May 16 2014
This week is National Small Business Week, a time to celebrate the contributions of small businesses and highlight the critical role entrepreneurs and small business owners play in our economy. Here are some things you may not know about small businesses:
- Small businesses employ about half of all private sector employees and create more than half of all nonfarm private gross domestic product.
- Small businesses have generated 65% of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
- Generally, 60 to 80% of all new jobs come from small businesses.
One of my top priorities in Congress is to ensure that we get Washington out of the way so that our nation’s small businesses can expand and hire more workers. Under the president’s policies, small businesses are continually burdened by threats of tax increases, unstable energy costs, and unnecessarily burdensome federal regulations. That is why I have proudly supported legislation like the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act (HR. 1105) to assist job creators. H.R. 1105 exempts private equity funds, which have a long history of providing capital to millions of Americans so that they can operate their small businesses and create new jobs, from being forced to comply with unnecessary and costly requirements under the burdensome Dodd-Frank Act.
National Small Business week serves as a reminder that our economy relies on the success of local and small business. I will continue to fight for common-sense policies that give small businesses the certainty that they need to thrive and create more opportunities for the American people.
VA Facility Letter
On Tuesday I was proud to join 23 members of the Texas delegation in calling for an Inspector General investigation into allegations regarding employees manipulating medical appointment data at the North Central Federal Clinic in San Antonio, the Austin Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, and the Waco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. An employee who has worked at all three of these facilities confirmed that he was directed by supervisors to ensure that wait times for veterans were as close to zero days as possible. This required employees to falsely log patient information to achieve the desired wait time goal.
The VA facilities in question serve thousands of Texas veterans. These brave men and women proudly served their country and it is imperative that they receive the highest standard of medical care and family support services available. The alleged deception and dishonest practices of these facilities will not be tolerated and I am committed to ensuring that those responsible for this misconduct are held responsible. To read the full letter, click here.
This week I joined Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, as well as several of our colleagues in the House and Senate, in signing an amicus curiae brief in support of a federal lawsuit against ObamaCare titled Hotze v. Sebelius. An amicus curiae brief is a way for a person who is not a party to a case to submit their perspective on the legal arguments of the case or to present a different perspective on the case than those argued by the parties. As a Member of Congress, I have a compelling interest in protecting the Constitution, guarding our Bill of Rights, and in guaranteeing that the House and the Senate follow the requirements of the Constitution.
Global Down Syndrome Foundation Gala
Each year I’m delighted to have the opportunity to attend the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s “Be Beautiful Be Yourself” Gala with my family, Congressional colleagues, and several advocates from across the country. This year’s event was truly inspiring and it was great to hear about the accomplishments of all of the individuals with Down syndrome in attendance. As the father of a young man with Down syndrome, I believe that it is important to give special needs children the opportunity to grow their skills and be the best that they can be. This event served as a reminder that we must continue to work to give our loved ones opportunities to develop to the best of their abilities.
Congressman Pete Sessions walking the runway with two Global Down Syndrome Foundation models and advocates
As a strong advocate for people with disabilities in Congress, I will continue to support legislative initiatives that promote awareness and support for all of the special needs community. Last month, I joined Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chairman John Kline, and Chairman Todd Rokita in submitting a formal request for an increase in IDEA Part B funding in the Fiscal Year 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. This funding will ensure that special needs children are prepared for success after high school and allow these individuals to reach their full potential. I sincerely hope the Administration will honor our request and renew our commitment to these students, their families, and their educators.