Heads to the Senate Floor for a Vote

WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship – with the support of Chairwoman Maria Cantwell, D-Wa., –  voted unanimously by voice vote to confirm President Barack Obama’s nomination of Maria Contreras-Sweet to serve as Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). The vote allows Contreras-Sweet’s nomination to head to the Senate floor for a full vote.

“As the founder of a community bank in Los Angeles, this is a woman who has her finger on the pulse of small business lending,” Cantwell said during today’s hearing. “She knows how to reach communities that have traditionally had trouble accessing capital. And as a strong leader, she has worked in both the private sector and in the California state government. Together, these attributes give me confidence that small businesses will have an excellent advocate in Ms. Contreras-Sweet.”

“As Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing in California, Ms. Contreras-Sweet has seen firsthand the importance of trade promotion and improving market access for U.S.-made products and services,” Cantwell said. “I am confident she will be helpful in looking at ways to improve opportunities for small businesses. I look forward to working with her.”

Contreras-Sweet also knows what it’s like to be a small business owner in America, having founded PROAMERICA, the first Latino-owned business bank in Los Angeles in 30 years.  As California’s Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing , she oversaw a workforce of 42,000 and managed a budget of over $14 billion. She served as California’s first Latina Cabinet Secretary.

View a photo of the markup here.

Several weeks ago, the committee held a nomination hearing for Maria Contreras-Sweet, where she testified before Members of the Committee. View video of the hearing here.