Capitol Hill Update: Fiscal Cliff

January 1, 2013

By Ralph E. Winnie, Jr., National Correspondent, Federal Allies News

 

Update on Fiscal Cliff and What it Means for Small Business: According to President Barack Obama, an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts appeared to be “within sight”. As per remarks made by Senator Mitch McConnell, Senators were very close to a deal, having worked out an agreement on taxes. However, according to members of Congress, the House of Representatives will not be voting on any plans to avert the fiscal cliff tonight. The impact on small business could be substantial depending on the kind of deal reached between the two parties. The Democrats have agreed to raise the income threshold for tax increases to $450,000 a year (couples) from the prior $250,000, While the Republicans are insisting on a $550,000 threshold, arguably this might be considered a substantial tax cut for the majority of Americans, including many small and medium size enterprises relative to the rates that would otherwise take effect on January 1st. The Democrats have insisted on raising capital gains and dividend taxes to 20% on households over $250,000 and reducing some of the allowable deductions. While it may boost dividend taxes to 40% on incomes over $250,000, the impact on small business will have to be closely examined over the next couple of months to evaluate its impact and to determine what recommendations Federal Allies could provide to its membership. The Democrats have agreed with the Republicans to keep the threshold for taxable estates at 5 million with a tax rate of 35% above that level. It can be argued that this is a massive tax cut over current law in which the threshold will drop to 1 million at a much higher rate. Given that it can be argued that the latest proposal by the Democrats would permanently protect middle-class households from the Alternative Minimum Tax, this would have a significant affect on the operation and profitability of small and medium size enterprise. More details to follow in the coming month as neither party has initially laid out details on how this would work. Federal Allies is dedicated to providing guidance to its membership on how these new rules will operate. Given that the Democrats’ offer would delay the “Sequester” until 2015, the cost would be an estimated 200 billion. This would avoid the cuts to the military budget that Republicans want to avoid since they insist that these cuts would ultimately impact small and medium sized companies involved in defense contracting and procurement. Federal Allies remains committed to all of its members that it will closely monitor the sequester debate and how it will impact small business procurement in the next few months. The Republicans want current spending cuts to offset the postponement of the sequester spending cuts. This postponement will cost 200 uillion over two years and the postponement of the cuts will avoid a shock to an already weak economy. On the tax side, the United States will be getting a massive tax cut that will take place on January 1st. The current low income and investment tax rates for 98% of the country, including the majority of small and medium size enterprises would be extended. Both Republicans and Democrats are debating whether the threshold for a modest income tax increase should be $450,000 or $550,000 and the impact on small and medium size enterprises. Finally, The proposed deal appears to be a benefit to the economy as the postponement of most of the tax hikes under the sequester, as well as the spending increases, would preserve the status quo and appear not to severely hamper small and medium size enterprises in their effort to grow. While the deal would likely boost the deficit over the next two years, neither the Republicans or the Democrats maintain that the Fiscal Cliff would be an acceptable alternative to these proposals.


Federal Allies News November 2012

November 1, 2012

How to Sequester the Fiscal Cliff

Across-the-board federal budget cuts and tax increases required by Sequestration start January 2, 2013, the day before the 113th U.S. Congress convenes, unless the President and 112th U.S. Congress agree to $1.2 trillion in budget cuts, revenue increases, or amend The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

On Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives has passed plans that would reduce entitlement spending and reduce the federal civilian workforce through attrition, and the Senate has failed to pass a plan.

The White House plans to veto any measure that does not increase revenues.

Federal agencies plan to reduce the scope and quantities of contracts, to slow the work, reduce new contract awards, extensions and options, and to renegotiate downward rather than immediately terminate any contracts.

Contractors are focused on agency reductions and recoveries. Funding already obligated on your federal contracts should not be affected.

Federal Allies maintains a vigilant watch on Sequestration and on a wide range of other business development, legislative, and regulatory flexibility issues affecting the federal contractor community. We invite comment from our business, agency, and Capitol Hill colleagues as we do our part to shape the collective future.

The world of federal government contracting can seem daunting. And the value of having a guide to walk you through the process, a ready-made network in Washington, D.C. and introductions to establish personal relationships, is priceless, now more than ever.  If you are not already active with the Federal Allies Network, get involved! We look forward to building programs around your needs, both business development and policy.

After the November 6 election, Congress returns for a week to decide how the deficit is pushed back or how a down payment on the debt will be made. How will Treasury respond? Join us as Federal Allies visits Congressional offices to say good-bye to many and casts our collaborative culture and nature upon newly-elected officials. We hit the ground running on November 7. If you would like to go with us to meet the 113th U.S. Congress, call (571) 217-0823.

How to Succeed in Federal Contracting through U.S. Government Mentor-Protégé Programs

On December 12, 2012 at Tysons Corner, Virginia, Federal Allies Institute offers a 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. seminar with Q & A to review and value 12 federal agency mentor protégé programs, which should prove a great one-stop opportunity on the subject. Visit FederalAllies.org for more information and to register.

Corporate Ethics

Corporate Ethics is a subject of growing concern in federal acquisition. Contracting officials are increasingly looking at adverse actions against companies that commit unethical acts, including disbarment from future federal acquisition activities and criminal penalties. Because of this, corporate ethics is becoming something that evaluators look at during the acquisition process. How can they tell if a company practices ethical business activities, especially a small business without a long track record? Federal Allies plans to offer a solution in 2013.

