H.J. Res 37 – Trump Busts Obama Small-Biz Blacklist?

Trump Busts Obama Small-Biz Blacklist?

Did Donald Trump just sign an executive order that did some good (H.J. Res 37)?

The House Small Business Committee sure thought so. “POTUS just signed H.J. Res 37,” they crowed, “reversing the Obama Admin’s harmful ‘blacklisting’ rule barring small businesses from competing for federal contracts.”

Did Obama blacklist small businesses? The same president who opened up federal contracts to women’s and minority businesses?

Something sounds fishy here…

Was President Obama Anti-Small Business?

In August 2009, President Obama said we needed to open up more federal contracts to small businesses. Federal agencies hadn’t been hitting their small biz goals for years.

So he sent reps to 200 industry events over 90 days. Their mission: To help small businesses compete for more government contracts.

Fast-forward to January 24, 2013. The Washington Post headline reads, “Obama signs legislation to deliver more government contracts to small businesses.”

Even Republicans praised this 2013 bill. They said it opened up federal contract opportunities for small businesses. In fact, the bill was based on ideas from the House Small Biz Committee.

The same committee that just accused Obama of “blacklisting” small businesses. But does any of this sound like blacklisting?

So what exactly was this awful rule Trump just saved us from by signing H.J. Res 37?

The Obstacles Trump Really Removed by signing H.J. Res 37

In July of 2014, President Obama signed an executive order. The goal was “…to promote economy and efficiency in procurement by contracting with responsible sources who comply with labor laws…”

How? “…by ensuring that they understand and comply with labor laws.”

In simple terms, it required all contractors bidding on federal contracts to show they followed labor laws. Especially where safety and fair pay were concerned. The reporting period? A mere 3 years.

That’s the terrible “blacklisting” the Republicans claim. And President Trump just reversed. In other words, the right just made it easier for federal contractors to abuse their employees.

Don’t believe me? You can find Obama’s original order in the press release posted here.

So what’s the lesson? Sadly, it’s that you can’t believe anything you read or hear – even from Congressional committees. And especially from the White House.

Deceit, deception, and dishonesty are the orders of the day. And the only way you can combat them is to double-check every claim.


“Another big win for America’s 28 million #SmallBiz,” House Small Biz Cmte, via Twitter. Mar 27, 2017.
Harrison, J.D., “Obama signs legislation to deliver more government contracts to small businesses,” The Washington Post. Jan 4, 2013.
“Obama Administration Increases Contract Opportunities for Minority Businesses,” The Network Journal. Aug 2009.
“Executive Order –Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary. Jul 31, 2014.