Special to CNN
Before I was elected to Congress, I ran a small plastics packaging business in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing products and services, creating jobs and meeting payroll.
Thanks to the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which shields employers who offer benefits to their employees from being pummeled by laws that vary from state to state, I was also able to offer health care and pension benefits to my employees.
As every small-business owner knows, this can be quite a balancing act, but I count it as one of the most rewarding times of my life - a time that led to my service in Congress.
Whenever I cast a major vote in the House, I find myself thinking back to those days and how the policies we are debating will affect small businesses like mine. After all, I first decided to run for elective office because government - at all levels - was too often an impediment to my firm's success.
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