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Graves Floor Speech: "NDAA Boosts Small Business Opportunities"

Washington, May 17, 2012 -

 Chairman Sam Graves
 Floor Speech on the Rule for H.R. 4310, National Defense Authorization Act for FY13
May 17, 2012

(Remarks as Prepared)
CLICK HERE for video.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to support House Resolution 661, which allows for full and fair debate on the National Defense Authorization Act. 

Given that the federal government spends over half a trillion dollars each year through contracts, the federal procurement market is incredibly important for small businesses.  Improving small business opportunities for federal contracts is a triple play – small businesses win more contracts; workers win more jobs; and taxpayers win because small businesses bring competition, innovation and lower prices to save the government money.

H.R. 4310 ensures that small businesses have greater opportunities to compete.  It increases the small business goal from 23% to 25%, which could mean up to 11 billion dollars in new small business contracts.  It improves the quality of the federal contracting workforce. It cracks down on deceptive entities hiding behind small businesses, makes it easier to catch fraud and abuse, and simplifies the rules for small businesses.  And, it addresses the top complaint I hear from small businesses -- unjustifiable contract bundling.

These reforms reflect the work of the Small Business Committee, which held 10 hearings and 2 markups on these issues, and Armed Services Committee’s own efforts to do better by small contractors.  Over twenty trade associations have offered their support for these changes.

I want to thank Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, Mr. Shuster and Mr. Larson and their staffs for assistance bringing these provisions to the floor. 

While the House is seeking ways to expand opportunities for small businesses, the Administration issued a statement opposing the bill’s modest increase in the small business goals and the bill’s bundling provisions that make it easier for small businesses to compete.

Ironically, this opposition came the same day that the Administration issued a report seeking ways to move America’s small businesses forward.  The best way to move small businesses forward is to give them opportunities to succeed.  Supporting this significant legislation will create jobs, save taxpayer dollars, and put small businesses to work for America. 

I urge my colleagues to support the rule and the pro-jobs, pro-competition, commonsense reforms in the bill.