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Representative Bill Archer (TX), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee since 1995, received NFIB's first-ever "Lifetime Guardian of Small Business" award at a gala dinner in the magnificent National Building Museum on June 8th.
"Throughout an outstanding career in public service, Bill Archer has stood up for small business owners," said NFIB President Jack Faris. "He has not only 'talked the talk' of wanting to help Main Street business owners, family farmers and ranchers, he has 'walked the walk,' fighting for reforms to strip away excessive taxes and regulations that unnecessarily restrict the ability of small firms to grow and prosper."
In his 30 years as a member of Congress, Archer compiled a 96 percent NFIB voting record. The architect of welfare reform and numerous tax relief initiatives, he was a key player in Congress' successful 1997 effort to get a balanced budget -- with tax relief -- signed into law. He has championed cuts in the capital gains tax and the federal death tax, and has worked hard to expand Individual Retirement Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts.
"All of us are living at the finest moment in the history of mankind," Archer stated as he received his award. "America was founded on individual initiative, self-reliance, thrift, and religious faith. Now with the Internet, we can share that message across the globe."
Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert paid eloquent tribute to his friend Representative Bill Archer. He noted Archer's longtime commitment to pass a balanced budget, repeal the Social Security earnings limit and end death taxes.
"This spring one of the first bills Congress passed was to eliminate the earnings limit on Social Security, which opens the door for a lot of productive people who want to continue working . . . Bill was a pioneer who pushed the bill through Congress and got it done."
Since the 1950s, NFIB has conducted an awards program recognizing federal lawmakers who compile strong pro-small-business voting records. At the end of each Congress, NFIB designates all members of Congress with at least a 70 percent voting record on key small-business issues as "Guardians" of small business. Archer's award is the first "Lifetime Guardian" honor ever given by the group.
NFIB was created in 1943 to give small and independent business owners a voice in governmental decision-making. True to its charter today the NFIB is the nation's largest small business advocacy group, and the second most influential lobby group in Washington DC (Fortune Power 25 Survey, 12/04/99). NFIB's Congressional Small Business Summit is the bi-annual opportunity for NFIB delegates from all 50 states to gather in Washington to help draft the Small Business Referendum that NFIB presents to members of Congress and candidates for elected office.
Additional Summit cover and reflections by the article author/delegates are available on the Sohodojo website.
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