CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider S. 1082 on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. S. 1082 was introduced on May 26, 2011, by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on May 26, 2011.
The bill would extend the authorization for all programs carried out by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through Fiscal Year 2011 (September 30, 2011). Currently the authorization for SBA programs is set to expire on May 31, 2011, under the Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-1).
In addition, the bill would extend the authorization to carry out the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) program through Fiscal Year 2011. Under the legislation, the programs would operate under the same terms and conditions which they are currently operating. These two research and development programs are currently set to expire on May 31, 2011. In addition, the bill would require that all funds awarded, appropriated, or otherwise made available for the SBIR and STTR programs must be awarded pursuant to competitive and merit based selection procedures.
According to Committee staff, the extension is primarily for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The SBIR program enables any small business, defined as one with fewer than 500 employees, to obtain specifically set aside research grants in order to perform research and develop products needed by federal agencies. For agencies with extramural research budgets of more than $100 million dollars, those agencies must set aside 2.5 percent of those extramural research dollars to provide grants to small businesses. Current law requires every federal department with an extramural research and development (R&D) budget of $100 million or more to establish and operate an SBIR program. The Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) is a pilot effort created by PL 102-564 and reauthorized several times through FY 2009 to encourage commercialization of university and federal laboratory R&D by small companies. STTR provides funding for cooperative research proposals between a small firm and a scientist in a research organization. Up to $100,000 in Phase I financing is available for one year; Phase II awards of up to $750,000 may be made for two years.
A CBO cost estimate for S. 1082 was not available as of press time.