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Billions in Fraud and Abuse Ignored by Congress, Reveals Report by Small Business Groups

109th Congress Fails to Stop Diversion of Billions in Federal Small Business Contracts

October 20, 2006

Petaluma, CA, October 20, 2006/ US Newswire/ -- The American Small Business League, in concert with the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce and other small business groups around the nation, has put forth a scorecard on the lack of legislation enacted by the 109th Congress to address the myriad of problems facing small firms across the county. In particular, lawmakers failed to produce one piece of legislation to address the Bush Administrations' annual diversion of between $50 to $100 billion in federal small business contracts to firms such as Lockheed, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Wal-Mart, and Rolls Royce.

The scorecard (http://www.uswcc.org/scorecard) covers nine votes held during the 109th Congress that were specifically geared to assist small businesses. Most of the legislation failed to pass, despite the fact that Republicans held the majority in both houses of Congress. This outcome has left America's entrepreneurs wondering why their concerns have been so dismally neglected, particularly when Republicans have promoted themselves as the party of small business.

I think that the 109th Congress has intentionally ignored the most critical issues facing small firms in America today. There have been 13 federal investigations that have found widespread fraud, abuse, and loopholes that have resulted in billions of dollars in small business contracts being diverted to Fortune 500 corporations. It's appalling that Congress has failed to take even a single step to address this," stated Lloyd Chapman, ASBL president. "To make matters worse, Congress did nothing for six years while Bush consistently cut the budget and staff of the Small Business Administration to the point where the agency is no longer able to fulfill its mission. The poor response to Hurricane Katrina is a dramatic example of this. It's time for a change."

Small businesses are the heart of the U.S. economy. There are 23 million small firms in this country with less than 100 employees. These companies are where most Americans work, create the most jobs, pay the most taxes, and produce the most exports. The SBA is the only agency in the entire federal government designed to support and protect the rights of these firms.

Chapman added, "Whatever their party affiliation, I think it's time for small business owners to realize that we need Congressional representatives that are determined to address the real needs of small businesses. It's time for Congress to step up to the plate and take definitive action to restore the SBA budget and stop George Bush from trying to eliminate all programs designed to help small, women-owned, minority-owned, and disabled veteran-owned firms."

About the ASBL
The American Small Business League was formed to promote policies that provide the greatest opportunity for small businesses - the 98% of U.S. companies with less than 100 employees. The ASBL is founded on the principle that small businesses, the backbone of a vital American economy, should receive the fair treatment promised by the Small Business Act of 1953. Representing small businesses in all fields and industries throughout the United States, the ASBL monitors existing policies and proposed policy changes by the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies that affect its members.




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Reid Brownlie
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email to rbrownlie@asbl.com




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