The Ag Minute: Congress Must Reduce the Burdens on Small Businesses, Not Pile on More

Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, Ranking Member Frank Lucas encourages Congress to reduce the burdens on small businesses, not pile on more.

Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"This week the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold legislative hearings on the Senate version of the cap and tax bill.

"As this committee, and ultimately, the full Senate prepare to tackle this issue, it is important to realize the economic consequences of a cap and trade system.

"Our country’s economy depends on the health of small businesses. Small businesses account for more than two-thirds of new jobs, and employ just over half of all U.S. workers. Many of these businesses are located in small towns and rural communities all across America.

"Small and medium-sized firms in rural America provide food, fiber, and energy to the U.S. and the world. Every $1 billion in exports creates more than 9,000 jobs. This supports one-third of all jobs on the farm and two-thirds off the farm in areas such as transportation, trade, food processing, and other manufacturing sectors.

"A cap and trade system, which is essentially a national energy tax, would create higher operating costs for these small businesses forcing many of them to cut jobs or close shop altogether.

"Today, unemployment is nearing double-digits nationally. In some states high unemployment has long been a reality.

"During these tough economic times, it is essential that Congress reduce the burdens on small businesses, not pile on more with a cap and trade system."

The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas' weekly radio address that is released each Tuesday from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.