(Senate - October 13, 2011)

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[Pages S6483-S6484]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                              JOB CREATION

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, I am here on the floor today to share a few 
thoughts on a topic that has a daily impact upon the lives of 
Americans. It is the topic we have had front and center now for a long 
time--job creation. Whether a mom or dad can find a job directly 
impacts their ability to put food on their family's table, pay their 
mortgage, save for their children's education, and prepare for their 
own retirement.
  In August our economy failed to create any jobs. In September our 
economy created about 100,000 jobs, but that is not fast enough to get 
us out of our economic slump. The fact is that 14 million Americans are 
still out of work, and about 42 percent of those unemployed have been 
looking for a job for more than 6 months. We know those facts.
  Over the last few weeks, I have asked Kansans what their thoughts are 
about this circumstance, and we find many Kansans, as are others in 
America, discouraged, looking for work, unable to find a job. They want 
to know why our businesses are not creating those jobs and making them 
available for them.

  I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kansans who own 
businesses in Overland Park--a suburb of Kansas City--and in 
Hutchinson--a community just outside Wichita--to talk about the economy 
and their outlook for our economic future.
  Throughout our conversations, it became clear the main reason 
businesses are not hiring is because of economic uncertainty. In fact, 
a survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce indicated more than 
half of small business executives cited economic uncertainty as the 
greatest obstacle to hiring more employees.
  From a business owner's perspective, I can understand why they are 
reluctant; if they do not know how much they will have to pay in taxes 
or to comply with additional regulations a year from now or how much 
health care costs will be for any new employee, why would they hire a 
new employee now or invest in their business? Any successful business 
owner will tell us they have to take risks to get ahead, but they will 
also tell us they have to balance those risks against their expected 
costs or they will run their business into the ground.
  One chief executive put it this way:

       What are the rules of the game going to be in the long 
     term? What our retailers would like to have is consistency 
     and predictability. We can handle decisions we don't agree 
     with, but that's easier than not knowing what the decision is 
     going to be.

  Another executive of a small business put it very plainly:

       Among the other presidents and CEOs I interact with, the 
     only consensus of opinion is none of us has any idea where 
     things are going. In my observation, the uncertainty we are 
     experiencing is caused almost entirely out of Washington and 
     other governments around the world.

  The reality is the private sector has been the engine of job creation 
in our country throughout history. So we should do everything we can to 
encourage business to create jobs. In fact, small businesses represent 
99.7 percent of all employer firms and employ half of all private 
sector employees, according to the Small Business Administration. In 
the last two decades, they have generated 65 percent of the new jobs 
created in our country.
  One of the greatest opportunities we have to improve someone's life 
is to create an environment where jobs can be created, so employers can 
feel confident about investing in their companies, and they can put 
people to work.
  Today, I wish to outline a new approach, one that is based on a 
proven track record of success--the success of the American 
entrepreneur. Soon I will be introducing legislation called the Startup 
Act to help jump-start our economy through the creation and growth of 
new businesses.
  The American dream is based on the principle that anyone can achieve 
success, given the freedom and opportunity to make a better life for 
themselves and their families. America has long been known as the land 
of opportunity, where individuals risk all they have to live out their 
dreams. Many Fortune 500 companies, such as Ford, Apple, and General 
Electric, got their start with a handful of folks, an individual, a 
great idea, and a lot of hard work. Many of our businesses started in 
garages across our country. So we should continue to encourage this 
spirit of entrepreneurship in our Nation.
  In Kansas City, there is a foundation dedicated to the promotion of 
entrepreneurship called the Kauffman Foundation. Their research shows 
that between 1980 and 2005, companies less than 5 years old accounted 
for nearly all the new job growth in the United States. In fact, new 
firms create about 3 million jobs each year. For 45 years, the Kauffman 
Foundation has worked to strengthen opportunities for entrepreneurs in 
this country, so when a person comes up with a good idea, they can 
pursue it and turn it into reality.
  Many of their good ideas are reflected in the legislation I will soon 
be introducing and are based upon Kauffman's extensive research and 
  The foundation of the Startup Act is based on five progrowth 
principles: removing barriers to growth, attracting business 
investment, bringing more research from the laboratory to the 
marketplace, attracting and retaining entrepreneurial talent, and 
encouraging progrowth State and local policies.
  First, the Startup Act will remove barriers to growth by streamlining 
Federal regulations. Rather than hiring new employees, businesses are 
spending money on complying with unreasonable regulations, sometimes 
regulations not based upon sound science. New businesses face an 
especially heavy burden in complying with the multitude of local, 
State, and Federal rules governing their business.
  According to the SBA, firms with fewer than 20 employees spend 36 
percent more per employee than larger firms to comply with Federal 
regulations. Very small firms spend 4\1/2\ times as much per employee 
to comply with environmental regulations and 3 times more per employee 
on tax compliance than the largest corporations.
  When I met with those business leaders in Kansas City recently, one 
of them told me he was required to replace all the light bulbs in his 
factory because of an EPA regulation. But his factory has skylights and 
was already well lit. He did not need new lighting, but the government 
told him he did, and this unnecessary regulation cost him tens of 
thousands of dollars. This is just one example of how cumbersome and 
how costly regulations have become. That money could have and should 
have been, in my view, better spent on helping that business grow.
  The Startup Act will overhaul the Federal regulatory process for all 
regulations that have an impact on the economy of $100 million or more. 
By requiring these rules to undergo a cost-benefit analysis every 10 
years, the benefit and burden on businesses and consumers will become 
much more clear. This will ease the burden on businesses so they can 
focus on growing their business and hiring more workers.
  Second, the Startup Act will help companies attract investment so 
they can get off the ground and grow more quickly. One of the greatest 
challenges for startups is having access to the necessary capital to 
grow their business.
  Investors' capital gains are currently taxed at 15 percent. Last 
year, the Small Business Jobs Act passed by Congress temporarily 
exempted taxes on capital gains from the sale of certain small business 
stock held for at least 5 years. The Startup Act will make this 
exemption permanent so investors have an incentive to partner with 
entrepreneurs and help provide financial stability for the first few 
years of that business's beginning.

