Let’s Talk Biz Talks Small Business and Job Creation with Elected Officials: This Week Congressman John Mica

By Carolyn Winston and Addison Sims, Hosts

Let’s Talk Biz’s hosts, Carolyn A. Winston and Addison Sims this month, August, began a series of bipartisan talks with elected officials to explore what they are doing to support small business and job creation.  This week’s Let’s Talk Biz’s special guest was Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman John Mica of Florida.

Recently, President Obama signed into law the new bipartisan transportation act.  The bill became the Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012 and is commonly referred to as MAP21.   At the ceremony there was an unusual show of bipartisanship; members of both parties were represented.  Congressman John Mica was a chief author of the transportation bill now the Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012.  Senator Boxer, D-California, a sponsor of the bill said the measure would create or save 2.8 million jobs. 

Congressman John Mica was recognized at the ceremony, and after talking with Congress John Mica, Let’s Talk Biz wants to recognize his work, as well as all that supported the bill.  Why?  A top notch economy requires a top notch infrastructure.  The World Economic Forum ranked American infrastructure a troubling 24th out of 124th nations.  We used to be number one. There is a full report worth reading by the Council on Foreign Relations, www.cfr.org/roadtonowhere.  It means that America is falling behind, renewing America means rebuilding America.  Rebuilding America means job creation, small business contracts, grants, and community development.   

The 108 billion dollars to be spent on highway, mass transit, and other transportation programs is an economic achievement for lawmakers on both sides and an economic boost to large and small businesses.  Over the next two years small businesses will have an opportunity to seek contracts, and nonprofits in local communities can seek grant opportunities.

States will have more flexibility in spending the money from Washington because federal programs have been consolidated.  Monies are allocated to safety initiatives including the enhancement of bus safety, this is especially timely because over the last year the number of bus riders has increased. Communities will benefit from monies for bike and pedestrian paths. The new transportation act takes effect October 1, 2012.

Congressman Mica shared a wealth of information.  “If we hadn’t acted, thousands of transportation projects across the nation would come to a halt and the potential for millions of people being laid off as opposed to the opposite,” said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Transportation Committee.

Friday, August, 24th, Let’s Talk Biz talks with Congressman Alcee Hastings. He is seated on the Rules Committee, known as the most powerful committee in the House of Representatives. Why? The House Rules Committee determines if and when bills are sent to the floor to vote. This is one of the reasons why party control of Congress is so important: those in the majority can determine what issues are brought up and when, and if they are brought up at all.

Looking for more information on the Map-21 bill? Then simply visit the links below: