Standing Up for Main Street
Things are pretty frustrating in Washington right now. Gridlock in Congress is standing in the way of tackling some of our nation's biggest challenges. It's a big contrast to what I see in New Mexico, where we rally together when we face a problem like these recent wildfires. I'd like to see more of that attitude in Congress.
When I'm traveling around New Mexico, I talk to small business owners who have commonsense solutions to many of the challenges they're facing. As we continue to regain our footing coming out of this recession, we owe it to small businesses to do what we can to help them succeed.
For example, right now there's too much red tape for small businesses who want to work with the federal government. From our National Labs to the Waste Isolation Pilot Program in Carlsbad to our military bases, New Mexico has a lot of opportunities for small businesses to contract with the federal government. Unfortunately, that process can be very frustrating and small business owners tell me it's too complex, too difficult to navigate and places them at a disadvantage against larger firms.
This week I took a step to improving this by introducing the Expanding Opportunities for Main Street Act, which would set aside federal contracts up to $500,000 for small businesses instead of big corporations. It would also make the process more transparent and create a national database of minority-owned businesses to help connect them with federal contractors.
Small businesses are also benefiting from the Wall Street Reform law that I voted for last year, as more of its provisions start taking effect. Part of those reforms dealt with the fees that big banks charge retailers on debit card purchases, which until now added a one-to-two percent hidden tax on everything you buy.
Wall Street Reform called for the Federal Reserve to reduce the fees that big banks charge and in a recent vote, I stood up for this provision against an attempt to roll it back. We also made sure that New Mexico's small banks and credit unions wouldn't be impacted by the changes.
Watch my "Video Vote" on reducing these debit card swipe fees and also hear from small business leaders in New Mexico about how this regulation helps Main Street:
Bit by bit, we can tackle the challenges facing our small businesses. But there's much more to be done and I'm continuing to push for legislation that helps create jobs in New Mexico.