In their most recent debate, congressional hopefuls Colleen Hanabusa and Charles Djou argued over who would better represent small businesses.

“While in Congress you voted repeatedly against the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act and the Small Business Jobs Act intended to help small businesses through loan programs, tax breaks and health care options,” Hanabusa said.

Djou acknowledged that he voted against the bills, saying that the programs they proposed weren’t the right ones to help small businesses. Then he turned the tables on Hanabusa.

“My opponent voted against the small business tax relief bill that just went before the Congress,” he said.

Is this true?

The issue which candidate would best help small businesses is a hot topic given Hawaii’s rating as one of the least friendly states for small businesses earlier this year. Hawaii was also ranked the second-to-worst state for business overall this year.

In August, Hanabusa voted against a resolution (pdf) that called for comprehensive tax reform in 2013, according to her voting record on

The vote on the resolution, H.R. 6169, was divided sharply along partisan lines. No Democrats voted for the bill, compared with 232 Republicans. Only three Republicans opposed the bill, along with 186 Democrats.

The resolution specifically noted the importance of decreasing tax burdens held by small businesses, addressing the cost of tax-related paperwork and the role of small businesses in job creation.

To be fair, Djou said he voted against other small business bills including the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010 and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. These laws similarly seek to help small businesses by providing tax breaks and other benefits.

BOTTOM LINE: Djou said that Hanabusa recently voted against a bill to provide tax relief for small businesses. Hanabusa voted against H.R. 6169, which encouraged tax reform to decrease the taxes paid by small businesses. Civil Beat finds Djou’s statement to be TRUE.

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