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When a political party pursues a multi-trillion dollar plan that restructures how most Americans can live their lives, they should at the very least understand what a majority of the country wants and needs to do so. Congress is sent to Washington to work for the people, but clearly the Democrats are not listening to those who will live with the consequences of their legislation.

But Republicans are. For the past several weeks, we have convened roundtable conversations with Americans who will bear the brunt of the Democrats’ spending plan.

Today, we convened our sixth roundtable conversation to discuss how small and local businesses, which are looking to rebound and grow coming out of the pandemic, will be left fighting to simply keep the doors open.

When I started my first small business at the age of 20, I quickly learned the sacrifices required to be successful: you are the first to work, the last to leave, and the last to get paid. Few things in life are as rewarding as owning your own business, creating jobs, and delivering a product or service that people value.

In every community, our small and local businesses don’t just strengthen the fabric, they are the threads to productive life. Instead of getting more Americans to work, the Democrats in Washington want more to stay home — and they’ll pay handsomely to do it.

Already facing a severe labor shortage, small and local businesses will have to contend with a new child tax credit that replaces our existing model with welfare without any work requirement. By removing a work requirement, the government is putting itself in competition with small businesses. And as the last year has proven, small businesses operating on tight margins are no match for the government printing press or mandate machine.

This is the last thing our communities need, and our conversation today only further proves that.

Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23):One thing that small businesses are struggling with today is a severe labor shortage that is a direct result of policies that pays people more money to stay home than go to work… By removing a work requirement, the government is putting itself in competition with small businesses. And as the last year has proven, small businesses operating on tight margins are no match for the government printing press or mandate machine.”

Rep. Luetkemeyer (MO-03): “There are a myriad of problems with small businesses and this bill is chock full of them from the standpoint of the taxes, including individual rates.”

Rep. Walorski (IN-02): “They’re saying to the American people you don’t have to work… the work ethic and the labor shortage on top of everything else are the most dangerous.”

Rep. Keller (PA-12): “We look at an administration and the Speaker who want to control how you earn your money and how you spend your money… Think about this: [Democrats] are doing it with inflation, with taxes, and higher energy costs…”

Rep. Schweikert (AZ-06): “We can show you by the end of the decade that poor people will actually be poorer from this piece of legislation. The country will be poorer… and you’re going to crush the relationship between individuals and work.”

Rep. Hern (OK-01): “Democrats are trying to crush small businesses, so that big businesses can prosper. That ought to scare us all to death.”

Rep. Van Duyne (TX-24): “Small businesses are the backbone of our country, and yet they seem to be the enemy of this administration. The [Biden] administration is doing everything it possibly can to crush small businesses… Now we look at [Democrats’] latest bill, which is taking the work requirement away, which is going to further compound the issue.”

Andrew Gruel, Founder and Executive Chef of Slapfish Restaurant: “When they shut down outdoor dining, 90% of the restaurants in Southern California closed… I had people come to me and say they lost their job, and now the government is telling me there’s no government benefits available because they misappropriated upwards of $50 billion in unemployment funds.”

Joe Shamess, Cofounder of Flags of Valor: “Entering this year, and entering a state of high inflation, was like a one-two punch. You have Covid, then you have runaway inflation. On average our input costs are on average 20% higher than they were this time last year.”

Larry Allison, Owner of Allison Crane and Rigging: “We are concerned about where we are going to get the employees. What are the costs of the employees going to be… I’m trying to get more and more diversified today, getting ready for the next time the governor tries to shut us down here in Pennsylvania.”

Jeff Salters, Founder of Salty’s BBQ and Catering: “As those costs continue to rise, we only have one option. That’s either to go up on our prices or take things off our menu. The more that this crazy, out-of-touch spending & taxing continues to impact- it impacts the bottom line.”

Andrew Ray, Owner of BrightStar Care: “I find myself emerging from the pandemic, heading right into another one that is very clear… This legislation is very clear… I am extremely worried that if this legislation goes through, and the disincentives to work continue, where am I going to get the team to do this? And what are my options? This bill raises taxes right when I am going out of the pandemic.”