WASHINGTON -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recently sent a letter to the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Hector Barreto, asking for information on the SBA’s spending to promote President Bush’s Social Security ideas.

“The Administration has cut the SBA and its resources to our small businesses 36 percent since 2001, the most of any Federal Agency, and spending scarce funding to market the President’s Social Security proposals would raise serious concerns for this Committee,” Kerry wrote.

Kerry wrote to the SBA after learning that it is one of several federal agencies that has tapped its budget to fund the travel of high-level employees as part of President Bush’s “60 Stops in 60 Days” tour to promote his Social Security proposals. SBA officials have already traveled to California, Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia as part of the tour.

In the letter, Kerry expressed concern that the SBA was using resources to garner support for the President’s Social Security ideas potentially to the detriment of other SBA programs suffering from a lack of funding. Kerry requested a full account of the SBA’s spending and travel related to the President’s Social Security tour.

A copy of the letter is available on the Committee’s website here.