United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu [D-La., pictured], chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today filed a one-year extension of the Small Business Innovation Research [SBIR] and Small Business Technical Transfer [STTR] programs.
After five weeks on the floor, the federal government’s two largest research-and-development programs for small businesses failed to pass a crucial vote last week. Long-term reauthorization is now stuck, and the current extension of these programs is set to expire on May 31, 2011.
"After years of negotiations, and with so much support from my colleagues and the small-business community, it is extremely unfortunate that we are right back where we started," said Landrieu. "To ensure that the SBIR and STTR programs do not end completely, I am filing a one-year, clean extension.
"There are too many businesses across the country with great ideas that are working with our government to develop technologies to improve national security; better the diagnosis, treatment and cure of diseases; and move us closer towards energy independence and efficiency. They would be left in the dark if these programs were to stop. We’d lose so much good technology and important investments.
"To avoid that, it is necessary to make sure the programs don’t shut down or slow down. I hope that we can provide, if only for one year, some sense of certainty for the businesses that partner with the government, and I urge my colleagues to support its continuation."
The SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011, S. 493, passed out of the Committee on March 9, 2011, by a nearly unanimous vote of 18-1. Last week, the Senate held a cloture vote to end debate on S. 493, but the motion failed by a vote of 52-44.
To view the text of the extension, please click here.
SOURCES: GovTrack.us, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
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