House Committee on Small Business, Republicans
Straight Talk- SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Passed By Congress
Weekly Update from Sam
Dear Friends, 

Despite the normal gridlock that takes place between the two houses of Congress, this week the House and Senate agreed and passed legislation that will help spur innovative ideas among the small business research and development community, spark economic growth and create jobs in America.

On Wednesday, Congress passed legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which were set to expire today. The programs were included as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that is now on the way to the president’s desk.

The Senate and House Small Business Committees and House Science Committee have been working to reauthorize this program since 2008. After months of negotiations this year, the Senate Small Business Committee finally agreed to a deal to provide some much-needed certainty for the small firms who want to participate in this program.

This agreement not only gives the program stability, but it improves the program by opening it up to more companies regardless of their financial structure, increasing the Phase I and II award sizes, and putting a stronger emphasis on commercialization. As our nation continues to recover economically, it is important for Congress to pass legislation like this that strengthens our nation’s most effective job creators and innovators—our small businesses. 

Sam Graves

Latest Committee Action

On Monday, Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Subcommittee Chairman Joe Walsh (R-IL) held a field hearing in Woodstock, Ill., to examine how the economic uncertainty facing small business owners is contributing to the jobs crisis. The Subcommittee heard testimony from local businesses regarding these concerns and their recommendations on how the federal government could foster a business climate that would be more conducive to job creation. 

On Thursday, Investigations, Oversight and Regulations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Coffman (R-CO) held a subcommittee hearing to examine new healthcare reform regulations related to the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) and its effect on job creation. Some have argued that the MLR requirements will ensure that customers receive the most value for their premium dollars. However, insurance agents, many of whom are small business owners and whose customers are often small businesses, believe that the MLR requirements may lead to lower levels of customer service and consolidation in the industry— which will result in job loss. Witnesses at the hearing testified to the domino effect the MLR will have on small insurers by deterring many from entering the market, cutting the wages of current insurance brokers or forcing them out of business.



SBIR Reauthorization Opens Opportunities For Small Business
By Chairman Sam Graves


Chairman Graves Praises SBIR Reauthorization On The House Floor

News From Washington

On Tuesday, the House passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011 (H.R. 3630) by a vote of 234-193. This legislation would lower taxes on middle class families by over $88 billion over 10 years, would reduce mandatory spending by $63 billion over ten years, and would lower discretionary spending budget authority caps by $29 billion over ten years. It would also prevent cuts to doctors working in the Medicare program.  The bill is fully paid for with spending cuts, not tax hikes.

On Wednesday, the House passed the Conference Report to accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (H.R. 1540) by a vote of 283-136. This legislation authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense and for the national security programs of the Department of Energy for Fiscal Year 2012. As mentioned above, an amendment to reauthorize the SBIR and STTR programs was also included in this conference report. The bill is now on the way to the President’s desk to be signed. 

On Friday, the House passed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2055) by a vote of 296-121. This measure will fund the federal government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2012 which ends September 30, 2012. This bipartisan, bicameral agreement also cuts discretionary spending for the second year in a row. 

December 16, 2011
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