This month’s Nawbo Phoenix Public Policy blog focuses on what is happening on Capitol Hill and in the Biden Administration that impacts women owned businesses.
Written by: Sindi Major-Martinez NAWBO Public Policy Chair
o On Thursday, the Senate voted to approve a one-time exemption to the filibuster on raising the debt ceiling. Fourteen Republican Senators voted with Democrats to allow the filibuster to be removed for a vote on the debt ceiling. This would mean that when they vote on the debt ceiling next week, it will only take a simple majority instead of the typical 60 vote threshold in the Senate. Now, we expect the debt ceiling bill to pass before the December 15th deadline, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Congress needs to act to keep the government solvent.
o The Senate turns to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) next week. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, “passing of the 2022 NDAA will have the following impact on small and women owned businesses: By expanding small business participation in federal defense procurement—and diversifying the types of small businesses that serve as contractors—these amendments will promote resilient supply chains, competitive markets, and a vibrant industrial base underpinning national security. Specifically, the amendments aligning with BPC recommendations and enjoying bipartisan support would:
· Sec. 861 – Increase governmentwide goals for small business contracting.
· Sec. 864 – Exempt certain contracts to small businesses from category management or successor strategies for contract consolidation.
· Sec. 873 – Raise sole source contracting thresholds for certain small business concerns (8(a), HUBZone, veteran-owned, and women-owned) from current levels to $10 million for manufacturing contracts and $8 million for other types.
· Sec. 848 – Require the Department of Defense to submit a report on the effects of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification on small businesses.
Tens of thousands of small businesses provide goods and services each year to the federal government. This helps enable resilient supply chains, competitive markets, and, especially, a vibrant and innovative industrial base that enhances our national security.
Long-term trends, however, threaten to make that national security base less secure, less innovative, and less resilient. Our June report highlighted two worrying trends. First, since 2010, the number of small businesses serving as federal contractors has declined by 39%. Second, and even more concerning, the number of small businesses entering the procurement marketplace as new entrants fell by 79% from 2005 to 2019.
Small business participation in federal procurement is shrinking and the pipeline is narrowing.
o The Build Back Better Plan (BBB) will push into next year as Democrats don’t believe that they have the votes to get the simple majority required. Remember, the Build Back Better Plan is the social spending package passing through the budget reconciliation process, which only requires a majority to pass. According to news reports, Senators Manchin(D-WV) and Sinema (D-AZ) are still big question marks.
Biden Administration Updates:
o COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Winding Down: The COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is a federal small business loan program that supports small businesses’ recovery from the COVID-19 disaster’s economic impacts by providing accessible and borrower-friendly capital. You can join SBA's COVID EIDL Application Completion Office Hours for information about the application process and get your questions answered to apply for COVID EIDL funds. For more information about COVID EIDL, visit the SBA website. Office Hours will be Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. ET Join here