WASHINGTON -- As a new Chair takes over at the National Women’s Business Council, the Democrats on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship today pressed the Small Business Administration (SBA) to fill a Democratic seat on the Council that has remained vacant for four years.

“A fully staffed Council is in the best interest of women-owned business across the country,” said Kerry, top Democrat on the Committee. “By leaving this key slot vacant for four years, the administration is compromising the Council’s role as a bipartisan advisor to Congress and undermining the good they can achieve for America’s women entrepreneurs.”

In their letter to SBA Administrator Hector Barreto, the Senators pointed to 8 instances, including the current vacancy, where the administration has failed to meet its statutory 30-day deadline to fill vacant Democratic and Republican seats on the Council. The Senators wrote that the current long-term vacancy was “undermining the Council’s bipartisan mission.”

“With women-owned business growing at twice the rate of all other firms, the Council’s guidance and bipartisanship have become increasingly more important,” the Senators wrote. “To ensure that the Council is able to fulfill its mission we urge you to fill the vacant position as soon as possible.”

Senator Kerry and other Democrats on the Committee have sent numerous other letters to the SBA inquiring about past vacancies. Also signing this most recent letter were Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

To read the letter, please click here.