Well, it seems that if congress can't meet a deadline they just extend the deadline. The SBIR/STTR reauthorization that was originally scheduled to end in September 2008 has now been temporariy extended to September 30, 2009. This is the third such extension of the deadline. There is still controversy and that may explain why it has become so difficult to present a final bill to the President. The bill is in conference to settle the differences, led by Senator Mary Landrieu. The controversy centers around the size of awards and the limitation of Venture Capital in the program. The House bill (HR 2965) favors larger awards and the involvement of Venture Capital firms. The Senate version (S 1233) favors a modest increase in award amounts to compensate for inflation and no Venture Capital involvement. There are House members (at least 26 by last count) led by Rep. Edward Markey that support the Senate version of the bill rather than the House version. Congress is on recess during the month of August but will continue the conference to resolve the issues in September. There will be pressure from the Venture Capital industry to settle on the House version. We strongly encourage small business to contact their local congress representatives and make them aware that you, as a small business, support the Senate version.
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