WASHINGTON - Senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) today announced Senate confirmation of Hector Barreto as Administrator of the Small Business Administration, the top post at the Federal Agency.

Senator Kerry said, "I'm pleased the Senate has confirmed Mr. Barreto and I look forward to working with him to ensure that the government stays on the side of small businesses, especially today when there is so much we can do to increase opportunities for minorities and women in business."

"Mr. Barreto and I have some real challenges ahead of us - starting with the fight to win an adequate budget for the Small Business Administration, a job made tougher by the President's plans to cut investments in small business loans and other important efforts. Small businesses need a partner in government, and senseless budget slashing is not the way to foster this partnership. Administrator Barreto assured Sen. Bond and I at his confirmation hearing that he will join with us in pushing for responsible investments in small businesses."