Big things happening for small-business legislation on Capitol Hill. Recently, Congress considered the following bills, including some disposition in their respective Chambers denoted below:
H.R. 4666 – Rep. Aaron Bean (R-Fla.) of the House Small Business Committee introduced this bill, which would require the Inspector General of the Small Business Administration to submit a quarterly report on fraud relating to certain COVID-19 loans. A quorum was not present for the vote, and further consideration of this bill is postponed at this time.
H.R. 4667 – Introduced by Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), the RECLAIM Taxpayer Funds Act, was also introduced; also failing to advance due to lack of a quorum. The bill would require the SBA to issue guidance for borrowers and lenders on the return of unused Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, and to establish a tracking system for those funds, but is pending further consideration at this time.
H.R. 4668 – Another member of the House Small Business Committee, Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-New York), introduced the POST IT Act of 2023, which would require the SBA Office of the National Ombudsman to include links on its website to any guidance for a rule subject to a small entity compliance guide. This bill passed by voice vote, implying unanimous support, and is awaiting further action in Congress.
H.R. 4670 – Fellow House Small Business Committee member, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Penn.) found similar support and passage by voice for the Small Business Contracting Transparency Act of 2023, which would require the SBA to report information regarding women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and HUBZone small businesses to Congress annually.
H.R. 5427 – To prohibit individuals convicted of defrauding the Government from receiving any assistance from the Small Business Administration, and for other purposes, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) of the House Small Business Committee, also saw his legislation passed by voice, awaiting additional action in Congress.
H.R. 4480 – Lastly, House Small Business Committee member, Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), saw her legislation, the Successful Entrepreneurship for Reservists and Veterans Act pass by voice. This bill would both require the SBA to report on the veterans interagency task force, and also require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report on access to credit for small businesses owned or controlled by veterans, Reservists, or their spouses.
RELATED | Senate Says No to CFPB Small-Business Data Collection Rounding out last week, on Dec. 1, the House passed a resolution (S. J. Res. 32; BGOV Bill Summary) disapproving of a rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which would require small-business lenders to gather borrowers’ demographic data.
While the resolution disapproving of the CFPB rule narrowly passed the House by a vote of 221-202 after similarly narrow passage in the Senate (53-44), the White House said President Joe Biden would veto the measure. Neither chamber is expected to garner enough votes to override a veto.
The CFPB’s small business lending rule requires banks, fintechs, and other lenders that make more than 100 small-business loans annually to collect race, gender, and other demographic information, similar to data collected for mortgages.
Supporters of the measures to block the CFPB’s rule say they are concerned with costs and difficulties of implementing the data collection rule, but the White House maintains its position that the rule is important in promoting transparency and accountability in small-business lending, particularly for its priorities of closing gaps in capital access for minority- and women-owned businesses.
Follow NSBA as we continue tracking these bills in Congress.