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September 25, 2019 | In The News

Greg Steube Brings Out Small Business Credit Protection Act in the House

Freshman U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., wants credit bureaus to move quickly when they know small businesses have had their data breached.

On Tuesday, Steube brought out the “Small Business Credit Protection Act” which will change the Small Business Act “to direct credit bureaus to inform small businesses, within 30 days, if their non-public personal data has been breached, and prohibit credit bureaus from charging small businesses for a credit report within 180 days of a breach.”

Steube weighed in on why he had introduced the bill.

“For many years, data breaches have plagued consumers across America. Congress has attempted to protect consumers from these events, but unfortunately nothing has been done to protect our small businesses,” said Steube. “It’s important that we look out for these small businesses that are the backbone of our local economies.

“Not only will this bill provide small businesses with a notification if their data has been breached, but it will also make sure that they have access to a free credit report for 180 following the breach,” Steube added. “It’s important that our small businesses not only have the knowledge they are at risk, but also the tools they need to monitor their credit report following the event.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn., is the only cosponsor of the bill so far. Steube’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Small Business Committee on Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a similar bill back in November and reintroduced it in January. The proposal is before the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee which Rubio chairs. Rubio has reeled in four cosponsors including U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.

“The federal government must uphold the trust Americans need to fully participate in our economy. By ensuring that small businesses receive the protections they need in cases of a security breach, the Small Business Credit Protection Act will do just that,” Rubio said when he first unveiled the proposal back in January. “I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this bill so that we can continue to protect America’s small businesses – the cornerstone of our economy.”

“Credit bureaus need to be held responsible for their gross negligence and data mismanagement,” said Kennedy who sits on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. “We’ve already taken important steps to protect consumers, but small businesses’ credit data were also compromised, and they deserve protection as well. It’s been just over a year since the Equifax breach, but consumers and mom and pop small businesses are counting on us to keep the pedal to the floor and guard their data privacy.”