Democratic Small Business Priorities Included in Defense Package

Dec 1, 2016

Washington, DC – Legislation reauthorizing the Department of Defense includes key measured authored by Democratic Members of the House Small Business Committee aimed at helping more small businesses secure government contracts and improving the federal procurement process.

“These bipartisan proposals will help more small firms win their fair share of federal work,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the Ranking Democrat of the Committee. “That results in better value for the taxpayer when the government purchases goods and services, and it also means badly needed job creation in our local communities.”

The provisions are included in the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act, legislation the House is expected to vote on before the end of the week.  

“As Ranking Member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, it is my priority to ensure our small businesses have access to federal contracts,” said Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC). “Small businesses are the drivers of our economy and the employers of the future. This legislation will ensure every agency properly monitors purchase card activity-to better free up the funds allocated to small businesses. We must remain committed to easing the burdens facing small and disadvantaged businesses and helping them gain the tools and resources necessary to do business effectively and to ultimately hire more people.”

“I am extremely pleased that my bill, H.R. 4337, has been included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act,” said Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY). “Requiring the SBA to update DOD procurement personnel about small business contracting changes is critical because it will make it easier for small businesses to apply for and receive government contracts. We must do all we can to assist small businesses, and this legislation is an example of government doing that. I look forward to the measure becoming law.”

“Federal contracts are a significant and dependable source of income for small businesses,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA). “But because they are ineligible to compete for certain types of contracts including those that require overseas work, American small businesses lost out on at least $16 billion in federal contracting dollars last year. Removing these types of exclusions will result in more jobs and growth here at home. And so I am pleased that language based on my bill, H.R. 4329, to require a General Services Administration (GSA) report on the impact of these exclusions has been adopted. This is an encouraging bipartisan step to create more opportunities for our nation’s entrepreneurs.”

The Democratic-authored provisions in the bill include:

•    Language allowing the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) to review agency purchases made using government credit cards to ensure compliance with the Small Business Act.  The committee learned last year that in one agency over $6 billion in such purchases were made without regard to statutory requirements.  Additionally, the section furthers the committee’s long-standing commitment to parity between the contracting programs. The language is from H.R. 4326, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enhancement Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Adams (D-NC).

•    A provision requiring the Small Business Administration to annually share a list of regulatory changes affecting small business contracting with the entities responsible for training contracting personnel. This language originated from H.R. 4337, the Education for Contracting Personnel Improvement Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Meng (D-NY).

•    A measure requiring the General Services Administration to release an annual report showing the dollars each agency awards to small businesses without any exclusions.  This provisions stems from H.R. 4329, the Transparency in Small Business Goaling Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Chu (D-CA).  

The legislation also includes language reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for a period of five years. SBIR is a competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research and Development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization.  STTR is an initiative that reserves a specific percentage of federal R&D funding for award to small business and nonprofit research institution partners.

The House Small Business Committee has jurisdiction over the SBA, which is tasked with ensuring other federal agencies meet statutory goals for small business participation in the federal marketplace.   

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