Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Mar 17th, 2011 :: 6:05:30 to 6:13:30
Total video length: 9 hours 9 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Sherrod Brown

6:05:18 to 6:05:38( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: bill and the sttr programs provide vital resources to small businesses not only in massachusetts, but from throughout the country. in this reauthorization -- this reauthorization is incredibly important to not only businesses in my state but businesses in everybody's states. this compromise bill has been under development and negotiation long before i got here.

Sherrod Brown

6:05:30 to 6:13:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown

6:05:39 to 6:06:00( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: i applaud senators landrieu and snowe, our chair and ranking member on the small business committee, for their persistence in pushing this bill through. as a matter of fact, i have two amendments that are in the bill that's before us now. i will be offering not today, but in the near future an amendment which i'm about to talk about now. as a small business owner myself

Sherrod Brown

6:06:01 to 6:06:21( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: for many years and a long-standing member of many chambers of commerce, i believe that massachusetts small businesses and businesses throughout this country are the economic engine that will help get us out of this economic slowdown that we're in. they have the potential to grow, expand and hire, unlike many businesses throughout the country.

Sherrod Brown

6:06:22 to 6:06:43( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: massachusetts is widely regarded as the center for innovation in biotechnology. we're a small state, but we've received the most sbir awards only after california. that just goes to show you how important our state is when it comes to creating small businesses. the success of the program

Sherrod Brown

6:06:44 to 6:07:06( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: serves as a reminder that government can play a role in the business community, but it also needs to know when to step out of the way and allow businesses to grow and actually create jobs. i want to speak about an amendment that i filed. it's amendment number 212. it's based on s. 164, the withholding tax relief act of

Sherrod Brown

6:07:07 to 6:07:27( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: 2011 which enjoys bipartisan support and is critically needed now. the ranking member of the small business committee, senator snowe, is a cosponsor, and i'm looking forward to getting many other cosponsors and working very closely with the chairwoman on this timely piece of legislation, because we need once and for all to repeal an onerous and costly unfunded

Sherrod Brown

6:07:28 to 6:07:50( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: mandate that directly affects businesses not only in my state but throughout the country. this is a jobs amendment, plain and simple. it would repeal part of our tax code that absolutely promises to kill jobs, jobs that these young people up here could someday have. if we don't act soon, section 3402-t of the tax code requires,

Sherrod Brown

6:07:51 to 6:08:11( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: beginning january of 2012, federal, state and local governments to withhold 3% of nearly all contract payments made to private companies as well as medicare payments, farm payments and certain grants. let's be real, it's an arbitrary tax just because, and it's really nearly impossible to actually implement. it's a sign of -- it one of the

Sherrod Brown

6:08:12 to 6:08:34( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: things that we've done that just makes absolutely no sense, and it's been delayed many, many times. the government withholding relief coalition, a coalition of more than 100 members impassing a -- encompassing a cross section of america estimated the combined cost could be as high as $75 billion.

Sherrod Brown

6:08:35 to 6:08:57( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: that makes a lot of sense. $75 billion coming out of those coffers at a time when they least can afford it. and the provision is estimated only to bring in about $7 billion over that same time period. it makes absolutely no sense. it's absurd. any tax that costs more to implement than it actually brings in makes no sense at all. i'm hopeful with your leadership, mr. president, and

Sherrod Brown

6:08:58 to 6:09:18( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: many other people's, senators' leadership on this issue we can attack one of these bad laws that are about to click in. it should be repealed immediately. as a matter of fact, mr. president, last week i received a letter from massachusetts state secretary of finance, jay gonzalez, warning congress of the inevitable threat to small businesses'

Sherrod Brown

6:09:19 to 6:09:39( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: ability to survive in this tough economic climate if we allow this continuation of what i consider a stealth tax. we can't discuss the health of small businesses on the floor without acknowledging that these very same small businesses we aim to help with the sbir program, the bill that's actually before us right now, will be suffocated by this 3%

Sherrod Brown

6:09:40 to 6:10:00( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: withholding tax. for some businesses, it may be the entire net profit of what they make per year. i'd like to submit secretary gonzalez' letter for the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. the department of defense alone has estimated that this provision would cost around $17 billion to comply with over the

Sherrod Brown

6:10:01 to 6:10:21( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: first five years. and unfortunately, there are many other provisions and reasons why this provision should be repealed as soon as possible. at a time when state and local governments are under extreme fiscal and financial stress, why -- i just don't get it. why will we actually start to put in and enforce another

Sherrod Brown

6:10:22 to 6:10:42( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: unfunded costly mandate on them to recover minimal funds for the federal treasury? this is really just a question of the federal government seeking more funds to pay its bills. only in washington -- and i've been here a little over a year, vim hrar to what you have. -- very similar to what you have. only in washington can something

Sherrod Brown

6:10:43 to 6:11:04( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: like this try to be conveyed as a good idea when we spend $10 of your money, $10 of everybody's money watching military recoup a dollar. makes no sense to me. many businesses that contract with the government will simply pass this cost on of this provision back to the government in the form of higher bids on contracts. having a bid on a contract, when

Sherrod Brown

6:11:05 to 6:11:26( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: this bill is implemented, this particular tax, it's going to be here. and it's ultimately going to be costing efrgz ofs -- everyone of us more money to do the same thing. i listen to everybody talk about the fact that tpwhaoed to get our -- we need to get our fiscal and financial house in order.

Sherrod Brown

6:11:27 to 6:11:49( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: this country, if we don't do something quickly is going to be in deep trouble. here we are. we have an unfunded mandate, something that's going to add to the cost of doing business. here we are. we're going to take it up and vote on it? i hope we do. i'm looking forward to that bipartisan leadership from you and others on this important issue. many businesses that contract with the government will merely

Sherrod Brown

6:11:50 to 6:12:10( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: pass this on, and it will really crush them and restrict the critical cash flow and discourage them from participating in government contracts. it will go other places. members of the construction industry are also worried that the provision will tax away all of their anticipated profit on government contracts. hence, diminishing competition

Sherrod Brown

6:12:11 to 6:12:31( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: and raising cost to the government at a time when we can't afford it. this provision passed in 2005, long before we got here, mr. president, but we, as the new breed of senators, recognize that we need to get our house in order. and there's a reason it's been delayed and the implementation of it over and over again.

Sherrod Brown

6:12:32 to 6:12:55( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: and everyone knows it can never go into effect. so we'll be back on the floor later this session because we need to repeal this tax. we can do it next week. i appreciate the majority leader's efforts to now include us in the amendment process so we can actually be part of the process and come up with new ideas from new people to look at things in a different way and actually solve problems. and that's what this amendment

Sherrod Brown

6:12:56 to 6:13:16( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: offers, which i plan to offer, certainly welcome everybody's support. before i conclude, i'd like to wish everybody patrick's day and i appreciate your listening, and i yield the floor.

Sherrod Brown

6:13:17 to 6:13:27( Edit History Discussion )

Sherrod Brown: thank you. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

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