SBA needs money, senators say

Congress gave the Small Business Administration more money in its fiscal 2008 appropriations bill than President Bush requested for the agency, which some senators say is a signal to the president that SBA needs more funding in 2009.

In the omnibus appropriations bill, Congress gave SBA $569 million — $105 million more than the president's request and $40 million more than Congress provided in 2007.


The Bush administration’s proposed $464 million for 2008 was a 31 percent reduction in SBA’s overall budget since 2001, wrote John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the committee’s ranking member. They sent the joint letter today to Office of Management and Budget Director Jim Nussle.

“The budgets the administration has submitted in previous years have not been sufficient,” the senators wrote.

Kerry and Snowe urged Nussle to include sufficient funding for SBA’s lending and business development programs in the 2009 budget request, according to the letter.

They wrote that Congress is doing all it can “to repair the damage caused by those inadequate budgets but can only do so much when the administration sets the base number so low.”

"President Bush talks a lot about helping small businesses, but he hasn’t delivered," Kerry said in a statement.

To meet small businesses’ needs, Kerry and Snowe wrote, the coming budget request should provide support for SBA’s core programs and services, which help veterans, women business owners, and businesses in urban and rural communities.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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