Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood) said that Congress should emphasize its legislation to help small businesses and create more jobs to stimulate the economy during her annual “State of the Nation” address to the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce last Thursday at the .
“If we’re going to get this economy running again, we have to focus on small business,” she said. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and the strongest statistic is that small businesses create two out of every three jobs.”
Sanchez, who announced last week she will run for re-election in , said that one of her main priorities is ensuring that small businesses get the money they need to expand and hire employees.
“The economy just isn’t turning around fast enough,” she said, touting that while last year saw seven consecutive months of job growth, more needs to be done. “The economy was growing—slowly. It was growing, but not enough for small businesses.”
Sanchez said that last year, before the election that swept in a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the House passed seven new tax cuts targeted towards small businesses and under the stimulus plan, approved 70,000 new loans for small business and waived fees for Small Business Administration loans.
Despite highlighting the achievements of the last Congress, Sanchez lamented the lack of focus by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to help small businesses.
“Seven months into this new Congress, we are still waiting on a jobs bill,” she said. “We are still waiting how the new House majority plans to help small businesses grow.”
“Our nation’s credit rating has been downgraded by Standard and Poor’s for the first time in history and it’s because our new House majority didn’t want to fulfill our obligations. I ask small business owners, would you expect your business to grow if you didn’t pay your bills?”
In contrast to the new House majority, she and other Democrats want to push a “Make It In America” agenda that encourages more manufacturing jobs in the United States by investing in infrastructure, creating an education policy for tomorrow, encouraging innovation and crafting a smart tax and regulation policy.
Sanchez also wants to see the tax code reformed and cited a couple of archaic laws that could be scrubbed under such reforms, which could take years to implement.
“Turning around the economy shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” she said.
After her “State of the Nation” address, Sanchez spent about half an hour answering written questions from members of the audience about a variety of issues, including the saga of redevelopment agencies throughout the state due to Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval to shut them down.
She voiced her support for redevelopment agencies, saying it is the cities’ best tool to create agencies and encouraged officials to make their dislike “vocal” and do what they can to preserve them, including offering alternatives.
Cerritos Chamber of Commerce President Ann Smith said Sanchez’s speech was informative and hoped that the congresswoman will look after small business as far as tax reform is concerned.
“It certainly helped us in Cerritos that we knew a little bit more about what’s happening in Washington, D.C.,” she said. “I would encourage her to identify all of these IRS problems with respect to the tax code and her idea of going through the tax code and eliminate waste is a project that she could take on in Congress.”
On the other hand, Joseph Derthick, an insurance agent who attended the luncheon, said that while the congresswoman’s speech was informative, he expected it to be “slanted” to her political beliefs.
“We don’t need to reform the tax code but rather scrap it and start it from scratch,” he said. “Reform will never happen in my lifetime, even if we started it now.”