Congress Rejects Bush Small Business Cuts But Overall SBA Funding Still $123 Million Less Than Last Year
November 16, 2005
To: National and Business desks
Contact: Catherine Scott of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 202-224-8496
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Senate today voted to support Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, in his effort to boost the Small Business Administration's (SBA) budget above President Bush's request for FY 2006.
Included in the appropriations conference report that passed the Senate today by a vote of 94-5 were several provisions requested by Kerry and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), chair of the Committee, to increase the SBA's budget beyond Bush's recommendation of $453 million.
"The favorite target for President Bush's budget axe is small business. Since taking office, he's tried to cut the SBA's funding in half. The result is that over the last five years, the SBA has been cut more than any other agency. The President does not understand the importance of small business to our economy, but small businesses that will boost job growth and expand our economy," Kerry said.
Kerry and Snowe fought for months to increase the SBA's budget. In March, the Senate passed their bipartisan amendment to restore funding for critical programs that Bush had proposed drastically cutting or eliminating all together. The conference report included their request for:
-- $12 million to Microloan Technical Assistance (terminated by President Bush's budget);
-- $1.3 million to the Microloan Program for $12.7 million in loans (terminated by Bush), which allows entrepreneurs -- especially women, minorities, and rural-based -- to obtain very small loans;
-- $2 million to the Program for Investment in Micro- entrepreneurs (PRIME) (terminated by Bush), which provides in- depth business counseling to low-income entrepreneurs;
-- $1 million to the Small Business Development Centers (increases funding to $89 million), which offer management assistance and training to entrepreneurs;
-- $2 million line-item for the HUBZone program (Bush eliminated the line-item), which gives federal contracting preferences for businesses within the designated areas;
-- $500,000 to the Women's Business Centers Program (increases funding to $12.5 million), which helped 106,000 business owners last year;
-- $1.5 million line-item for the Export Assistance Centers (Bush eliminated the line-item), which assist businesses interested in selling their products in other countries;
-- $1.5 million line-item for the 7(j) contracting assistance program (Bush eliminated the line-item), which helps to train small disadvantaged businesses; and
-- $1.2 million for Native American outreach (increases funding to $2 million).
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