U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC), today spoke on the Senate Floor in support of his bipartisan legislation that would ensure that small businesses are able to compete for research and development contracts from various federal agencies, including the Department of Defense.

Vitter has been pushing for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 to include his legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. In April, Vitter and SBC Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization and Improvement Act, which passed out of Committee in last month.

Vitter’s bipartisan legislation would permanently reauthorize and strengthen the SBIR and STTR programs, which have helped to create thousands of new jobs by fostering innovation and stimulating the economy through public-private partnerships. Vitter chaired a full committee hearing in January on the importance of reauthorizing the SBIR and STTR programs. Click here to read more.

Click here to watch Vitter’s remarks.

Below are a few excerpts from Vitter’s remarks:

“The SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are vital to the success of many small businesses and are directly responsible for creating thousands of new jobs. Not only do they solve some of our biggest science and technology challenges, but they also give small, innovative firms access to already appropriated federal research and development (R&D) funding. Clearly, reauthorizing SBIR and STTR is a win-win for entrepreneurs and taxpayers alike.

“Between 1982 through 2014, federal agencies have granted over 150,000 SBIR awards to small businesses to develop innovative technologies, totaling $42 billion going toward our nation’s small business. This huge investment has made possible some of the most popular technologies that are available to the public today. For instance, the U.S. Air Force granted an SBIR award to a small business that created a technology now known as LASIK to correct vision for pilots.

“Participating agencies and firms have had to endure a brutal reauthorizing process that took over 3 years and 14 short-term extensions. Senator Shaheen and I worked on a bipartisan basis for the last year to prevent these types of delays that can cripple innovation and prevent uncertainty plaguing many small businesses.

“Reauthorizing SBIR and STTR this year will ensure stability and foster an environment of innovative entrepreneurship by directing more than $2 billion annually in federal R&D funding to the nation’s small firms that are most likely to create jobs and commercialize their products.

“As Chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, I have made SBIR a priority of mine this Congress. I am very pleased to share with you that Senator Shaheen and I have worked together to pass our joint legislation out of our committee. I’d like to thank all of our committee members for their work to help these small businesses.”