  Third, the Startup Act will make it easier to take research from the 
laboratory and apply it in the marketplace. Some of our brightest and 
most creative individuals study at American universities. Each day, 
faculty members and graduate students make new discoveries and develop 
new ideas. The possibilities of research are endless. In

[[Page S6484]]

fact, university research led to groundbreaking discoveries such as the 
polio vaccine, antibiotics, black-and-white television, barcodes, and, 
more recently, e-mail and Google.
  To help bring more cutting-edge research to the marketplace, my bill 
creates an incentive for universities to reform their technology 
policies and practices. The Startup Act requires the top Federal R 
grant-making agencies to give preference to universities that have a 
proven track record of success in discovering commercial applications 
for their research.
  Fourth, this legislation will enable new businesses to attract and 
retain highly trained workers, including those who immigrate to our 
  Our country was founded on immigrants who have long contributed to 
the strength of our economy by starting businesses and creating jobs. 
In fact, a 2007 study found that more than one-quarter of technology 
and engineering companies started in our country, from 1995 to 2002, 
had at least one key founder who was born overseas. These companies 
produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2005 
  Research shows that 53 percent of immigrant founders of U.S.-based 
technology and engineering companies completed their highest degree at 
an American, a U.S. university. Unfortunately, many foreign-born 
immigrants leave the States after they complete their studies and 
return to their home countries to start businesses because they have a 
hard time securing a visa to stay in the United States.
  It does not make much sense to make such an investment in these 
students and then not give them the opportunity to apply what they have 
learned by starting a company in the United States that will generate 
jobs for other Americans. We should be doing all we can to attract and 
retain highly skilled and entrepreneurial folks so they can work in the 
field where they have studied and contribute to our economy.
  The Startup Act will help retain this talent in two ways.
  First, it creates a new visa, called a STEM visa, for any immigrant 
who graduates with a master's or Ph.D. in science, technology, 
engineering or math. This will give those graduates the opportunity to 
stay for up to 1 year beyond their graduation date to find a job and 
put to work the high-tech skills they learned and that our economy so 
desperately needs.
  Second, the bill creates another visa, called an entrepreneur's visa, 
for immigrants who register a business and employ at least one 
nonfamily member within 1 year of obtaining that visa. Once they have 
satisfied those requirements, the entrepreneur would be allowed to 
remain here for an additional 3 years if they employ additional 
employees and further grow their business.
  The goal of both these visas is to encourage innovation among highly 
skilled entrepreneurs and to help grow our country.
  Finally, the Startup Act would encourage progrowth State and local 
  While Federal policies certainly impact the formation and growth of 
new businesses, State and local policies also play an important role in 
their creation and growth. In order to identify the States which are 
the most entrepreneur-friendly, this legislation will create the 
``State Startup Business Report'' to analyze State laws and policies. 
The report will encourage healthy competition and lead to the 
development and expansion of progrowth policies.
  In conclusion, our first priority in Congress should be to create an 
environment that encourages companies to grow and create jobs. We know 
our economy cannot continue on the path it is on. In a recent Chamber 
of Commerce study, 64 percent of small business executives said they do 
not expect to add to their payroll in the next year, and another 12 
percent said they plan to cut jobs.
  The Startup Act would encourage American entrepreneurs to do what 
they do best: dream big and pursue their dreams. The American economy 
can and will recover when we give American entrepreneurs the tools they 
need to succeed.
  By removing those barriers to growth for new companies, attracting 
business investment, bringing more research from the laboratory to the 
marketplace, retaining talented entrepreneurs and skilled employees, 
and encouraging progrowth policies, we will spur growth in the 
marketplace and assist in putting people back to work.
  The ongoing debate about how to create jobs needs to turn from 
rhetoric to reality. Nothing in this legislation is designed to be 
highly partisan. It is designed to make certain Republicans and 
Democrats can come together with a plan that will make a difference.
  It is time for Congress to put policies in place that give job 
creators more confidence and certainty in the marketplace. If we fail 
to act as we should, if we continue to ignore the economic problems 
facing our country, if we let partisanship and bickering get in our 
way, we will reduce the opportunities the next generation of Americans 
have to pursue the American dream. It is our greatest responsibility as 
citizens of our country to make sure the next generation of Americans 
can live in a country with freedom and liberty and have the opportunity 
to dream their dreams and see them fulfilled.
  I yield back and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Whitehouse). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.