Congress is not even close to finishing the issues it began this past January, and when they return following their brief winter break, they will face a number of regulatory issues, including: Federal Trade Commission (FTC) -- Expect the FTC to get more involved in consumer financial protection. Under new proposed regulations, the FTC will be given more authority to levy fines and investigate firms doing with others know to violate FTC rules. Privacy will also be an issue, in terms of how media companies, retailers, advertisers and others collect and use consumer information. THOUGHTS??? Contact your Member of Congress.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- Next year Congress also will look at our nation's food safety laws.

Transportation -- Congress will look at two major bills next year, including the new proposed "Jobs" bill and the re-authorization of the Transportation Equity Act which expired this past September but was extended into next year. Another issue however, will be an issue that a number states have already considered -- TXTing while driving. But these regulations will be geared toward truck drivers.

Environment -- Congress will continue their debate on climate change and air emissions while also looking at our nation's fresh water system.

Taxes -- Congress will also address tax issues that are set to sunset in the coming year. Regardless of the issues, next year proves to be a busy one. On top of the packed Congressional agenda, 2010 also is an election year so by definition each issue is a political issue and will be weighed in the context of how it is perceived back home. Therefore, it is vital that you make your views known, advocate for or against issues important to you and your business, and ask for money for various programs and projects. In this economy, we all can use a little help from Congress and the Federal government.