Citing the success of his predecessor and the many areas in which he agrees with committee ranking member Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-), Donald Manzullo (R-IL)-new chair of the House Committee on Small Business-has laid out his plans.
Among the issues the five-term congressman expects to revisit are new market initiatives for inner city and rural areas, contract bundling, immediate 100 percent deductibility of health-care premiums, and OSHA ergonomics standards. "Areas that may not be as bipartisan are tax cuts for business," says Manzullo, who plans to continue advocating the elimination of the estate tax.
One new issue the former chair of the Small Business Subcommittee on Tax, Finance and Exports expects to throw into the spotlight is competition between the federal prison industry and the private sector. "Prison labor products are being sold in competition with products manufactured in the private sector," he says. "How can [businesses] compete with people making 5 or 10 cents an hour?"
In a more far-reaching effort, Manzullo wants Alan Greenspan to consider the small-business sector as an economic indicator. "I have steel suppliers [in my district] that have gone down 80 percent, and I think what's happening in steel is a red flag. They supply the tool- and die-makers and the raw materials for new machines," asserts Manzullo. "When orders for those are down, you know you're in bad shape."