SBIR Insider Alert
May 29, 2011
Here's an update on the SBIR/STTR/CPP extension, or lack thereof, and it's not pretty. You've got more work to do because SBIR authorization expires Tuesday at midnight May 31, 2011.
The SBIR extension bill we talked about in our last issue (S.990) was hijacked in the senate and it became the "PATRIOT Sunset Extension Act of 2011". It was passed by both bodies and signed into law by the President. It has nothing to do with SBIR! Because S.990 retained its original title "Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011" many people following the legislation's progress on the "Thomas" legislative web site mistakenly believed SBIR was extended. As John McLaughlin would say, "WRONG!"
Remember last December when SBIR Reauthorization was hijacked and became the "Don't ask don't tell repeal"? Different congress but same result. Small businesses are once again given the "short end" of the deal, and SBIR is now facing a serious challenge to stay alive.
Here's the bottom line. Senator Landrieu has created a new extender bill (S.1082 "The Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011") that simply provides a 4 month extension ("as is") to the SBIR programs ending September 30, 2011, and also includes a compromise on some other SBA programs extending them for only 2 months. This SBA compromise was needed in order to pass in the Senate, and pass it did.
The House has just received the bill and if not passed by the House on Tuesday, 5/31/11, your SBIR program authorization will expire, and pandemonium will most likely break out in the SBIR community.
Now the bad news: Your SBIR Insider has learned that a prominent democrat (I wonder who that may be...) is not happy with this extension and is threatening to oppose the bill's passage. On last count, SBIR will need at least 60 democrats to vote for this extension.
Although most democrats and republicans favor the SBIR/STTR/CPP programs, they will kick you and the SBIR programs to the curb in order to support their party's leadership wishes. If this "prominent democrat" gets her way, your SBIR goose could be cooked. Even a short term lapse of the program will be injurious to all participants.
Some strong democratic voices in the house are trying their best to speak out for you and the program, but they need your help. It is suggested you call your representative's DC office right away (U.S. Capital switchboard at 202-224-3121) and urge them to pass S.1082, "The Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011." Remember, the house has to vote this bill in on Tuesday, so call early morning.
Jere Glover, Executive Director of the Small Business Technology Council (and a small business champion), coined the phrase "Small business is Congress' second priority, and we all know that Congress never gets around to their second priority." This has been proven time and time again, while the charade so aptly described by the late Milt Stewart continues: "Congress, when it comes to small business: In public they'll hug em, in private they'll mug em." In short, you've been mugged again.
With your help, this SBIR extender bill can pass and hopefully allow congress enough time to construct a new SBIR/STTR/CPP reauthorization bill. The Senate currently has none (due to a mountain of non-related amendments) and the House bill, H.R. 1425 (yet to be passed) is considered, at best, a non-starter, and at worst an abomination.
We'll get back with you shortly after the extender vote has taken place.
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