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Subcommittee Approves Bipartisan Small Business Legislation

Apr 13, 2011
Press Release

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} (Washington, DC) Today, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation approved by voice vote H.R. 1425, the Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2011.  The bill reauthorizes the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. 

“Small businesses are arguably the most important component of our innovation-based economy.  Countless new technologies that have transformed the American way of life were born and bred by small businesses,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member David Wu (D-OR).  “The SBIR and STTR programs are the most significant source of federal support for private-sector technological innovation.  They are instrumental in encouraging small businesses to grow the economy, creating innovative products and sustainable jobs.”

The Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2011, which is cosponsored by both Full Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Wu, was introduced on April 7, 2011.  The bill makes several important changes to the SBIR and STTR programs, including:  reinstating eligibility for venture-capital backed small businesses, increasing Phase I and Phase II award sizes, ensuring better data collection to allow for improved oversight and evaluation, streamlining paperwork and other application requirements, and expanding commercialization efforts.

Democratic Members of the subcommittee offered several amendments to improve the legislation, including an amendment by Subcommittee Ranking Member Wu to extend the authorization period by an additional two years. 

“Extending the authorization period for these programs will provide additional stability to our small businesses.  A company receiving a Phase I award today deserves certainty that the program will be available when it is ready to transition to Phase II,” said Wu, whose amendment was rejected today by Republican Members of the subcommittee.

The subcommittee also rejected along party-lines an amendment offered by Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL) to authorize the Small Business Administration to create a formal outreach grant program to increase participation by, and provide application support to, small businesses owned and controlled by women, minorities, and service-disabled veterans and small business located in geographic areas underrepresented in the programs.  The provision was identical to a provision included in H.R. 2965, the Enhancing Small Business Research and Innovation Act of 2009, which passed the House of Representatives last Congress by an overwhelming margin of 386-41.

The subcommittee approved two amendments by Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) to help ensure that SBIR and STTR investments will create jobs in the United States.  The subcommittee also approved an amendment by Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) to encourage SBIR and STTR applications from small businesses owned and controlled by women, minorities and veterans, as well as businesses in rural areas, areas with high unemployment rates, and areas underrepresented in the programs.

112th Congress