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U.S. Hispanic Chamber Opposes Bill to Help Small Businesses

July 1, 2009

PETALUMA, Calif., - The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce opposes legislation introduced in the House of Representatives, H.R. 2568; the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act. H.R. 2568 is the only legislation written to stop the flow of billions of dollars in small business contracts to Fortune 500 companies and foreign firms. (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-2568)

Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have shown rampant fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs, which have allowed over $100 billion a year in small business contracts to go to some of the largest firms in the U.S. and Europe. Not only has the U.S. Hispanic Chamber never objected to these ongoing abuses, now they oppose the only legislation introduced to stop it. (http://www.asbl.com/media2.php)

H.R. 2568 was written in collaboration with American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman; Professor Charles Tiefer, foremost legal scholar on federal contracting issues; Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA-4); and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). This legislation will prevent the federal government from continuing to report contracts to publicly traded firms as small business awards. The original Small Business Act stipulates that a small business must be "independently owned." Thus, firms that are publicly traded do not qualify as "independently owned." As written, H.R. 2568 will create millions of new jobs and do more to stimulate the economy than any of the stimulus bills we have seen. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTFg5_cEZfk)

Dozens of small business organizations and chambers of commerce nationwide have already endorsed the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act, leaving the U.S. Hispanic Chamber at odds with a majority of the nation's small business community, including some of its own members, like the California Hispanic Chamber.

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber is joined in their opposition of H.R. 2568 by Chair of the House Small Business Committee, Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-12), who is currently quarterbacking legislation through the House that will give billions of dollars in small business contracts to some of the nation's wealthiest investors. Chairwoman Velazquez and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber have withheld their support of the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act in favor of supporting contracting reform legislation that might be introduced sometime later this year or next.

Critics of Chairwoman Velazquez point to the fact that she has never introduced legislation to end the diversion of small business contracts to corporate giants and they also question the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's judgment in supporting legislation that does not yet exist over H.R. 2568, which will bring $100 billion a year in contracts back into the hands of small businesses and the middle class economy.



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email to rbrownlie@asbl.com




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