And yet Senate Democrats have objected, stalled, slowed, and grumbled over this bipartisan legislation that will get small businesses back in the game and move the dial on job creation. The JOBS Act takes the much needed step of clearing out outdated regulations; helping entrepreneurs and small business owners get off the ground, create jobs and drive innovation. Yesterday, Google's Public Policy Blog praised the JOBS Act for promoting startups innovation and economic growth writing, "Google was started by two graduate students in a garage with a check from one (trusting) investor. The next Google, Facebook, Apple, or Amazon could be funded thanks to crowdfunding legislation, and that would be a great thing for our economy." Senate Democrats need to stop playing games and pass the JOBS Act to ensure the small business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators that make our country great can keep growing and creating jobs.

Today In History: In 1751, James Madison, drafter of the Constitution, recorder of the Constitutional Convention, author of the Federalist Papers and fourth president of the United States, was born on a plantation in Virginia.

Birthdays: President James Madison, Flavor Flav, Erik Estrada, Brooke Burns and Sienna Guillory

Here is what's in today's Ledger …

State Of Play: Headlines Show Senate Democrats Are Working Overtime To Block The Bipartisan JOBS Act

* Popular House-Passed Small Business Bill Hits Obstacles In Senate -- The Associated Press

* Democrats Object To House JOBS Act -- Politico

* Senate Democrats Recast Startups Bill As Investor Threat -- Reuters

* Jobs Bill Stalls As Congress Fights Over Agency -- The New York Times

* Democrats Move to Slow "Jobs' Bill -- CQ

* Democrats Unhappy With JOBS Act Trajectory -- Roll Call

* Dems Push Corporate Welfare To Sink JOBS Act -- Washington Examiner

#RoadblockReid Again Threatens To Delay The JOBS Act By Adding Unrelated Provisions To It. "Senate Democrats wouldn't do this if they were actually concerned about jobs," said Brian Straessle, spokesman for the Republican Study Committee. "Why risk derailing a no-brainer jobs bill by larding it up with a completely unrelated expansion of a government agency many people don't think should exist in the first place?" Straessle said. Added Laena Fallon, spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R --Va.); "It is unfortunate that Leader Reid is choosing to needlessly delay the JOBS bill by adding unrelated provisions. The Senate should take up the House version and send it to the president's desk without delay." Human Events

State Of Play (2): The JOBS Act -- A New Wave Of Entrepreneurship In America

Google: The Next Google, Facebook, Apple or Amazon Could Be Funded Thanks To The JOBS Act, and That Would Be A Great Thing For The Economy. Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act with nearly full bipartisan support. The JOBS Act makes it easier for startups to raise capital. The crowdfunding provisions drafted by Congressman Patrick McHenry and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are particularly exciting and we applaud the House for its focus on helping to promote innovation and economic growth. … Google was started by two graduate students in a garage with a check from one (trusting) investor. The next Google, Facebook, Apple, or Amazon could be funded thanks to crowdfunding legislation, and that would be a great thing for our economy. Google Public Policy Blog

* Senator Pat Toomey Discusses The Need For #RoadblockReid and Senate Democrats To Pass The Bipartisan JOBS Act on CNBC

The JOBS Act Would Open The Floodgates For New Business Startups, New Opportunities and New Jobs. It's no secret that the economy isn't what it used to be, but a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives last fall by Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10), which was passed overwhelmingly, might hold the key to a major jump start for budding entrepreneurs who are currently hampered by SEC rules and other regulatory burdens. … The bill, which is now part of the JOBS ACT, is a pivotal part in making crowdfunding a viable way for entrepreneurs with great ideas to raise capital in an economy where access to funding remains difficult. … Rep. McHenry's bill has been lumped in to a larger bill introduced by House majority leader Eric Cantor (R., VA) called the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which just passed overwhelmingly last week in the House with a 390-23 vote. While the President appears to be in favor of the measure, the more liberal members of the Senate could hold up the passage of the package just as they did Rep. McHenry's bill last fall. … All of these acts together could open the floodgates on new small business startups, showering the market with new business opportunities, and in turn, immediately creating thousand of new jobs for an economy that desperately needs them. SBWire

* Harvard's William A. Sahlman - How the NY Times Got the JOBS Act Wrong. When you lower the cost of doing something, more of it gets done. That's simple economics, and that's the thrust of the JOBS Act. The other caustic comments by the author also reflect a lack of understanding about the actual provisions in the ACT. There are safeguards against unscrupulous people taking advantage of unsophisticated investors. Again, if we take the author's argument to its illogical conclusion, and try to keep everyone safe from everything, then the economy will crash and the inevitable result will indeed be mass joblessness. … We desperately need more entrepreneurial ventures in this economy. We need more capital allocated to this part of the economy. … We also need common sense assessments of the benefits and costs of regulation. And, as the comment about the Madoff and Enron suggest, we need common sense and competence in our regulators and regulatory framework. Of course, we also need organizations like the New York Times to be more thoughtful about presenting a balanced view of any new legislation, not one that dogmatically asserts that all deregulation is bad and all existing regulation accomplishes some important goal. Xconomy

