My Work for Small Businesses


Updates on my efforts to support Small Businesses

H.R. 1912, Make It in America Block Grant Program Act

I introduced this legislation to strengthen the manufacturing industry in Rhode Island. The Make It in America Block Grant program recognizes the fact that we cannot be a great economic power without making things here at home, and that supporting our manufacturing industry is a key part of our nation's economic recovery. This Act would direct the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Make It in America Block Grant Program under which the Secretary is authorized to make grants to eligible entities to support the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011

This Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the unnecessary 1099 reporting requirement contained in the health care law, a provision that would have required a separate 1099 reporting form for every single business-to-business transaction that totals more than $600 in a given year. This legislation eliminates a new tax burden, and became Public Law on 4/14/2011.

H.R. 3787, the Jobs Score Act

I introduced this legislation to require the federal government to assess the impact proposed legislation will have on American jobs.  This Act would amend the Congressional Budget Act to require that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) prepare an estimate of the jobs expected to be created, sustained, or lost by carrying out legislation reported by any committee in the House.  My first priority in Congress is to create and protect well-paying jobs for Rhode Island families.  This legislation would give Congress an important tool to better understand how its actions are expected to affect working families.

Letter to President Obama on Comprehensive Jobs Plan

My number one priority as your Representative in Congress is to get our economy back on track and to get Rhode Islanders back to work. In advance of his jobs speech to Congress on September 8, 2011, I called on President Obama to make the investments that will create jobs, grow our economy and ensure our ability to compete in the world. In particular, I highlighted the need to support small businesses in our state and nation.

H.R. 2280, Offshoring Prevention Act

I introduced this legislation to protect American jobs and reduce the deficit. We need to ensure that our tax code does not encourage firms to sendAmerican jobs overseas. The Offshoring Prevention Act would prohibit income tax deferral on profits earned from the manufacture of goods abroad for sale back in the U.S., and levels the tax playing field so that domestic producers are no longer at a competitive disadvantage. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the tax policies enacted under this legislation would reduce the budget deficit by $19.5 billion over the next decade.

H.R. 4032, the Help Entrepreneurs Create American Jobs Act

The Help Entrepreneurs Create American Jobs Act would permanently double the amount of start-up expenses entrepreneurs can deduct from their taxes from $5,000 to $10,000 and would also increase the threshold for the deductions phase-out from $50,000 to $10,000.  I continue to fight for access to capital for our nation’s small businesses, and this legislation would help lessen the tax burden on new small businesses.  These provisions further President Obama’s Startup America legislative agenda.

Small Business Legislation with Cicilline Amendment Signed into Law

U.S. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act that included an amendment offered by me to enhance U.S. manufacturing activities through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs.

H.R. 871, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make the credit for research activities permanent and to provide an increase in such credit for taxpayers whose gross receipts are predominantly from domestic production activities

This bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent the tax credit for research activities and also increase the amount of such credit for companies who earn more than 50% of their gross receipts from domestic production activities.

H.R. 689, 21st Century Investment Act

The 21st Century Investment Act would promote job creation in the United States and help our American companies compete in the global market by making permanent the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit, raising the rate of the regular credit from 20% to 25% for contract research performed within the United States, and increasing for ten years the domestic manufacturing tax credit from 9% to 15%.

H.R. 1730, the Small Business Start-up Savings Accounts Act

The Small Business Start-up Savings Accounts Act would amend the Internal Revenue Code to provide for tax-exempt savings accounts to pay for trade or business expenses, such as the purchase of equipment or facilities, marketing, training, incorporation, and accounting fees.

H.R. 1661, the Small Business Tax Relief and Retirement Restoration Act

This bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to permit penalty-free distributions from an individual retirement account or a qualified employer plan for the purpose of making loans to a small business to purchase depreciable property to be used by such business or for employee salaries or wages.

Letter to the Joint Select Committee on the Jobs Crisis

I signed on to this letter, which states that the Super Committee presents one of the best opportunities for solving the unemployment crisis and that it’s imperative for them to take up the topics of jobs creation and economic growth during their deliberations.

Letter to Chairman Graves and Ranking Member Velazquez on the long-term reauthorization of SBIR

I signed on to a letter to the leadership of the House Small Business Committee urging them to work with the Senate to ensure the long-term reauthorization of SBIR and identifying several concerns with the House version to be addressed.

H.R. 2809, the Microenterprise and Youth Entrepreneurship Development Act

This bill would amend the microenterprise technical assistance and capacity building program to include in the definition of “disadvantaged entrepreneur” a microentrepreneur operating or intending to operate a business in an investment area.  It would also direct the SBA Administrator to establish a Microenterprise Coordinator position and an Office of Youth Entrepreneurship.

H.R. 2545, IRS Rulemaking Fairness Act of 2011

The IRS Rulemaking Fairness Act of 2011, a bipartisan bill, would ensure that the voices of small businesses are heard during the IRS rulemaking process. This legislation would require the IRS to either certify that a proposed rule will not have a significant impact on small businesses or convene a review panel, assess the economic consequences of the proposed rule on small businesses, and offer less burdensome alternatives for consideration.

H.R. 2835, Joint Select Committee on Job Creation Act

Introduced on September 2, 2011, this bill would establish a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation for the purpose of providing recommendations and legislative language (by November 23, 2011) that will significantly improve the short-term and long-term employment level.

H.R. 1418, Small Business Lending Enhancement Act

The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act would improve the health of small businesses during this difficult period in our economy by providing the capital they require to stay afloat, remain competitive, and ramp-up hiring. This bill would raise the member business lending cap for credit unions, which would allow small businesses to access capital that would otherwise not be available to them.

