AVMA staff, a number of whom are her constituents, met Rep. Bean during a meet-and-greet event. The former technology company sales manager and owner of a consulting business touched on recent and upcoming legislation she has sponsored or written.
During the 111th Congress, Rep. Bean helped introduce the Small Business Lending Fund Act (H.R. 5297) in May and led debate in favor of the measure when it first passed the House in June. The bill eventually was signed into law by President Barack Obama Sept. 27.
Illinois' 8th Congressional District Representative Melissa Bean dropped by Oct. 12 at
AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., which is located in her district.
The law creates a $30 billion government fund to help encourage lending to small businesses. Plus, it gives a boost to some Small Business Administration loan programs. Rep. Bean said about 2,000 businesses have been approved for more than $1 billion in SBA loans since the bill's passage.
The congresswoman is serving her third term as a U.S. representative after first being sworn into office Jan. 4, 2005. She serves on the House Committee on Small Business and the House Financial Services Committee. As such, Rep. Bean helped write the financial regulation bill, passed into law this past July, and portions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the federal stimulus effort.
During the meeting, AVMA CEO W. Ron DeHaven asked Rep. Bean what potential impact health care reform will have on small business owners. Rep. Bean responded that small businesses will be eligible for tax credits to cover 35 to 50 percent of their employees' premiums, for one thing. She also emphasized that businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees will not be required to offer health insurance.
The 112th Congress, Rep. Bean anticipates, will deal with legislation on nutrition in schools, revamping the No Child Left Behind Act, and tax reform.
Rep. Bean continues to push a bill she has introduced, the Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act (H.R. 5454). This legislation would grant the president authority, after receiving a newly passed bill, to send suggested spending cuts back to Congress. After it passes a spending bill, Congress would then be required to take an up or down vote on the president's entire package of cuts, without amendment.