Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Senate passes SBIR Reauthorization Bill - Conference Committee is Next

It was unanimous. The Senate wasn't swayed by pressure from the special interest lobbies and stuck to their guns.

Yes, a few amendments were added to S.1233, but they're constructive. (The full text of what they passed will be on on GovTrack soon.)

Rick Shindell's Insider of 7/14/09 has a good summary of the amendments:

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) issued an amendment that basically prohibits earmarking of SBIR award funds, and that SBIR funds must be competitive and merit based. His changes also include better metrics, and an 8 year reauthorization period, as has been customary for SBIR reauthorizations.

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) also had an amendment passed that reads: .."SBIR program or STTR program shall encourage the submission of applications for support of projects relating to security, energy, transportation, or improving the security and quality of the water supply of the United States to such program.’’.

So, S.1233 is now "engrossed" and passed, along with H.R.2965, to a yet to be named Conference Committee.

We have heard that Representatives Ed Markey and Nikki Tsongas will be circulating a Dear Conferee Letter encouraging that provisions in their disallowed amendment to H.R.2965 be considered by the Committee.

The SBIR Advocacy, led by the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), is formulating a strategy, a position paper, and template letters for you to send. We'll have them available soon.

Keep tuned to this Blog and to to www.SBIRreauthorization.com for updates.

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