WASHINGTON – Today Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, praised the passage of H.R. 1361, the Relief for Entrepreneurs: Coordination of Objectives and Values for Effective Recovery Act of 2007 (RECOVER Act). Following is his statement:

"I applaud the House of Representatives and the leadership of Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez for passing this important legislation to help small businesses recover after a disaster.

"Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were horrifying reminders that Washington can and must do more to get timely, effective assistance to disaster victims. There are no excuses for a slow response. In our committee, we've already passed legislation to overhaul the disaster loan program and I look forward to passing this important legislation in the full Senate and working with my House and Senate colleagues and with Administrator Preston to get these improvements signed into law."