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Washington Watch - October 5, 2011


2012 Budget Battles In Congress

A bill designed to give Congress extra time to wrap up FY2012 legislation was passed yesterday, however given the partisan struggles it took to come to an agreement, there is much to be done before a larger catch-all bill will pass.

The bill, a continuing resolution (CR), is set to expire on Nov. 18, leaving minimal time to finish appropriations, which will likely take the form of an omnibus of 12 annual spending bills.

Lawmakers will also have to take into account the budget super committee's recommendations, which will cut the deficit by more than $1 trillion over 10 years.

Conservative House lawmakers may continue to push for deep cuts, leaving Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to rely on the vites of some Democrats to pass the measure.


Deficit Panel Members Fight For Tax Overhaul

The joint deficit reduction committee continues its work to come up with a list of cost-cutting proposals by November 23rd. Some members of the 12-person group are pushing strongly for a reform of the tax code. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., Max Baucus, R-Mont., and John Kerry, D-Mass., have reportedly showed interest in various proposals, including some revenue-neutral measures.

The committee is working amongst pressure for the White House and Congress to spur job growth and the economy. It's clear that the federal government cannot be sustained at current spending levels. In a recent hearing, the Congressional Budget Office's Doug Elmendorf remarked, "Citizens will either have to pay more for their government, accept less in government services and benefits, or both."

While tax reform is on the table, many committee members do not believe that meaningful changes can be made given the compressed time frame. 

The committeee was created with the passage of the debt-limit legislation in August and is charged with finding $1.2 trillion in savings through cuts, additional taxation or both.

Visit the www.deficitreduction.gov to submit your recommendations for the committee.


Study: Developments In Women-Owned Businesses

According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, the years from 1997 to 2007 were a dynamic period in the U.S. economy. The strong growth early in this period was arrested by the recession of 2000-2001; strong economic growth resumed in 2002-2007. The data reflect an economy moving out of a recession and ending on a high note in 2007. How did women and other small business owners fare during this 10-year period between 1997 and 2007? 

The study looked to place gender in a broader perspective. Business ownership no longer can be analyzed simply on the basis of the owner’s gender; businesses owned by women and men more and more share the same general development patterns. Moreover, the strong growth of publicly held firms, which cannot be identified by the demographic characteristics of their many owners, has led to the need to focus on both privately owned and publicly held firms.

Read the research summary and full report.


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