GOP U.S. reps looking to small business owners for answers
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org December 9, 2011 8:18PM
U.S. Rep Adam Kinzinger
Updated: January 12, 2012 8:23AM
One federal jobs bill might come from the pens of small business owners in Illinois.
It’s the bill that U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Manteno, and other freshmen Republican congressmen from Illinois want written.
Kinzinger and the other freshmen on Friday called for a jobs initiative that would come from suggestions made by small business owners. Kinzinger said he will send a letter to small-business owners he knows in his 11th District and asking them what it would take to create one more job.
“There are 1.1 million small businesses in Illinois,” he said. “If only 10 percent of them create one more job, that would be 100,000 jobs.”
He said he would accept suggestions from other small business owners who don’t get the letter.
Kinzinger’s district includes most of Will County, including Joliet, and all of Grundy County.
“We want to hear from everybody — especially from people who are in small businesses,” Kinzinger said. “I’m not a small-business owner for me to know what it takes to create jobs. I have to listen.”
Kinzinger is part of a Republican-led U.S. House that has proposed fewer regulations, better access to capital and expanded oil-and-gas exploration as means to more employment. He said that the jobs plan announced Friday does not assume small-business owners will come up with the same suggestions. But he is aiming the results at Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama.
Once the responses are in, Kinzinger said, he will deliver them to the president, U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
One of those at the conference announcing the job initiative was Manhattan farmer John Kiefner, who already was putting in his suggestion for “more sensible regulations.” Kiefner represented the Illinois Farm Bureau.
“I’d rather be in the fields growing my crop or expanding my horse business than pushing paper,” Kiefner said in a phone interview with The Herald-News, adding that he faces a growing load of labor regulations and workman’s compensation rules for the handful of people he employs. “We don’t want to be sitting at the desk learning about new workers’ comp rules and labor laws.”
The press conference took place at The James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.
The other Republican, freshman congressmen from Illinois joining the initiative are Robert Dodd, Randy Hultgren, Bobby Schilling and Joe Walsh.