WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy today joined Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and more than 10 other senators in writing to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and House Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) to oppose a Democrat plan that would make the Small Business Administration a direct lender through their $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan.
“We write today regarding a deeply concerning provision contained within the House Small Business section . . . of the Budget Reconciliation Bill, that would authorize nearly $4.5 billion over 10 years for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue direct 7(a) loans. We believe this would be an inefficient, costly, and unequitable position to put both lenders and borrowers,” the senators wrote.
“Giving the SBA the reins to run its own lending program will make it more difficult for existing lenders to continue to participate and potential lenders to even want to join the program. A 10-year authorization of $4.5 billion for this program with little to no oversight will also increase the level of concern over how the money is being used. Without proper parameters, the direct lending program can fall into a great deal of fraud and abuse,” explained the senators.
“As the United States emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurship must be a top priority. Unfortunately, under the reconciliation legislation currently under consideration, among other provisions, allowing the SBA to establish and run a lending program that they themselves regulate will harm job creators and hurt the United States economy as a whole,” concluded the senators.
Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) also signed the letter.
The letter is available here.