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Luetkemeyer: Small Businesses Deserve Bipartisanship

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Small Business is holding a hybrid budget reconciliation markup. Committee Members will vote on the Democrats' $23.6 billion in partisan spending that will recklessly heighten inflation, raise taxes on small businesses, and increase bureaucratic red tape.

Ranking Member Luetkemeyer's opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Madam Chair. As we all know, our nation’s small businesses are working tirelessly to get back on their feet and serve their communities once again. This past year has presented challenges unlike anything they have endured in the past. Now more than ever, it is our duty on this Committee to provide much-needed relief to these struggling small business owners in the most responsible and efficient way possible.

Madam Chair, as you have mentioned time and time again in your opening statements, the Small Business Committee is known on Capitol Hill for working together in a bipartisan manner to achieve real results for Main Street U.S.A. I think we can agree that this was something we could all be proud of. However, over the course of this past year, it has become abundantly clear that the Small Business Committee is no longer the Committee of bipartisanship.

The Democrats’ true colors came to light early on in February’s markup as topics of grave importance were drafted without our thoughts or ideas. Even though Republican Members proposed commonsense amendments, we were entirely blocked from engaging on the legislation.

I am here today to remind our colleagues on the other side that there was no bipartisan outreach of any kind in the crafting of this legislation either. No meetings. No phone calls. No Zooms. No conversations with the Senate or the White House. Nothing at all. Instead, on Tuesday afternoon of a Jewish holiday that is observed by Members and staff alike, we were given a 90-page partisan document that we were expected to digest and vote on Thursday morning – less than 48 hours later.

I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle: What is the big rush? Is this the legislative standard you really want to set? Democrats claim to be interested in solving America’s small business issues with “bipartisan solutions” when, in reality, the Left is attempting to use that false narrative as a back door to enact their own “Bernie Sanders Socialist” wish list that will change the fabric of America forever.

The Republicans on this Committee will not stand by and allow the Democrats to tout bipartisanship as they ram through $23.6 billion in partisan spending today without allowing us to come to the table to discuss these paramount issues.

Just yesterday, Speaker Pelosi said Democrats would only pay for half of the spending they are forcing through in reconciliation. So, the question remains, who pays for the other half of this out-of-control monster? Middle class Americans and small businesses.

This is a shame and a disgrace.  I would like to remind my colleagues on the other side, that prior to COVID-19, small businesses were projecting confidence, optimism, and job creation all around. Pro-growth policies and tax cuts for the middle class resulted in historic unemployment levels across the board.  By focusing on a smart regulatory environment combined with lower taxes, small businesses had the economic freedom and opportunity to innovate and expand. 

The partisan path you are taking will not help small businesses. In the end, it will only kick them while they are already down. This Committee must come together to allocate funding where it is needed while ensuring American taxpayer dollars are safeguarded.

With that, I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to take Republican amendments into serious consideration to provide commonsense, bipartisan relief to Main Street. Thank you, Madam Chair. I yield back.