CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, July 26, 2011, the House is scheduled consider H.R. 2608 under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) on July 21, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Financial Services.
H.R. 2608 would provide for a five-month extension of basic Small Business Administration (SBA) programs not otherwise covered by the current extension of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, including the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Loan Program.
The bill would also eliminate several duplicative, little used, or unused SBA programs—some of which have not been utilized since 1977 or have never received funding. Examples of program eliminations include the Central European Enterprise Development Program designed to help small businesses as countries transitioned from socialist to capitalist economies.
H.R. 2608 would also eliminate the Pollution Control Guarantee Program initiated in 1976 to provide SBA-backed bonds for the purchase of pollution control equipment to retrofit existing factories. The program has not offered a single pollution control guarantee since the early 1980’s.
The bill does not rescind any already appropriated funds, however, it would prevent any further appropriations from going to the SBA to administer these programs by eliminating their authorizations permanently.
H.R. 2608 would also make a notable change to the SBA’s ability to implement pilot programs that have not been authorized by Congress by restricting any funding to be used for the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Pilot Program. This program was initiated by the SBA in FY 09 without congressional approval or authorizations of appropriations. For FY12 the SBA has requested $3 million for this program. Emerging Leaders duplicates existing entrepreneurial development programs (such as those in the congressionally authorized Small Business Development Centers) and does not have good metrics for evaluating its impact or success.
At press time, the Congressional Budget Office has not produced a score for H.R. 2608.