Dr. Coburn Disappointed by Dishonest, Preemptive Attack on Small Business Administration Oversight Hearing
American Small Business League circulates False Release on Hearing Topic
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, today sharply criticized an American Small Business League (ASBL) press release that included a false and deliberate distortion of a Senate oversight hearing he plans to hold on the Small Business Administration. The ASBL release falsely declares: "Oklahoma Senator Calls for Hearing to Abolish Small Business Programs." The April 6 hearing in question, which will simply examine the effectiveness of the SBA, had not even been announced when ASBL circulated their release. Moreover, Senator Coburn's office has received indications that officials from the SBA itself may be engaging in lobbying activities against this hearing. Federal law (31 U.S.C. 1352) clearly prohibits federal agencies from using taxpayer funds to engage in lobbying activities intended to influence Congress directly or coordinated with intermediaries.
"It is dishonest and unethical for a business organization that represents the very community that should care most about the effectiveness of the SBA to mischaracterize the nature of a congressional hearing before it is even announced. As a practicing physician in an entity that would be classified as a small business, it is absurd to suggest that I have a hidden agenda to harm small business. In fact, small business owners across America should be embarrassed by the ASBL's scare tactics," Dr. Coburn said.
"The purpose of this oversight hearing, which will be the 30th oversight hearing my committee has held on a wide variety of federal programs and agencies, is to examine the effectiveness of the SBA. I've never met a small business owner who believes any aspect of the federal government is operating at peak efficiency and should be immune from examination. I believe the Senate has a responsibility to ensure that the government is operating efficiently so our economy can sustain a costly war on terror, hurricane recovery effort and expanding Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs. ASBL may be the only business organization in America that hasn't been listening to luminaries like Alan Greenspan who have been warning that our economy is on an unsustainable course. If the ASBL believes the SBA represents the pinnacle of economic perfection and efficiency and is beyond scrutiny, then they should be confident that their perspective will be vindicated during this hearing," Dr. Coburn said.