Senator Snowe Announces Retirement

February 29, 2012

Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) announced Tuesday plans to retire at the end of her term this November. Citing frustrations with Congress’ partisanship, Snowe’s announcement not to seek reelection in November comes just two weeks before the March 15 filing deadline.

The third-longest-serving woman in congressional history—serving a combined 33 years in the House and Senate—Snowe has been known as a stalwart of bipartisanship and an outspoken champion for small businesses. In 2010, Snowe was awarded with an NSBA Star Award for leadership on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and her collaborative efforts with Chair Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and her predecessor, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

“Sen. Snowe has been instrumental in many key pieces of legislation for America’s small businesses,” stated NSBA President Todd McCracken. “Her integrity, bipartisanship and tireless dedication to improving the plight of small business will be sorely missed.”

Senator Snowe has served either as chair or ranking member of the Senate Committee on Small Business for the last decade and has been a major proponent of some of the most important small-business bills in that time, including: efforts to make health care more affordable, reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation and Research program, improved and enhanced SBA lending programs, limiting contract bundling, easing small-business retirement programs and enabling the self-employed to fully deduct the cost of their health insurance.