Letter to House Leadership and Appropriations on the Economic Development Administration

I signed on to this letter in support of funding for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in FY 2011. We cannot afford to eliminate the programs that are proven job creators, and between 2004 and 2008, EDA funded projects directly led to the creation of approximately 200,000 jobs.

H.R. 1325, American Manufacturing Efficiency and Retraining Investment Collaboration Achievement (AMERICA) Works Act

The AMERICA Works Act would ensure that our workers have the skills they need, and our employers demand, to compete in the global market. This bill would focus on existing federal resources and workforce training programs and also require the U.S. Department of Labor to create a registry of industry-recognized, nationally portable skill credentials.

H.R. 1240, Stregthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act

The SECTORS Act would facilitate Sector or Industry Partnerships that consist of multiple businesses, employees, unions, education and training providers, and local workforce development systems.

H.R. 110, Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act

The Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act would provide capital to manufacturers and encourage the revitalization of the manufacturing industry. This bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to establish tax-exempt manufacturing reinvestment accounts (similar to IRAs) for manufacturing businesses.

H.R. 1366, National Manufacturing Strategy Act

The National Manufacturing Strategy Act would direct the President to work with industry, labor leaders, and other stakeholders to develop a national strategy to increase manufacturing.

H.R. 4118, the Small Business Procurement Improvement Act

The Small Business Procurement Improvement Act would amend the Small Business Act to require federal agencies involved in procurement, to the maximum extent practicable, to include small businesses in multiple award contracts.  Federal agencies are currently not required to do so, and, as a result, small businesses often miss out on key procurement opportunities.

H.R. 4121, the Early Stage Small Business Contracting Act

The Early Stage Small Business Contracting Act would require the Administrator to establish a program to provide increased access to federal contracts for early stage businesses.

H.R. 4203, the Women’s Procurement Program Improvement Act

In order to substantially increase government contracting with all small businesses, we must actively support contracting with women-owned businesses.  That’s why I have cosponsored the Women’s Procurement Program Improvement Act, which would bring the Women’s Procurement Program on par with other contracting programs.

H.R. 865, Veterans Employment Transition Act

The Veterans Employment Transition Act would expand access for businesses to claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit when hiring veterans by amending the Internal Revenue Code to revise the definition of “qualified veteran” for purposes of the tax credit.

Letter to Chairman Young and Ranking Member Dicks on Procurement Technical Assistance Program

I signed on to this letter to the Leadership of the Defense Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations supporting a funding level of $31.7 million in FY 2012 for the Procurement Technical Assistance Program. This program funds Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), a critical resource for small businesses -- enabling them to obtain information and training on new acquisition procedures, specialized solicitations, and federal contracting regulations.

Letter to President Obama on TAA reforms

I signed on to this letter to the President expressing strong support for the immediate enactment of a five-year reauthorization of the 2009 Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) reforms. TAA programs  assist workers laid off as a result of international trade by helping them retrain and acquire skills needed to compete in the global environment.  In 2009, with bipartisan support, Congress enacted the Trade and Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act of 2009, which made significant improvements to TAA programs including making service sector workers eligible for the program, expanding access for manufacturing workers, and significantly increasing training funding and promotion of on-the job, part-time and longer-term training.

H.R. 2914, Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act

The Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act would create an emergency jobs program that would create 2,242,000 jobs during fiscal years 2012 and 2013 – putting people back to work rehabilitating school buildings, restoring public lands, constructing weatherization projects and more.

H.R. 1716, Job Opportunities Between Our Shores (JOBS) Act

The JOBS Act would amend the Workforce Investment Act to provide for targeted investments to partnerships of community and technical colleges, local workforce investment boards, and advanced manufacturing firms to design and implement education and training programs for current and prospective workers.

H.R. 3138, American Innovation in Manufacturing Act

The American Innovation in Manufacturing Act would temporarily reduce the cost-share requirement for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Because the Hollings MEP is the only Federal program solely devoted to improving the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, this would be a great achievement in strengthening our manufacturing industry.

H.R. 2948, Fix America’s Schools Today (FAST) Act

The FAST Act would provide our school districts with resources to make needed improvements to their school facilities. This bill would put more than 1,000 Rhode Islanders back to work now, while also provides much needed maintenance, repairs, and energy-efficiency upgrades to our schools, and helping end years of deferred maintenance that only makes future repairs more costly for taxpayers.

H.R. 2421, Layoff Prevention Act

The Layoff Prevention Act would prevent further layoffs and job loss through new incentives for work sharing. Work sharing programs enable struggling companies to reduce hours instead of their workforce. Workers are then able to maintain their jobs, and companies are able to save on rehiring costs.

H.R. 2555, Historic Homeownership Revitalization Act

The Historic Homeownership Revitalization Act would create a tax credit for the owners of historic homes that would provide an incentive similar to the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit that is available to commercial property owners. This bill would help create jobs in the construction trade, while also improving the condition of our housing stock.

H.R. 2479, Creating American Prosperity through Preservation (CAPP) Act

The CAPP Act would spur private investment and create jobs by encouraging the rehabilitation of our nation’s smaller historic buildings and incentivizing the use of energy efficient technologies.

Letter to President Obama on Water Infrastructure

I signed on to this letter to President Obama requesting increased federal investment in water and wastewater systems, which are central to the economic and environmental health of our state and nation, and have a proven record of creating jobs.

H.R. 1802, Sustainable Water Infrastructure Act of 2011

Federal budget constraints have increased the importance of private-sector involvement in the financing of our water systems. The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Act lifts the cap on the amount of private activity bonds state and local governments can issue for water and wastewater facilities – a common sense bill that will allow state and local governments to leverage private funding to spur water and wastewater infrastructure development and create jobs.