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House Approves Small Business Administration Extension

On January 17, the House approved, 413-2, a bill (H.R. 434) to extend any program, authority, or provision authorized by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that is scheduled to expire on or after February 2, 2007, until December 31, 2007, under the same terms and conditions as are currently in effect.

The SBA was last reauthorized in 2004 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 (P.L. 108-447). The current authorization of the SBA expires on February 2 (see The Source, 9/29/06).

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), chair of the Small Business Committee, said, “For many entrepreneurs across the country, SBA programs are the difference between success and failure. Our nation’s 24 million small businesses often rely on these programs for affordable financing and entrepreneurial training, as well as assistance in accessing the Federal marketplace. Given the importance and the significant impact that SBA has on our Nation’s entrepreneurs, it is our duty to thoroughly review and assess the SBA and its programs. This is especially true in light of the fact that there have been no major changes in over 6 years. We need to make sure that SBA is able to meet the needs of small businesses in the 21st century economy…The short-term extension that H.R. 434 provides would allow us to hold hearings on various topics and examine each of the issues brought forth by the SBA. Most importantly, it will give us the opportunity to draft a bipartisan bill that has each Member’s input. Small businesses, the nation’s largest job creator, deserve nothing less than our full commitment to ensuring that they can be successful.”

“This bill is quite simple,” said Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee Steve Chabot (R-OH). He continued, “It contains the exact same language, with only the dates changed, that was signed into law four times in the 108th Congress…Extending the authorities of the SBA until December 31 of this year will give the Small Business Committee unimpeded time to develop a comprehensive SBA reauthorization bill without having to confront every few weeks another expiration deadline…I want to emphasize what the chairwoman said about the importance of small business to our country. After all, about 99 percent of the businesses in this country have fewer than 500 employees, which by definition means they are small business, and 60 to 80 percent of new jobs in this country are created by these small businesses. Oftentimes the regulations, the taxation, the litigation, there are a whole range of problems which they have to bear…I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 434, so that our nation’s small businesses will see no interruption of service from the SBA over the next 11 months while Congress works uninterrupted on a comprehensive reauthorization bil

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