Kerry opposes rule change

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the Democratic presidential candidate, disagreed with proposed Small Business Administration rule changes that would have reduced the number of size standards for small businesses. As a result of the voluminous number of critics, SBA officials have withdrawn the proposal.

In a written comment Kerry filed June 29, he said, "SBA has failed to make a compelling case for the need to change the existing rules."

Writing in his capacity as ranking member of the Senate's Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Kerry noted that SBA officials had acknowledged that the existing system is effective. "If the system is already effective, simplification is not a compelling argument for changing the size standards, especially when said change will adversely affect tens of thousands of small businesses," he wrote.

Kerry argued that the rule would suppress job creation as businesses struggled to keep their employee counts below the threshold.

"Small companies have made it clear that the significant obstacles to participating in the federal procurement system do not come from confusion over size standards but from burdensome paperwork and reporting requirements, the complexity and difficulty of complying with federal acquisition regulations, availability of contracts, and an unlevel playing field in the competition between small businesses and firms that are other than small," he wrote.

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