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Senate Proceeding on Mar 17th, 2011 :: 1:21:15 to 1:27:15
Total video length: 9 hours 9 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Benjamin L. Cardin

1:21:12 to 1:21:32( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: we can go back and forth and continue to talk as members talk about important aspects of the bill. i yiel floor, not my time. mr. cardin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland is recognized. mr. cardin: mr. president, let me first thank senator landrieu for her extraordinary leadership on bringing this bill to the floor. this is a critically important bill for our economy.

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:21:15 to 1:27:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Benjamin L. Cardin

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:21:33 to 1:21:53( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: it helps small businesses. it helps the economic engine of america. it helps with innovation with small businesses. we already know that small businesses will be where most of the job growth will take place. we know that. we also know that with small businesses is where most of the innovation will take place. when you look at patents that are filed, they are more from

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:21:54 to 1:22:14( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the small businesses per employee than you see from large companies. but in order to help small businesses be able to be innovative, the sbir program is critically important. and i congratulate senator landrieu for bringing this bill forward. it's received a strong bipartisan support within the small business committee.

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:22:15 to 1:22:35( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: it provides the resources where small companies can take risks and innovate for america's future. it extends the program for eight years, giving predictability to companies and investors so that they can go out and do what is best for this country, extending

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:22:36 to 1:22:56( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the program to 2019. it increases the allocations available for the small business community over time from 2.5% to 3.5%. it increases the individual size of the grants from $100,000 to to $150,000 in phase one and phase two from $750,000 to a million. and it does one other important

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:22:57 to 1:23:17( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: thing that's critically important, and that allows small businesses to bring in venture capitalists and still be able to qualify for an sbir loan. so for all these reasons, i strongly support the efforts of senator landrieu and senator snowe and would encourage my colleagues to support the legislation that has been

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:23:18 to 1:23:40( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: brought forward. but, mr. president, i come to the floor and i'm going to ask consent that the pending amendment be set aside, but first let me explain the amendment that i would like to offer. it's an amendment that would continue a policy that was started in 2009 to allow small businesses the opportunity to be

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:23:41 to 1:24:01( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: able to get surety bonds to be able to compete on government procurement in the construction industry. current law requires that for all federal and state construction projects -- federal and state construction projects -- exceeding $100,000, that the company must provide a

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:24:02 to 1:24:22( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: surety bond. congress attend the surety bond guarantee program more than 30 years ago because they knew it was difficult for small businesses to be able to get a surety bond. the limit had been $2 million

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:24:23 to 1:24:43( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: under that program, so we assist small companies in being able to get surety bonds up to to $2 million into 2009. as part of the recovery act, i offered an amendment with senator landrieu and senator snowe, this was a bipartisan amendment. in fact, i don't know of any objections to the amendment that

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:24:44 to 1:25:05( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: increased the amount from from $2 million to $5 million and gave the administrator the authority to guarantee bonds up to $10 million to permit small companies to be able to compete with large construction companies for procurement work. now, what's so difficult here? well, you talk to a small business owner, and they'll tell you what they have to go through

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:25:06 to 1:25:26( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: with their get any type of financing, and then if they bond, it's the same assets as the surety bond company bants -- wants them to guarantee to get the surety bond. putting them in a catch-22 situation where they can't get the surety bond or the financing.

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:25:27 to 1:25:48( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: that's the reason why we established the surety bond guarantee program 30 years ago. now, the higher limit had been in place from -- through 2009 and 2010, and the s.b.a. had estimated that they would issue issue $147 million in bonds in support of projects over $2 million.

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:25:49 to 1:26:09( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: in march of 2010, the s.b.a. performance report indicated that more than $360 million in bonds were actually issued. it's been an unquestioned success the higher limits. one other point: there has been absolutely no losses under the surety bond program, zero. that's why the congressional budget office has given us an

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:26:10 to 1:26:31( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: informer estimate that this amendment would have no direct impact on spending or revenue. this is a no-cost amendment that is strongly supported by the small business community because they know it's critically important for them to be able to compete fairly on construction

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:26:32 to 1:26:52( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: contracts. it has bipartisan support. what the amendment does is extend the limits that we put in law in 2009 that expired at the end of 2010. that's the amendment. now, mr. president, i do want to make a unanimous consent request -- and that would be to set -- but i understand that

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:26:53 to 1:27:14( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: we're under an agreement now that we cannot ask that. i'm getting word from my chairman, but let me just go on record to say that i would request that there be an opportunity for this amendment to be offered, included. i don't believe it's controversial. it doesn't cost, as i said, any expenditures. it's very important for the small business community, and it

Benjamin L. Cardin

1:27:15 to 1:27:15( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: has bipartisan support, and i

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