Two-thirds of all new jobs since the 1970s were created by small businesses and more than half of working Americans are employed by them today. I fight for small businesses every day because, as a small business owner myself, I have seen firsthand the opportunity they can create and the devastating impact of government overreach.
On Thursday, the Obama Administration opened a new front in its assault on small businesses and working families this week. In a partisan decision, the National Labor Relations Board is seeking to upend decades of labor policy by redefining what it means to be an employer.
Up until now, an employer was defined as it should be: the person or entity that had “direct and immediate control” over employment. Now the board, which has become little more than a tool for big union bosses, is changing the rules by taking control away from local business owners and giving it to multinational corporations.
Last week, I hosted a hearing of the Education and the Workforce Committee in Savannah to discuss the far reaching implications of such a change. We heard from local small business owners like Alex Salguiero, who operates Burger King restaurants around Savannah, and Kal Patel, who operates hotels throughout Southeast Georgia. They and others told us that the change could force them to shutter their businesses and eliminate the jobs they support.
The result would be higher prices and fewer jobs as the little guy gets squeezed out all across this country. We cannot let that happen.
Instead, I am going to fight this rule and continue my work to get big government out of the way of putting America back to work. We can create a new generation of opportunity and prosperity by empowering American workers and small businesses to innovate, expand, and grow.
From Our Nation’s Capitol
Monday, Aug. 24: After spending this past weekend in Denver, Colorado, where I spoke at the National Association of Chain Drug Store’s Total Store Expo meeting, I fly back to Atlanta to visit with companies in the area. I begin today by traveling to Gainesville for a tour of Merial Select, the animal health division of Sanofi. Merial markets veterinary products such as Heartgard, Frontline Plus and NexGard, and produces a number of vaccines including the avian flu vaccine.
Located in Gainesville, which touts itself as the Chicken Capitol of the World, Merial Select works closely with area chicken farmers, as well as the University of Georgia and the state of Georgia to bring innovations in the poultry health field for broilers, layers and broiler breeders. The worldwide influence of the company can be seen in the shipping warehouse that we visit as vaccines are being sent to China, Australia, Mexico and other countries throughout the world.
Afterwards, we travel to Marietta for a tour of Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s premier global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company where, among many things, they build C-130Js, upgrades for the C-5 Galaxies and perform P-3 wing assembly.
Following this great experience, I head to downtown Atlanta to meet with representatives of the Harris Neck Land Trust from McIntosh County. These negotiations of how to possibly return portions of the Harris Neck Natural Wildlife Refuge to its original owners has been on-going through the terms of Bo Ginn, Lindsay Thomas, Jack Kingston and now me.
Through the groundwork laid by my predecessors, I will continue to work toward an amicable resolution of this situation.
Tuesday, Aug. 25: I head down to Macon this morning for the annual Georgia Chamber Congressional Lunch, where I am honored to be asked to deliver the invocation. This annual gathering of business and elected leaders from throughout the state provides an opportunity to learn more about the role and relationship between the federal and state government as they relate to Georgia’s economy.
We are fortunate to hear from Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue as well as from pollster and communications professional Dr. Frank Luntz. After the luncheon, I meet with the Georgia Transportation Alliance before heading down to Savannah for afternoon meetings with constituents.
Later in the evening I have the opportunity to speak to the Savannah Area Young Republicans to recap my first few months in Congress, discuss what lies ahead of us when we return in September, and Q&A. This energetic and thoughtful group of young adults helps restore my confidence that our country will be in good hands in the future.
Wednesday, Aug. 26: After being in the northernmost area of Georgia on Monday, I’m in the southernmost today as I am honored to be the keynote speaker in Camden County for their annual “Community that Cares” event held at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.
As I travel our country as a Member of Congress, I find that people across our nation know about Kings Bay and continuously comment about the strong community support that our seaman receive. Between the Navy League and the Camden Partnership, there are few areas in our country that receive as strong of community support as is received at Kings Bay. After a great visit, I head back up to Savannah where I have afternoon meetings with constituents and welcome Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, within the Education and the Workforce Committee, who is in town for a field hearing tomorrow. Dr. Roe’s flight was delayed last night as there was a medical emergency on his flight from Atlanta to Savannah and, being the only physician on the flight, Dr. Roe had to attend to the patient.
Thursday, Aug. 27: As a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, I serve on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee. During our August recess we are having field hearings in Alabama and Georgia to discuss the potential impact on workers of the recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) efforts to rewrite how the Board determines joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The first hearing was held in Mobile, Alabama on Tuesday of this week and the second hearing is being held here in Savannah today at the Coastal Georgia Center. Along with the Chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Roe and my fellow member, Rep. Rick Allen (R-Augusta), I am glad to be bringing “Congress to the People.” This is an official meeting of the subcommittee and is run just the same as if we were holding it in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. We have four witnesses today, Kal Patel, President of Image Hotels, Inc., who owns and operates eight hotels in the Savannah area, Alex Salgueiro, president and CEO of Savannah Restaurants Corp., who owns and operates numerous Burger Kings in the Savannah area, Fred Weir from Cuming who owns and operates 10 franchised Zaxby’s restaurants in Georgia and Arkansas, and Jeffrey Mintz with Littler Mendelson, P.C. in Atlanta and who is an employment and labor law counsel.
After Chairman Roe gives his opening statement, each witness is given the opportunity to give an opening statement, followed by a series of questions from each committee member. The witnesses are united in their belief that if the joint employer status rule is changed it will redefine the franchisee-franchisor relationship and will destroy small businesses as well as eliminate jobs. Both of these field hearings are very beneficial to our work in Congress as our findings will be noted to the full committee.
After this very productive session, I head to the district office for an afternoon filled with constituent meetings.