NFIB caught up with Shelley Moore Capito, who has represented West Virginia’s Second Congressional District in the House of Representatives since 2001.
Q: How has overregulation coming from Washington, D.C., impacted West Virginia businesses?
Small businesses across West Virginia have been slammed by the administration’s regulatory policies, in particular the Environmental Protection Agency’s actions targeting the production and use of West Virginia coal. Many small businesses in West Virginia provide goods or services to the coal industry, so policies that destroy coal jobs also have a terrible impact on the bottom line of small business owners.
Our small community financial institutions also face significant burdens from Washington that place regulators and bureaucrats in between a community banker and a neighborhood small business. Regulations have made it more difficult for credit-worthy small businesses to access credit, even when they have established relationships with a local financial institution. As the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Credit, I would rather see financial institutions use their resources to provide capital to job-creating small business owners rather than on compliance costs.
Q: What particular aspects of the new healthcare law can be addressed to provide relief to small business owners?
The employer mandate should be repealed. Government should not place obstacles in the way of small businesses that want to expand and create more jobs. It is absurd that government policies would encourage businesses to hire fewer workers or hold current workers to fewer than 30 hours a week, but that is exactly what the Affordable Care Act does. As an interim step, I voted to increase the healthcare law’s definition of full-time employment to 40 hours, both to help small business owners maintain their workforce and to help employees who would struggle to make ends meet in the part-time economy that the Affordable Care Act has created.
Q: In what ways are you keeping in touch and seeking feedback from small businesses in West Virginia?
As I travel across West Virginia, I frequently stop to visit with small business owners and their employees. West Virginians are concerned about the economic future of our nation and our state. They see the administration as increasingly out of touch for imposing new regulations and higher tax burdens that make it harder for employers to grow their businesses and for workers to find jobs. As I speak to small business owners, I let them know that there are still people who understand their concerns. In addition to traveling around the state, I keep in touch with my constituents through my district offices, mobile office visits, social media, my website and e-newsletter.