By American Small Business League
May 31, 2012
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO) have been named by the American Small Business League (ASBL) as the most anti-small business members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The ASBL points to the fact that Rep. Velazquez and Rep. Graves have worked for years to dismantle federal small business programs and divert billions in federal contract dollars earmarked for small businesses to billionaire venture capitalists and their syndicates. Both representatives have also given tacit approval for the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants by refusing to back legislation that would prevent Fortune 500 companies from hijacking federal small business contracts.
The ASBL estimates that every year tens of billions of dollars worth of federal small business contracts are diverted to firms such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BlackWater, Home Depot, John Deere, Apple Inc., Rolls-Royce and Italian defense firm Finmeccanica, which has 75,000 employees and over $30 billion annual revenue.
In 2005, report 5-15 from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General referred to the diversion of federal small business contracts as “one of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today.”
For the last seven consecutive years the SBA Inspector General has named the diversion of federal small business contracts as the agency’s “top management challenge” yet both Rep. Graves and Rep. Velazquez have blocked legislation (H.R. 3184, “The Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act”) that would prevent corporate giants from hijacking billions of dollars worth of federal contracts reserved for small businesses.
“Let’s look at the facts,” ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. “America is in the middle of the worst economic downturn in 80 years; we know from the U.S. Census Bureau that small businesses create 90 percent of net new jobs; and that directing federal infrastructure dollars to America’s 28 million small businesses is one of the best ways to stimulate the economy and create jobs – but Reps. Graves and Velazquez are instead trying to dismantle all federal small business programs. These two representatives are prime examples of why Congress has such record low approval.”