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When Congressional committee hearings look into “offshore profit shifting” of “multinational corporations”, we don’t usually mention it in this weekly post. But when the multinational corporation in question is Apple and its CEO and CFO are scheduled to testify, we will make an exception given its impact on the mobile startup space alone. Tim Cook appears before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation on Tuesday to answer questions about its tax operations—and multiple sources are reporting he will likely use it to call for a major simplification of the tax code. But the Silicon Valley giant won’t be the only big name on the Hill this week.
Each day, Innovation Daily checks the pulse of global innovation--courtesy of Innovation America. Here, we take a look at a handful of relevant stories it compiled last week.
‘Entrepreneur visas’ aren’t only being discussed in Washington, DC. Recently, French President Francois Hollande announced a series of measures aimed at jump-starting entrepreneurial growth that included capital gains tax reforms, support services for SMEs and entrepreneur visas for those looking to launch and grow startups in the country.
While all eyes in the Senate are on the ongoing immigration debate, the House has a handful of committee hearings of interest. The “changing landscape of patent law” brought on by the American Invents Act and its “effects on small firms” are the focus of a Small Business Committee hearing. Topics covered in other hearings include: small business and pass-through entity tax reform; data centers and the cloud; copyright principles; and Keystone XL and small business job growth.
Last week, confidence on Wall Street was sent soaring to all-time highs following the April jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor—employers added 165,000 jobs for the month and unemployment fell to its lowest point since the end of 2008. The confidence of entrepreneurs is on the rise as well according to the latest Startup Confidence Index.
How often do you get more than 70% of self-professed conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats to agree? Apparently, when the topic is immigration reform and you ask about a proposal that includes “a pathway to citizenship, allowing more high-skilled workers and guest workers into the country, increasing border security and creating employer verification requirements.” Those are the core elements of the Gang of Eight proposal (S.744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act) being pushed by a bi-partisan group of U.S. senators.
Returning to Washington after a state / district work period, Congress picks up the immigration issue with a few hearings. The Joint Economic Committee has a two-part hearing on “Immigration and Its Contribution to Our Economic Strength” with witnesses from Americans for Tax Reform, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Center for Immigration Studies and the American Enterprise Institute. The topic is also picked up in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as it examines potential reforms suggested by the ‘Gang of Eight’. Meanwhile, other hearings are scheduled to cover support of minority women entrepreneurs, regulatory burdens and health insurance fees on small businesses, and exports to Africa.
Both houses of Congress are back in their home states and districts for a one week work period. They are scheduled to return to Washington next week.
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