State Of Play (3): While Small Businesses Fret and The Cost Of Living Rises The White House Offers Nothing But Rhetoric

Krauthammer: President Obama's Energy Policy Is Anything But All Of The Above. President Obama incessantly claims energy open-mindedness, insisting that his policy is "all of the above." Except, of course, for drilling: off the Mid-Atlantic coast (as Virginia, for example, wants); off the Florida Gulf Coast (instead, the Castro brothers will drill near there); in the broader Gulf of Mexico (where drilling in 2012 is expected to drop 30 percent below pre-moratorium forecasts); in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (more than half the size of England, the drilling footprint being the size of Dulles International Airport); on federal lands in the Rockies (where leases are down 70 percent since Obama took office). … Obama boasts that, on his watch, production is up and imports down. True, but truly deceptive. These increases have occurred in spite of his restrictive policies. They are the result of Clinton- and Bush-era permitting. This has been accompanied by a gold rush of natural gas production resulting from new fracking technology that has nothing at all to do with Obama. … Drill here and you stanch the hemorrhage. You keep those dollars within the U.S. economy, repatriating not just wealth but jobs and denying them to foreign unfriendlies. Drilling is the single most important thing we can do to spur growth at home while strengthening our hand abroad. The Washington Post

* DOE Report Contradicts WH and Salazar On Oil Production. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the DOE entity which prepared the report, debunks Salazar's claim that production is the highest its been in recent memory. The report shows that crude oil production and natural gas production on Federal lands both fell between 2010 and 2011. In fact, federal lands produced less crude oil in fiscal 2011 than they did in fiscal 2003. Natural gas production on federal land also fell between 2010 and 2011. The Washington Examiner

Rising Gas Prices Are Having A Drastic Impact On Small Business Growth, Employee Hours and Forcing Businesses To Raise Prices. High gas prices are still impacting the nation's small business owners, according to a new survey by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. The survey, "Entrepreneurs & the Economy: Trends, Issues and Outlook," found that 72% of business owners are feeling pain from prices at the pump. "The fragile economy is being undermined by high gas prices. The weak recovery and policy uncertainties are already weighing on the confidence and minds of small business owners. Now they must find a way to cope with higher fuel costs. Unfortunately, their choices are limited," said SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan. … Small businesses are cutting employee hours and/or raising prices to keep up with the affects of rising gasoline costs, according to SBE Council. In response to the question of how higher gas prices affect their role as small business owners, 41% said higher prices have affected their plans to hire, 22% have cut back on employee hours, and 40% have already raised their prices. Fox Business

* SHOCK STAT: 43% Of Small Businesses Surveyed Say If Gas Prices Continue To Rise They Will "Not Survive." Even more startling, many small businesses are unsure if they will survive if gas prices continue north, as 43% of respondents agreed with the following statement: "My business will not survive if energy prices continue to remain high or increase further," while 23% strongly agreed with that statement. Fox Business

FALLOUT: Rising Gas Prices The Main Driver Behind The Largest Cost Of Living Jump In 10 Months. The cost of living in February rose by the fastest amount in 10 months as Americans paid sharply higher prices for gasoline, according to the latest government data. The consumer price index jumped 0.4% last month on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said Friday. That was slightly below the 0.5% increase forecast by a MarketWatch survey of economists. … The increase stemmed mostly from 6.0% spike in the price of gasoline -- the biggest jump since December 2010. That accounted for about four-fifths of the increase in the overall CPI. … The higher price of gas has suddenly emerged as a key issue in the 2012 presidential election. Republicans have slammed President Barack Obama's policies as contributing to the rise in oil prices … MarketWatch

Keeping Tabs

CBO: Obama Budget Adds $3.5 Trillion In Deficits - President Obama's 2013 budget would add $3.5 trillion to annual deficits through 2022, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It also would raise the deficit next year by $365 billion, according to the nonpartisan office. The Hill

There is another way ….

* Transcript: "What if your President, your Senator and your Congressman knew a crisis was coming? What if they knew why it was happening? What if they knew what they needed to do to stop it from happening? What if they had the time to stop it? And what if they chose to do nothing about it…because they thought it wasn't good politics? "What would you think of that person?"

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