August 2022 Advocacy Update

Congress set to go on August Recess

With the House of Representatives officially out on August recess, the Senate remains in session this week to focus on reconciliation before breaking for the month. While Congress is in their respective districts, we encourage members of the AWBC community to engage with your local policymakers, relay the importance of the WBC Program and other policy priorities, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s America’s New Business Plan for 2022.

Senate Reconciliation Package Ahead of August Recess 

With the clock ticking down to the Senate’s summer recess, we are in for a busy week. Senate Majority LeaderSchumer and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) continue to push to bring key elements of President Joe Biden’s agenda to the floor before the midterms (and recess). Schumer has told his caucus to prepare to stay in through the weekend to finish up the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, though Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has yet to lend her support and there’s no score yet from the Congressional Budget Office.

The legislation evolved into a much larger bill than subsidies for the Affordable Care Act and other drug-based reforms, with the final product including the following items:

  • Permits Medicare to negotiate drug prices and caps out-of-pocket costs to $2,000
  • 15% minimum corporate tax rate on “billion-dollar companies or larger
  • Increased IRS enforcement support
  • Extension of Obamacare subsidies for three years
  • $369 billion to spend on climate and energy provisions, with more than $300 billion going towards deficit reduction

The parliamentarian’s vetting of the Democrats’ drug pricing provisions is expected to continue into today, and after that, tax and climate portions will follow. Staff on both sides of the aisle are expecting to have consecutive meetings with the parliamentarian through at least Wednesday. To accommodate these meetings, the chamber will convene at noon each day this week. We anticipate a vote on the bill before the Senate breaks for recess.

Senate Appropriations Bills Released 

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday released the Chairman’s mark of the 12 senate appropriations bills. A topline summary of all 12 bills prepared by the office of Chairman Leahy is availableHERE and a summary of the emergency COVID supplemental is available HERE. The key bill relevant to the WBC community, is the Financial Services and General Government legislation, which outlines $26 million for the WBC Program (view the full Bill TextExplanatory StatementBill Summary here). The House appropriations bill was passed at $30 million, so as the two chambers go to conference to settle on a final appropriations number, we will continue to advocate for the $30 million in appropriations (and ask you to do so in your outreach with policymakers).

SEC Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Meeting

The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler spoke at the agency’s Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee meeting. Topics included what is on the horizon for small business capital formation and secondary market liquidity for investors in regulation A and regulation crowdfunding companies and for smaller public companies. View the agenda here or view meeting on

Key Hearings this Week that Impact Small Business 

On Tuesday, the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee held a hearing on “Oversight of SBA’s Covid Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program,” and the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing on “The Rent Eats First: How Renters and Communities are Impacted by Today’s Housing Market.”

CHIPS Legislation Passes the Senate

In a 64-33 vote on Tuesday, July 27th, the Senate passed the $280 billion Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act of 2022, known as The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, designed to minimize the United States’s (U.S.) reliance on China for crucial technology. The legislation spends $52.7 billion on direct financial assistance for the construction and expansion of semiconductor manufacturing facilities, along with more than $80 billion in boosting the National Science Foundation. A vote in the House of Representatives (House) on legislation will occur today. Although it is expected the legislation will pass in the House, initial GOP support has declined following yesterday’s announcement of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Please click here to view a section-by-section summary of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022.

President Biden virtually joined an event in Michigan this week to mark Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signing of a directive to implement the semiconductor chips law.

SBA’s Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) released the results and gains in the FY2021 Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard, an assessment tool created to (1) measure how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals, (2) provide accurate and transparent contracting data and (3) report agency-specific progress. The prime and subcontracting component goals include goals for small businesses, small businesses owned by women, small disadvantaged businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). The SBA-issued scorecards to the twenty-four (24) CFO Act Agencies can be found here.

Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates Another .75 Points

The Federal Reserve increased interest rates yesterday by another .75 points, raising the federal funds rate to a range of 2.25% to 2.5%. Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, stated “I do not think the U.S. is currently in a recession, and the reason is there are too many areas of the economy that are performing well.” His comments are in reference to the low unemployment rate of 3.6%.  However, there is speculation that the Federal Reserve willraise rates again in September. 

Two Consecutive Quarters of Economic Decline

Data released this morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that GDP has decreased by .9% in the second quarter of 2022. Since GDP contracted by 1.6% in the first quarter of 2022, the U.S. has now experienced real GDP decline for two consecutive quarters, which typically constitutes a recession.

Deadline Approaches for Student Loans Payments 

As the student loan payment freeze deadline approaches on August 31st, the federal government’s student-loan servicing contractors have been instructed to hold off on sending billing statements ahead of the deadline. This delay is intended to give companies some additional time to start loan collection processes if payments resume.

SBIR / STTR 40th Anniversary

In honor of the 40-year anniversary of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, the SBA hosted events featuring federal agency program managers who administer over 7,000 new awards annually to innovators across the country. Watch recordings of America’s Seed Fund Week events here.

Infrastructure Set Asides Face Legal Challenges in Local Courts 

In a Florida federal district court, a plaintiff asks judges to consider constitutional implications on set asides for racial minorities under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The lawsuit harkens back to previous challenges faced by the Small Business Administration 8(a) government contracting program in 2016. These challenges should be watched as the IIJA dollars continue to reach contractors in the states.

DOL Released June Job Numbers

The Department of Labor released its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) this week, showing that the number of available positions decreased to 10.7 million in the month from an upwardly revised 11.3 million in May. The 605,000 decline was the biggest since April 2020.

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