SRC Senate Snapshot

Weekly Outlook:

This week is the third week of a five-week work period. The Senate convened at 2:00 p.m. today, and there will be no votes during today’s session.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Senate is expected to have a series of roll call votes on amendments to S. 1813, the two-year surface transportation legislation. At a time to be determined on Tuesday, likely starting before policy lunch, the Senate will continue voting on the remaining 22 amendments to S. 1813. A managers’ package will also be in order, along with applicable budget points of order and applicable motions to waive. Upon disposition of all amendments, the Senate will vote on passage of the bill as amended.

The following 22 amendments are in order:   

1) Roberts amendment #1826 (side-by-side to Stabenow amendment #1812) (60 votes required);                         

2) Stabenow amendment #1812 (energy tax credits) (60 votes required);                                   

3) DeMint amendment #1589 (repeal certain energy tax subsidies) (60 votes required);    

4) Menendez/Burr amendment #1782 (Natural Gas Act) (60 votes required);              

5) DeMint amendment #1756 (state authority);       

6) Bingaman amendment #1759 (privatized highways);                       

7) Coats amendment #1517 (make percentage of gas taxes equal to percentage of apportioned funds);

8) Brown (OH) amendment #1819 (Buy America provisions);                                   

9) Blunt amendment #1540 (off-system bridges);         

10) Merkley amendment #1814 (farm vehicle exemptions);                          

11) Portman amendment #1736 (state transportation spending flexibility);                 

12) Klobuchar amendment #1617 (transportation of agricultural commodities and farm supplies);                            

13) Corker amendment #1785, as modified (adjust FY13 discretionary spending cap);                

14) Shaheen amendment #1678 (increase funding for public transportation systems with fewer than 50 buses);                         

15) Portman amendment #1742 (non-highway uses in rest areas);                  

16) Corker amendment #1810 (limit expenditures to amount in Highway Trust Fund);        

17) Carper amendment #1670 (removal of federal program limitations);                

18) Hutchison amendment #1568 (prohibit new tolls);                            

19) McCain amendment #1669, as modified (noise abatement over Grand Canyon);             

20) Alexander amendment #1779 (overflights of national parks);             

21) Boxer amendment #1816 (sense of Senate re: expeditious environmental reviews); and            

22) Paul amendment #1556 (emergency exemptions).                                                                                                                                

In addition, Senator Reid has said he will file cloture today on 17 judicial nominations, which is an unprecedented act. Therefore, on Wednesday, the Senate could begin a series of up to 17 cloture votes. 

Items which the Senate may take up during this work period include nominations, postal reform, cybersecurity, Iran sanctions legislation, and the STOCK legislation. There will be no roll call votes on March 19.

What’s Being Said – Senate Republican Conference & Senate Republican Communications Center:

  • $40 More Per Fill-Up  A Tank Of Gas Costs Nearly $40 More Today Than When President Obama Took Office

SRC Video Clips:

Featuring Senators Barrasso, Chambliss, McConnell, Vitter, Cornyn, Johnson, Hutchison, Paul, Hoeven, Blunt, Lee, Heller, Portman, Sessions, Murkowski, and Grassley

SRC Policy Note:

Time to Act on Bipartisan JOBS Act

Late last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan package of small business bills known as the JOBS Act by a vote of 390 to 23. Over 150 House Democrats supported the package, and the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of the legislation. However, Senator Reid continues to delay consideration of these commonsense measures that would help small businesses raise capital and create jobs.

Senate Republicans have championed many bipartisan proposals similar to the provisions in the JOBS Act to increase access to capital and help startup companies create jobs:

  • Small Company Capital Formation: Senator Pat Toomey is the lead Republican sponsor of S.1544, which would change SEC rules to allow companies to sell up to $50 million in shares without filing lengthy paperwork.  Similar legislation passed the House by a vote of 421 to 1.
  • Shareholder Registration Thresholds: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has introduced S.1941, which would increase the number of shareholders permitted to invest in a community bank from 500 to 2,000.  Similar legislation passed the House by a vote of 420 to 2.
  • Access to Capital for Job Creators: Senator John Thune has introduced S.1831, which eliminates an SEC regulation that discourages companies from reaching out to potential investors in order to raise capital.  Similar legislation passed the House by a vote of 413 to 11.   
  • Democratizing Access to Capital: Senator Scott Brown has introduced S.1791, which changes SEC regulations that inhibit entrepreneurs from raising capital through large groups of small dollar investors or “crowdfunding.”  Similar legislation passed the House by a vote of 407 to 17. 

According to the Kauffman Foundation, startup companies have created nearly 40 million jobs over the past 30 years, and the Small Business Administration shows small businesses generate over 60 percent of all new jobs. However, regulatory red tape threatens the ability of an individual to take a risk and create a new small business.  These bipartisan Senate bills are a step toward reducing regulatory uncertainty and should be acted upon without further delay. 

Republican Efforts to Strengthen the Economy:

  • Senator Scott Brown, Local Businesses Push for More Jobs With “Crowdfunding” Bill (Read More)
  • Senator Heller: We Need Jobs, Not Policies That Make Job Creation More Difficult (Read More)
  • Senator Moran Introduces Bill to Bring Transparency and Fairness to Bank Examination Process (Read More)
  • Senator Blunt Unveils Export Promotion Act to Boost Job Creation (Read More)
  • Senator Rubio Slams Destructive IRS Mandate (Read More)
  • Senator Roberts Introduces Amendment to Preserve Tax Relief and Ease Pain at the Pump (Read More)
  • Senator Portman: EPA Ruling Detrimental to Job Growth Should Be Delayed (Read More)