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Expressing Sense of the House that American Small Businesses are Entitled to a Small Business Bill of Rights

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Location: Washington, DC


EXPRESSING SENSE OF THE HOUSE THAT AMERICAN SMALL BUSINESSES ARE ENTITLED TO A SMALL BUSINESS BILL OF RIGHTS -- (House of Representatives - April 27, 2005)

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Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, today we are going to vote on a resolution that will do nothing to help small businesses in Nevada and throughout this country. My friends on the other side of the aisle call this resolution the Small Business Bill of Rights; yet in my opinion this is another case where their rhetoric does not match the reality.

Small business is very important to me. Half of the businesses in Nevada are small businesses. We are all concerned about the cost of health care to small businesses. We are all concerned about the amount of paperwork that small businesses are deluged by, and we are all concerned about the skyrocketing costs of energy for all business, including small business.

But the bill before us does a disservice to small business. It fails to recognize the importance of women-owned small businesses. This is especially important in Nevada which has over 50,000 women-owned small businesses and has the fastest growing number of women-owned small businesses in the country.

The number one issue for the women in Nevada that own small businesses is access to capital. It is the number one issue for women. It is the number one issue for women-owned businesses. Gutting the 7(a) loan program and microloans is a disaster for these businesses.

House Resolution 22 also fails to condemn the illegal practice of Federal Government contract bundling. When small business owners come to see me, one of the first issues they bring up is lack of access to Federal contracting opportunities. Contract bundling shuts small businesses out of the marketplace and should certainly be included in any genuine Small Business Bill of Rights.

Nevada has been rated among the best States for entrepreneurs to start a small business. These businesses must have opportunities in the Federal marketplace. Increasing small business participation in Federal contracts will result in lower cost to taxpayers and give small businesses more opportunities in the Federal marketplace. Small businesses make up 97 percent of all business in the United States; yet the Federal Government does more than 77 percent of its business with only 3 percent of our Nation's companies.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote "no" on House Resolution 22 and "yes" on the Velazquez motion to recommit.

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