Chapter Establishment

Federal Allies Institute, a private-sector self-sustaining association, continues to capture the interest of small business groups and economic development authorities from around the country. We welcome the opportunities to meet in Washington, D.C. with delegations flying in from Austin and Tulsa and welcome the recent interest from Los Angeles. We are available to make introductory presentations in your home town, so feel free to send Federal Allies an invite.

David T. Boddie, Executive Director

Federal Allies Institute


Sequestration and Potential Effects On Small Business Defense Contracting

July 5, 2012

When: Thursday, September 6, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

By Defense Daily with Federal Allies Institute, U.S. Department of Defense & Professional Services Council.
Register Now

Small defense contractors are bracing for potential sequestration budget cuts that could start next January and slash $500 billion in planned defense spending over the next decade. The reductions, which total $1.2 trillion and include non-defense spending, come as the result of the Budget Control Act of 2011–which says if a super committee of lawmakers failed to craft a deficit-cutting plan (as it did), the across-the-board “sequestration” reductions would start in 2013. The law calls for the cuts to trim the same percentage from every applicable defense program, project, and activity, though the Obama administration has exempted some parts of the Pentagon budget, including military-personnel funding.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress are debating ways to prevent the politically unpopular sequestration reductions, but the two sides remain at odds. The uncertainty over the pending cuts is already impacting companies, both large and small, that do business with the Defense Department. It’s unclear precisely how the Budget Control Act will be implemented and what its exact consequences will be, but the Defense Daily webinar on sequestration and its potential effects on small-business defense contracting will shed some light on this tricky subject. Find out more!

What can companies do now, and closer to the November elections, to prepare themselves for possible cuts?

What is changing in acquisition policy? How are size standards affecting small contractors?

How can businesses manage new contracts?

How is the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs dealing with possible budget cuts? What approach is it taking?

How should smaller firms be approaching mergers and acquisitions? Do businesses need to think about consolidating their supply chain?

Defense Daily will host a webinar September 6, 2012, featuring a panel that includes the head of the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs and leading experts in federal contracting. Defense Daily invites you to join a timely discussion about how businesses can prepare for looming spending reductions in the federal government.

Confirmed Panelists include:

Gary Shumaker, Federal Allies Institute Board Member in Charge of Government Contracting Certification

Gary Shumaker is an elected board member in charge of government contracting certification and strategic consultant for the Federal Allies Institute, U.S. trade association for business and federal acquisition best practices. Shumaker is also the founder and a senior consultant for Gary E. Shumaker, Inc., a business consultancy that specializes in helping small businesses overcome the handicaps of their size and lack of experience. He publishes The Shumaker Report, a newsletter that concentrates in subjects of interest to small federal contractors. He is President of C2 Solutions Group, a service-disabled veteran-owned small federal contractor.

Farooq Mitha, Special Assistant to the Director of the Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs

Mitha supports DoD’s small business industrial base through the development of acquisition policy, the implementation of programs and the alignment of small business capabilities with DoD’s urgent needs. These efforts aim to maximize the contribution of small businesses in defense acquisitions and reduce barriers to entry for businesses seeking to contract with the federal government. Farooq is also a principal member of the DoD-Veterans Affairs Taskforce on Veteran’s Employment and is on the steering committee of the White House Business Council.

Alan Chvotkin, Professional Services Council Executive Vice President and Council

Alan Chvotkin is the Executive Vice President and Counsel at the Professional Services Council, the principal national trade association of the government professional and technical services industry. Chvotkin is one of the most knowledgeable and respected experts on federal acquisition policy, legislation, and regulation. At PSC, Chvotkin is responsible for the association’s legislative and regulatory policy. Prior to joining PSC, Chvotkin was a vice president of AT&T Government Services and director and counsel at Sundstrand Corporation. Earlier in his career he spent 13 years on Capitol Hill. He has a law degree from The American University’s Washington College of Law, a master’s in public administration and a bachelor’s in political science.

How does the Webinar work?

It’s easy and convenient! You just need RealPlayer or Windows Media Player installed on your computer. If you do not have either, please follow the instructions below to download and install them. Or if you prefer, a phone for the audio and an Internet connection to let you watch the slides and other information on the Web will suffice. No other downloads or special hardware – a dial-up connection will work fine.

  • One (1) set of materials (you may make copies for all of the persons you invited to listen to the program);
  • One (1) toll-free connection to the seminar (if you select the audio connection), and
  • One (1) Internet connection to the seminar.
  • Use speakers on your computer or speakerphone on your telephone and invite your entire staff to attend for FREE!

What equipment do I need?

For the audio connection:

  • A computer with RealPlayer or Windows Media Player installed. When you log into the Virtual Seminar, your computer will be taken through a brief configuration check and will let you know if you’re missing any software.
  • If you do not have RealPlayer or Windows, a touch-tone telephone will work also. It works best to use a speakerphone so that others can listen too.

For the Internet connection:

  • PC: 166Mhz Pentium-based PC or better
  • Operating system: Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP
  • Browser: For optimal viewing experience, we recommend using Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. However, any version of IE 4.0 or higher will work. For Netscape, only versions 4.x are supported at this time.
  • Internet connection: 28.8 or faster connection
  • Display set at 1024 x 768 or 800 x 600

Player Downloads

Questions?

If you are having any technical difficulties or need assistance meeting these requirements, please contact our Technical Support Center at 866-709-8255 or click here. For content questions regarding this Webinar, contact Jennifer Green-Holmes at jgreenholmes@accessintel.com