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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I rise this evening to highlight the Defense Business Panel's work over the past 6 months and discuss our proposals for a series of procurement, contracting, and export control reforms that seek to help small and medium-sized businesses access the nearly $400 billion-a-year defense market.

Burdensome regulations and arcane auditing requirements are driving many companies to quit the defense market and are deterring new suppliers from entering the market. I am pleased that many of the bipartisan recommendations from the Defense Business Panel's report, ``Challenges to Doing Business with the Department of Defense,'' have made it into this year's National Defense Authorization Act and have received overwhelming support by the HASC committee members.

To ensure the Pentagon uses small businesses more, the FY13 NDAA requires the Department of Defense to award 25 percent of the total value of all prime contracts each year to small businesses. The panel heard from many companies around the Nation about how to modernize our export control regime. Tomorrow we may be debating an amendment that would grant the administration authority to remove commercial satellites and components from the Munitions List to the Commerce Control List. I would strongly urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

The panel focused on the steps that can be taken to commercialize innovative products that originate from small businesses. This year's NDAA will restore 1 percent funding for expenses for the commercialization and readiness program and will require program offices to import SBIR Phase 2 programs into programs of record, when appropriate.

We accomplished much to help small businesses over the panel's 6 months of work, but we've only scratched the surface. More can be done to help small businesses contract with the DOD, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to implement these changes.

Finally, I want to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Shuster), who is the chairman of this panel, for his leadership, and the chairman of the full committee and ranking member, Mr. McKeon and Mr. Smith, for appointing the panel.


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