The House Small Business Committee continued its streak as one of the most productive and bipartisan committees in Congress, with the passage of eight bills after they held a markup. A number of the bills addressed issue impacting government contracting. Below highlights some of the bills of importance to women business owners:
- Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2018 (R. 6369) – introduced by Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL).
This bill gets rid of the requirement that the sole source award can only be $4 million for the life of the contract, allowing sole source awards to now be $4 and $7 million per year. Additionally, for WOSBs and SDVOBs, the bill implements a new eligibility determination process for sole source awards. In addition to the current requirement that contracting officers must verify eligibility before awarding the contract, this bill requires SBA to also verify eligibility.
There was an amendment to the legislation that extends elimination of option years to the 8(a) program as well and will get rid of WOSB eligibility verification once SBA comes up with their own process to verify, which is in the works.
- Incentivizing Fairness in Subcontracting Act of 2018 (R. 6367) – introduced by Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL) and Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS)
This bill creates incentives for prime contractors to reach their subcontracting goals by receiving credit. Prime contractors will be required to keep records of subcontracting credit claimed at lower tiers. It also designates the OSDBUs in agencies to resolve issues of non-payment of subcontractors.
One amendment was made to this bill requiring subcontractors to tell the primes that they are doing dispute process for non-payment and if primes want to get credit, they have to report on what work is actually going to the small businesses.
- Clarity on Small Business Participation in Category Management Act of 2018 (R. 6382) – introduced by Rep. Alma Adams (D- NC) and Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
This bill creates a reporting requirement on small business participation on Best in Class (BIC) vehicles. An amendment added to this legislation puts an effective date that the data must be reported, which is once it is available in SAM.
- Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 (R. 6330) – introduced by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
This bill would modify the SBA reporting requirements to have businesses report their average earnings over the last five years, rather than three which will provide more certainty to small businesses as they ramp up their operations and grow over time. This is important for growing businesses who may slow their growth to avoid being pushed out of the “small” category before they have the capacity to compete with larger businesses.
- Encouraging Small Business Innovators Act (R. 6368) – introduced by Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC)
This bill makes a series of changes to the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, making them easier for small firms to use and allowing experienced firms in the SBIR/STTR programs to mentor younger companies.
For the full list of bills passed, click here.