WASHINGTON D.C. –U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) issued the following statement about votes cast at today’s Committee markup regarding Small Business Administration (SBA) nominees Ms. Peggy E. Gustafson to be the SBA’s Inspector General (IG) and Dr. Winslow Lorenzo Sargeant to be Chief Counsel for the SBA’s Office of Advocacy:

“This morning, I voted to confirm Ms. Gustafson as the next SBA Inspector General because she has demonstrated a critical understanding of how vital strategic and independent oversight is to the elimination of fraud, waste, and abuse agency-wide – and she has the past experience to be effective in her role as IG.  I urge the full Senate to approve her nomination expeditiously.

“Additionally, my vote against Dr. Sargeant to be the next Chief Counsel for the SBA’s Office of Advocacy should not be construed as a disapproval of Dr. Sargeant himself, or of his tremendous intellect and achievements.  As a former small business owner, researcher, venture capitalist, and Program Manager for the SBIR Program at the National Science Foundation, he has a unique, first-hand perspective on the challenges facing small businesses.  Yet, despite these valuable insights, Dr. Sargeant is not an attorney by training, nor does he have substantial or relevant experience in the regulatory arena.  Although I believe Dr. Sargeant brings a wealth of small business experience to his candidacy, and would be an outstanding nominee for countless other positions within the SBA, I do not believe that now is the time to deviate from Advocacy’s regulatory role during this critical time in our nation’s economic recovery.  As such, after much deliberation, I decided to vote against his nomination for this particular position.”

The Committee voted unanimously for Ms. Gustafson’s nomination, and favorably reported Dr. Sargeant’s nomination by a vote of 13-6.  Both nominees must next be approved by the full Senate at a future date.