Yesterday, in a rare show of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Committees on Small Business sent a joint letter to Administrator Isabella Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) regarding the abrupt resignation on Friday of Patrick Kelley, Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access.
Following last week’s contentious hearing in the House, Kelley announced Friday afternoon his resignation, leaving yet another void in leadership at the SBA.
In the letter the four principals urged SBA to “…pause the proposed changes to lending programs until a full-time Associate Administrator overseeing the agency’s lending programs is installed.” Those lending rule changes would, among other things, allow non-depository lenders to apply for Small Business Lending Company Licenses (SBLCs), and change SBA’s affiliation and lending criteria for SBA loan programs.
The letter also cited “legitimate bipartisan concerns” raised by the Senate and House committees during their respective hearings, as well as the fact that some guidance on how lenders would implement the changes was still not available.
NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken responded to the letter with the following statement.
“The SBA works best when it has all hands on deck in support of America’s millions of small businesses. That’s why NSBAhas, for years, called for full staffing at the SBA, and why we will continue to urge for prompt and fair hearings on the confirmation of dedicated small-business advocates to critically important leadership roles.
“I applaud the Chairs and Ranking Members for their bipartisan, pragmatic efforts urging SBA to quickly fill Mr. Kelley’s position, and I hope this critical show of solidarity continues throughout the process of finding new leadership. But it isn’t only the Office of Capital Access that needs leadership – for years, the Office of Advocacy has operated without a Senate-approved Chief Counsel, and there are a host of other vacancies that must be filled quickly.”
Click here to read the full letter.
Click here for more on last week’s hearing.
Click here to read more on NSBA’s efforts to fill key SBA vacancies.