Bipartisan Small Biz. Contracting Bills IntroducedFebruary 14, 2012
Members of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business recently introced three bills aimed at reforming and improving the federal contracting process for small buisness.
The Small Business Protection Act of 2012
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, Rep. Joe Walsh (R – Ill.) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D. – Va.) introduced the Small Business Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 3987) in response to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) decision to create new group size standards for small-businesses. SBA industry size standards are determined by either the average number of employees for the previous 12-month period or by sales volumes averaged over a three-year period. The aim of this legislation is to ensure that the size standards assigned to each industry group are appropriate and do not make it more difficult for small business to compete for federal contracting opportunities.
The Small Business Opportunity Act of 2012
Another bipartisan bill introduced last Wednesday was the Small Business Opportunity Act of 2012 (H.R. 3980). As introduced by Rep. Herrera Beutler (R – Wash.) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D – Ore.), this bill would, among other things, enhance the role of small-business advocates in the federal acquisition and procurement processes, create small-business contracting classes, and ensure that small business concerns are properly utilized in all applicable federal procurement and acquisition planning processes.
The Building Better Partnerships Act of 2012
The third bipartisan piece of legislation introduced last week by Reps. Bobby Schilling (R – Ill.) and Rep. Judy Chu (D – Calif.) was the Building Better Partnerships Act of 2012 (H.R. 3985). This bill would allow the SBA to oversee all civilian mentor – protégé programs and improve small-businesses ability to win and perform on government contracts. Additionally, this bill would open the mentor – protégé programs to all small-business concerns (not just qualified 8(a), HUBZone, service-disabled veteran-owned and women-owned small-businesses or those owned or controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals), and ensure that a mentor business’s status as a small-business concern will not be affected due to affiliation with this program.
All three bills have been referred to the House Small Business Committee, which plans to mark up the referenced bills, as well as several others that have already been introduced in the coming weeks and months.