One of my top priorities is helping Kentuckians find jobs. Last year, I established the bipartisan Congressional Apprenticeship Caucus and introduced the APPRENTICE Act, both with my colleague Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA). The caucus is bringing members of Congress together to explore how Congress can support apprenticeships as a way to help workers learn skills on the job, and the APPRENTICE Act will help expand apprenticeship opportunities. This year, I introduced the bipartisan PARTNERS Act, which would support the creation and expansion of industry partnerships to help small and medium-sized businesses develop apprenticeship programs.
I understand the important role small businesses play in our economy, which is why I supported the passage of the following bills:
- H.R. 128, the Small Business Advocacy Improvements Act of 2019, a bill clarifying that the SBA Office of Advocacy has the authority to examine small business issues in international economies – rather than just the domestic economy – and authorize the office to represent small businesses before foreign governments and international entities.
- H.R. 206, the Encouraging Small Business Innovation Act, works to keep the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs up-to-date.
- H.R. 190, the Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act, eliminates the inclusion of option years in the award price for sole source contracts to grant more opportunities for small businesses to compete for federal contracting opportunities.
- H.R. 116, the Investing in Main Street Act of 2019, a bill to increase the amount of capital that a bank or federal savings association may invest in one or more Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) from 5% to 15%.
- H.R. 539, the Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019, a bill expanding the eligible pool of applicants for the I-Corps program and allows aspiring entrepreneurs to be awarded Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grants from a federal agency.