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Today In Washington
May 22, 2018
Source: Jennifer White – Director, Government Relations

House to Vote on Banking Legislation – The House is set to debate and vote on the Senate-passed banking bill, which would narrow the scope of Dodd-Frank regulations to give small and mid-size banks regulatory relief. The measure would raise the asset threshold for banks to be designated as systemically important financial institutions from $50 billion to $250 billion.

House to Begin Consideration on National Defense Authorization Act – The House will also begin consideration of the FY19 NDAA today. Small business provisions include:

• Small Business Support: The Department of Defense (DOD) is directed to develop a small business strategy that would include a unified management structure for small business programs. DOD would also be responsible for outlining how they will engage in outreach and technical assistance to facilitate small business participation in defense programs.

• Prompt Payment: The Department of Defense (DOD) is directed to accelerate payments to small business prime contractors and subcontractors, with the goal of making payment within 15 days of receiving an invoice.
• Microloan: The loan limit in the SBA’s microloan program would be increased from $5 million to $6 million after a recipient’s first year of participation. The program allows intermediary lenders to provide loans for business development, as well as marketing, management, and technical assistance, to minority-owned or disadvantaged small businesses. Another change is the time allocation for technical assistance providers. Intermediaries could spend as much as 50% (instead of the current 25%) of their grant funds to provide information and technical assistance to prospective borrowers.
• SBIR/STTR: Federal agencies are directed to set aside a share of their research budget for the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR). Agencies with larger research budgets must also set funds aside for the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR). This provision would allow federal agencies to use as much as 3% of reserved funds for program administration. It would also allow all agencies with SBIR programs in FY2018 through FY2022 to provide phase II grants, which focus on development and delivery of an innovation, regardless of whether a small business had first received a phase I grant for initial research.
• Adjustments: Solicitations for small business contracts would have to include information about the agency’s policies and performance in responding to requests for compensation changes.
• Broadband: The SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation is directed to designate an employee as the broadband and emerging information technology coordinator. They would be responsible for connecting small businesses with financing programs, and advising these businesses on how to acquire broadband and new information technology.
• SBICs: Banks and savings associations could invest as much as 15% of their capital and surplus in small business investment companies (SBICs) if approved by federal banking regulators. The limit is currently 5%. The maximum amount of leverage available to SBICs would be increased to $175 million from $150 million.

Hearings:
• Today, May 22 @ 10 AM: Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, Review of Treasury FY19 Budget Request, Secretary Steve Mnuchin testifying, 138 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
• Today, May 22 @ 10:30 AM: Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, FY19 Appropriations Act Markup, 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
• Wednesday, May 23 @ 10 AM: House Education and Workforce Committee, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, Regulatory Reform: Unleashing Economic Opportunity for Workers and Employers, 2175 Rayburn House Office Building.
• Wednesday, May 23 @ 10 AM: House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Tax Policy, Tax Reform and Small Businesses: Growing Our Economy and Creating Jobs, 1100 Longworth House Office Building.
• Thursday, May 24 @ 10 AM: House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, FY19 Markup of Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill, HT-2 The Capitol.