Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith Claims Loophole to Give Billions to His Top Campaign Contributors was 'Unintended'
September 27, 400
Petaluma, Calif. – Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith (D-AL-5) is claiming that a bill he wrote would carry the ‘unintended consequence’ of allowing the subsidiaries of some of his largest campaign contributors to receive billions of dollars in federal small business contracts.
During an interview with the Times Daily newspaper regarding H.R. 3558, the Small Business Fair Competition Act, Congressman Griffith claimed that it was not his intention to create loopholes to allow two of his largest campaign contributors, Boeing and Northrop Grumman to land billions of dollars in federal small business contracts.
In the story, American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman stated, "It is simply not believable that Congressman Griffith accidentally wrote a bill that is going to allow the subsidiaries of some of his largest campaign contributors like Boeing and Northrop Grumman to get small business contracts. It is absurd." (http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20090930/ARTICLES/909305008/1011/NEWS?Title=Griffith-Bill-needs-more-work)
The ASBL was the only organization to uncover the supposed accidental loophole. Yet, as opposed to thanking the organization, Griffith accused the group of seeking notoriety.
Recent data released by the Obama Administration indicates that Fortune 500 defense contractors in Congressman Griffith's district such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman and British Aerospace (BAE) are receiving federal small business contracts. Critics of Griffith and his bill believe that he was clearly trying to create a loophole to allow Fortune 500 corporations to continue to take contracts intended for small businesses.
Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have found that every year billions of dollars in federal small business contracts are diverted to Fortune 500 firms with a concentration on the defense and aerospace industry.
In 2005, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General referred to the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants as, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today." (https://www.asbl.com/documents/05-15.pdf)
Even President Obama weighed in on the issue, when in February of 2008 he released the statement, "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)
"Congressman Griffith's excuse that the language in H.R. 3558, that would allow large businesses to continue to receive federal small business contracts, was an accident is simply not believable," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. "It's ludicrous. I think Congressman Griffith is just another crooked politician and a classic example of everything the public hates about Washington. I think the American people are sick and tired of large corporations buying legislation from members of Congress, like Parker Griffith, that damage the middle class."