This week, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., scored a win as the U.S. House passed a bill giving more federal funds to small businesses.
Murphy, the top Democrat on the House Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee despite being a freshman, has been working with U.S. Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., this year on various proposals and their “Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act of 2017” passed without opposition this week.
The bill streamlines the federal Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program so federal departments and agencies help high-tech small businesses. Knight and Murphy both insisted on Thursday that this bill will let small businesses compete for these funds on a level playing field.
“As someone who advised startups in the private sector, I know entrepreneurs need capital to get their ideas off the ground,” Murphy said. “Congress should do everything possible to support job creators who spur growth and innovation in our economy. My bill will help small high-tech businesses in central Florida and across the country develop cutting-edge products that both grow the economy and advance our national security interests.”
Murphy also noted that in the past year SBIR and STTR have sent $61 million to small businesses in the Sunshine State including $15 million to those based in Central Florida.
Knight also weighed in on the bill this week.
“H.R 2763 is one step closer towards a more transparent and safe government,” said Knight. “This bill would give the opportunity for America’s small businesses to participate in the national security needs for innovation in our country.
“Small businesses are essential to America’s economic competitiveness and industrial base,” Knight added. “Supporting programs like SBIR and STTR is important for the safety and economic stability of our nation. These programs sponsor developments that allow us to compete in the international marketplace and provide innovative tools supported and created by local entrepreneurs that contribute to American security.”
The bill had the support of leadership on both sides of the aisle with U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee; U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, the chairman of the U.S. House Small Business Committee; and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY, the ranking Democrat on the Small Business Committee, all going to bat for it.
The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate.
This is not the first time Knight and Murphy have worked together. Back in March, Knight and Murphy paired up with with U.S. Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., to unveil a proposal amending the Small Business Act to give “clear job description to Commercial Marketing Representatives at the Small Business Administration and help small businesses better compete for subcontracts.”