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Washington Watch - May 27, 2009

Editor’s Note: Credit Card Bill Signed Into Law

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 (H.R. 627/S. 414), a bill designed to protect consumers from unsavory practices employed by credit card companies, was recently signed into law by President Barack Obama. The NASE was disappointed to see an important amendment introduced by Senate Small Business Committee leadership, Senators Landrieu (D-La.) and Snowe (R-Maine), fail to pass. The amendment would have extended these protections to the business credit cards of firms with 50 or fewer employees. However, we still applaud the efforts of Congress and the Administration to increase transparency and consumer protections relating to these popular financing tools.

Click here for a fact sheet on the credit card reform law, or tune into YouTube to see President Obama explain the details of the new bill.

Kristin Oberlander


IRS: Businesses Who Take ARRA’s Energy-Saving Steps This Year May Get Bigger Tax Savings Next Year

The recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 contained a number of either new or expanded tax benefits on expenditures to reduce energy use or create new energy sources.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds businesses that many energy-saving steps taken this year may result in bigger tax savings next year. The IRS encourages businesses to explore whether they are eligible for any of the new energy tax provisions.

An IRS Fact Sheet on Energy Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a listing of ARRA energy provisions. More information on the range of energy items is also available on the special Recovery section of

Subscribe to e-News for Small Businesses to get the latest information about ARRA and other IRS news and information.


House Passes Bill To Strengthen SBA Programs
The House of Representatives recently passed the Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act of 2009 (H.R. 2352), legislation which would reauthorize the Entrepreneurial Development programs of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. Shuler (D-N.C.) and Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), passed by a vote of 406 to 15. The legislation expands programs like Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and creates new support services for veteran-owned and American Indian-owned small businesses.

House Small Business Committee Ranking Member Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said during his floor statement, “These programs have not been reauthorized in a comprehensive way in nearly ten years, and given the changes in the economy, it is long overdue.”

The NASE is a fervent supporter of federal small-business programs that have a proven track record of efficiently aiding very small businesses and the self-employed. The NASE supports H.R. 2352 and commends Reps. Shuler and Luetkemeyer for their work in helping small business owners by moving this important legislation through the House of Representatives.

The legislation is next headed to the Senate for consideration.


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