WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today commended the presence of Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), at the President’s Cabinet meeting in her new, elevated capacity. President Obama raised the Administrator of the SBA to Cabinet level status on January 13, 2012. Senator Snowe has been a longtime advocate of this change.

“Today is a tremendous win for small businesses as Karen Mills took her seat at President Obama’s Cabinet meeting for the first time in her new capacity as a Cabinet-level official. As an early and ardent advocate for the elevation of the SBA Administrator to Cabinet-level status, I am thrilled this endeavor has finally reached fruition. With the central job-creation role small businesses play in our nation’s economy, it is critical Karen has a seat at the Cabinet table with the President. I am grateful hardworking Mainers and Americans across the country have Karen’s pragmatic, reasoned voice advocating for them in this vital role.”

BACKGROUND: Senator Snowe, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has long led the charge to re-elevate the SBA Administrator to a Cabinet-level position, as was the case during the Clinton Administration. In December 2008, she wrote to then-President-Elect Obama advocating for the change. She has consistently asserted since that such action would help promote the resources of the Federal government available to small businesses, and would ensure that the voice of small business is heard loud and clear.