Small businesses that are struggling with federal regulations could gain an ally in January if Idaho Sen. Jim Risch becomes chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Risch, who is two years into his second term in the U.S. Senate, is the ranking Republican on the 19-member committee. The current chairman, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, announced last fall that he would not seek re-election when his term expires this year. The committee has jurisdiction over the Small Business Administration, whose mission is to help Americans start and grow their businesses. It has a budget of about $700 million and oversees a $100 billion portfolio of small business loans and loan guarantees/William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here.