And thanks to Ann Sullivan and AEO for holding today’s webinar on the elections and what we can expect. Here’s my notes on what she said.
Democrats have 55 sold votes in Senate because independents are caucusing with them. It’s a very strong margin.
In the Senate Small Business Committee Olympia Snowe will be missed, she was a staunch support of small business.
In the House, there are 196 Democrats and 234 Republicans. Some good news is that Alan West of Florida didn’t get re-elected. He was on the House Small Business Committee.
Both Small Business Committees will focus on tax reform and regulatory reform.
- President Obama – because he won by a larger margin than expected.
- Women and Latinos – because they showed up, voted, and made a big difference in presidential and House elections and women in congress increased 17-20 in Senate; 53% of electorate were women, who supported Obama 55% to 44% for Romney
- Super PACs despite their billions spent made very little change
- Tea Party – candidates didn’t win like in 2010; the messaging in the Presidential race wasn’t their platform;
- TV watchers because of the endless commercials
Major Priorities for the 113th Congress
1. Fiscal Cliff – across the board cuts and increase in everyone’s taxes (expiring Bush tax cuts as well as small business expense deductions) – Congress needs to take action before January. Possible scenarios:
- Do nothing – not likely
- Bridge to keep tax cuts as stand for a short period of time/spending cuts for short period of time (6 months) to give time to put together a solid plan
- Most optimistic – voters told everyone said work together and avoid fiscal cliff and come up with a plan (let’s cross our fingers
2. FY2013 Appropriations: the U.S. government is operating under a continuing resolution which impacts organizations such as Women Business Centers and SBDC’s, because agencies (in this case SBA) are not funding expeditiously.
3. FY2014 Appropriations: Bridge scenario would complicate this because no clear direction on funding.
And in California, we’re fortunate to have re-elected many of the champions in Congress that are working to further micro-business, like Barbara Lee, Sam Farr, Lois Capps, Judy Chu and others. As for state level, we’re hoping that the democratic super-majority will help us pass a Self-Employment Assistance Program.