SelfInformed

January 2013


Small Business Committee Leadership to Look Very Similar in 113th Congress

Monday, January 07, 2013


By Kristie L. Arslan

The Senate and House Committees with jurisdiction over small business and entrepreneurship issues will be led, for the most part, by the same members in the upcoming 113th Congress. The biggest change will be on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, as Ranking Member Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) chose not to seek re-election and therefore her position as chair will be filled by another Republican.


House Committee on Small Business to Play Important Role

The House Small Business Committee will once again be led by Chair Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.). Reps. Graves and Velazquez both held the same leadership spots in the 112th Congress. The rank and file membership will look very different given that the committee ended the session with two vacancies, and five current members lost re-election bids, including Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Allen West (R-Fla.), Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), Mark Critz (D-Penn.), and Jason Altmire (D-Penn.). (As of our publication deadline, Republican Jeff Landry (La.) was in a run-off election.) Membership on the committee is not necessarily seen as a plum assignment, however. Given the emphasis on the importance of the small-business community and comprehensive tax reform, this committee could play a larger role in the 113th Congress.


U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to See Little Change

In the Senate, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) will remain Chair of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. However, the senator filling the Ranking Member slot is unknown. Senator David Vitter—the Republican Junior Senator from Louisiana—is slated to take the position. However, it is fairly uncommon to have two senators from the same state serve as Chair and Ranking Member on the same committee. It is possible that Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) might hop over Sen. Vitter and take the spot. If that happens, Sen. Vitter will most likely leave the committee entirely. There is a little evidence that the committee members will change dramatically, as only one—Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.)—lost re-election. One could predict that Senator-elect Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) will take the Republican vacancy, especially when considering her personal background of running a small business in Nebraska.

Looking Ahead

The NASE looks forward to working with the Senate and House committee leadership and members to advance legislation that support the self-employed and the dream of entrepreneurship.


Kristie L. Arslan is president and CEO of the NASE and provides critical insight to policymakers on issues affecting our nation’s self-employed. You can contact her at advocacy@NASE.org.




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