WASHINGTON -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, responded to the President’s small business remarks in his State of the Union Address.

"In his State of the Union Address, the President's pro-small business rhetoric clashed with his anti-small business policies." Kerry said. "Rather than expand opportunities for the advancement of women- and minority-owned small businesses, the Administration has cut or undercut virtually every program designed to help them. Mr. President, actions speak louder than words, and your actions speak loud and clear. The Administration needs to do better."

* The President opposes limited competition set-asides for small disadvantaged businesses and research grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

* Since 2001, the budget for the Small Business Administration (SBA) has been cut from $900 million to $579.5 million, or 36 percent -- more than any other federal agency.

* The Administration continues to shut small firms out of federal contracts by bundling, awarding multi-year contracts to large firms, and not holding large prime contractors accountable for honoring their subcontracting plans. A recent SBA Office of Advocacy study reported that on the President's watch, 44 large companies falsely categorized as small businesses received over $2 billion in contracts that should have gone to legitimate small firms.

* The Administration has repeatedly opposed funding the most experienced and successful Women’s Business Centers, and last year proposed cutting 53 centers in 39 states, jeopardizing assistance to tens of thousands of women business owners.

* Last year, the Administration released a proposal to change the definition of "small business" that would have eliminated the small business status for over 34,000 companies.

* Last year, the President proposed eliminating the SBA’s Microloan program. Thirty percent of microloan borrowers are African American; 11 percent are Hispanic; 37 percent are women.