7th SBIR Extension underway!
There continue to be "games" in Congress related to re-authorization of the SBIR/STTR bill. It seems Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) is continually trying to sweep re-authorization "under the rug" and get it approved without negotiating directly with the Senate. The Senate has offered many compromises over the last 12 months in attempts to finalize the bill (http://www.zyn.com/sbir/insider/sb-insider05-24-10.htm#one). It seems the House continually rejects (or conveniently "forgets") these compromises. So it is becoming obvious that the House wants their version of the bill passed, or nothing. No negotiations. There are some issues from small business owners with the House version of the bill, however. The Small Business Technology Council has drafted a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) expressing their concerns (http://www.sbircoach.com/page.aspx?page_id=35). This letter strongly endorses the Markey Amendment to the House re-authorization bill or the Senate version of the re-authorization. The House committee Chair for the Committee on Small Business, Rep Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has also clearly stated her position on the issue in a letter to the Chair of the House Committee on the Budget on March 4, 2010, stating "...Without the participation of venture-backed companies, the SBIR program has become little more than corporate welfare for marginal companies who are unable to secure external market-based funding." So, politics continues but the SBIR program is being used as the "football". We can only continue to contact our Representatives to try to get this resolved and passed. Our country, our jobs and small business rely on it.