Lawmaker Pushes to Boost Contractor Work

January 31, 2012

House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo., on Tuesday introduced legislation to encourage a higher percentage of federal contracts to go to small business, along with a separate bill to elevate agency Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

Graves' GET Small Business Contracting Act would raise the small business prime contracting goal from the current 23 percent to 25 percent, while withholding bonuses from agency managers who fail to meet the goal. He estimates the 2 percent increase would bring $11 billion in new federal contracts to small businesses. The government spent about $535 billion in contracting in fiscal 2010, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

"Because the federal government spends half a trillion dollars on contracted goods and services, we owe it to the taxpayers to make sure their money is used wisely and efficiently," Graves said in a statement. "Government contracting offers a unique opportunity to invest in small businesses while also stimulating our economy, considering small businesses create the majority of jobs -- 65 percent over the last 17 years. Small businesses have proved time and time again that they can perform a service or produce goods for the government cheaper and often quicker than their larger counterparts; however, various bureaucratic impediments remain for small contractors." 

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