The House Small Business Committee, led by Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), today held a hearing examining inefficiencies and duplication across federal programs to seek savings for the taxpayer and better assistance for America's entrepreneurs.
The purpose of the hearing was to provide oversight on fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in entrepreneurial assistance programs across the federal government, specifically between the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Committee examined the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) reports identifying opportunities for improvements across 52 entrepreneurial assistance programs, and the need to adhere to GAO's recommendations to address a confusing and fragmented system which is ineffective in aiding America's entrepreneurs. Using information gathered from today's oversight hearing and other hearings, the Committee will explore legislative options to improve efficiency and eliminate waste and duplication in entrepreneurial assistance programs.
"Our national debt recently surpassed $16.7 trillion with federal spending topping $3.5 trillion each of the last four years," said Chairman Graves (R-MO). "As our debt continues to pile up, an important way for us to rein in federal spending is to find ways to get rid of duplication and overlap in federal programs where taxpayer dollars are being wasted or used inefficiently. Rooting out duplication, inefficiency and waste in SBA programs to ensure small businesses are being best served is a goal of this Committee, and this hearing is a step towards reaching that goal."
Materials for the hearing are posted on the House Small Business Committee's website HERE.
Notable Witness Quotes:
William B. Shear, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investments, GAO, said, "Economic development programs that effectively provide assistance to entrepreneurs, in conjunction with state and local government and private sector economic development initiatives, may help businesses develop and expand. However, the ways that these programs are administered could lead to inefficient delivery of services, such as requiring entrepreneurs to fill out applications to multiple agencies with varying program requirements. These inefficiencies could compromise the government's ability to effectively provide the needed services and meet the shared goals of the programs."
Doug O'Brien, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, USDA, said, "In addition to providing direct economic benefits, regional collaboration allows rural communities to capitalize on economies of scale in infrastructure and public services, to encourage the development of specialization in industrial sectors that would make them more competitive, and to locate facilities and services where they provide the greatest benefit at the lowest cost."
Michael A. Chodos, Associate Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development, Office of Entrepreneurial Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington, D.C., said, "But we know that there are always further opportunities to use taxpayer dollars wisely and to make things simpler and easier for our small business constituents. We know that navigating the federal government and its many programs and services can be daunting to a small business."