(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today sought unanimous consent on the floor of the U.S. Senate to discharge Dilawar Syed’s nomination to be Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from the committee. Committee Ranking Member Rand Paul (R-Ky.) objected to the motion.

Cardin’s unanimous consent attempt comes amid a months-long blockade and constantly-shifting accusations levied against Mr. Syed by the Republican members of the committee, who have denied the committee the quorum needed to advance the nomination three times.

“The partisan and unnecessary inaction of our Republican colleagues shows no concern for the millions of small businesses still relying on SBA support to survive COVID-19 and rebuild their future,” Cardin said.

Cardin continued, As a matter of fairness, as a matter of the needs of the small business community in our states, as a matter of the integrity of this body to have a process that has some degree of respect for the nominees that go through the nomination process, I’m going to make a U.C. request that the nomination be put on our calendar like any other reported nominee subject to the action of this body.”

Click here to watch a video of Cardin’s floor speech.

The SBA Deputy Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency, under the direction of the Administrator, including helping to usher billions of dollars in desperately needed economic relief aid to struggling entrepreneurs. The position has remained vacant for more than 3 years due to the Trump Administration’s failure to put forward a nominee.

Syed has had a stellar 20-year career in business—leading companies that are still driving major impact across the technology, healthcare, and business services sectors. While he’s been a business leader, Syed has also built a record as a civic leader and advocate for entrepreneurs in Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, rural, and other underserved communities.

Syed’s nomination is backed by more than 200 civic, government, higher education, and business leaders and organization, including former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Black Chambers, Small Business Roundtable, the Anti-Defamation League, and the American Jewish Congress.