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Opening Statements

Luetkemeyer: “SBA Management Review: Office of Government Contracting and Business Development”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a full hybrid hearing on “SBA Management Review: Office of Government Contracting and Business Development.”

Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer’s opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you for having this important hearing with the Associate Administrator of the SBA’s Government Contracting and Business Development office.

Now more than ever, small businesses deserve to hear from agency officials that administer some of the most important small business programs within the government, including federal contracting programs.

These are incredibly challenging times for small businesses, their employees, and their communities.

Inflation is running rampant across the nation and impacting nearly every product and service.

In fact, the consumer price index is at a 40-year high and wholesale inflation is in the double digits.

This is unacceptable for our nation and for Americans.

Surging prices and runaway costs have direct and immediate impacts on Main Street.

Not only is inflation one of the top concerns for small business owners, but it also has dire effects on the entire small business supply and demand ecosystem.

According to the most recent survey out of the NFIB, nearly three quarters of all small business owners are increasing prices.

This matches the highest percentage on record.

In addition to red hot inflation, the nation’s smallest firms continue to experience sharp supply chain issues and an ongoing labor crisis that is hindering the busy summer season.

It is for these reasons why it is so important for this Committee to hear from Treasury Secretary Yellen.

This Administration has the ability to talk directly to small businesses through one of the Federal Government’s most important cabinet level agencies – the Department of the Treasury.

Despite being legally required to testify before this Committee last year and twice this year, Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen is a no show.

Small businesses employ approximately half of all workers in America, yet she can’t find time to speak with us.

COVID programs, including the PPP, which the Treasury Department assisted with by bringing in new lenders is currently in the loan forgiveness stage, but Secretary Yellen refuses to talk to us and talk directly to small business owners.

This continues to be unacceptable and a violation of the law.

My hope is that she stops ignoring the law, small businesses, and this Committee and testifies soon.

When it comes to contracting, small businesses are a critical player in helping to strengthen the nation’s industrial base.

They act as prime contractors and subcontractors on numerous projects that span the federal government.

Billions of dollars are processed through federal contracts and small businesses have a significant role to play.

Unfortunately, their impact is waning, and this Committee must continue to study a balanced approach when it comes to cost savings and consolidation.

I look forward to having a thorough conversation on this very important topic.

Additionally, I look forward to discussing the federal government’s practice of setting and measuring goals within federal contracting, the role of subcontracting, and various other issues related to small businesses that participate in federal contracting programs.

As I mentioned these are difficult times for small business owners and their workers as well as the nation’s businesses that supply the federal government with goods and services.

Madam, Chair, I yield back.