WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., along with Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill., introduced the Small Business Parity Programs Act, which would place three small business government contracting programs – HUBZone, 8(a) and service-disabled veterans – on an equal playing field when competing for government work.

A recent court decision – which followed two Government Accountability Office (GAO) rulings – overturned a long-standing interpretation of the current laws governing these programs. The decision stated that small businesses that belong to the HUBZone program had preference over firms participating in other small business contracting programs.

“Because I, along with Sen. Durbin of Illinois, strongly disagree with this decision, we filed this legislation to create parity amongst the programs,” Sen. Landrieu said. “It is well past time to provide more equality and greater opportunities for the thousands of small business owners who wish to do business with the federal government. This simple, yet effective, bill is a good step toward opening those doors, fixing current law and having an immediate and positive impact on small businesses seeking equal access to federal contracts.”

Senators Landrieu and Snowe originally filed this legislation as an amendment to S. 1390, the Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. The amendment was accepted and passed the full Senate on July 24, 2009 with overwhelming bipartisan support, but was removed during conference negotiations. To read more about the amendment, please click here.

To read Senator Landrieu’s statement for the record, please click here.