Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) asked unanimous consent that the nomination of Dilawar Syed to be Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) be discharged from the committee. Committee Ranking Member Rand Paul (R-Ky.) objected to the motion for a second time in as many attempts.

Cardin previously sought unanimous consent for the committee to be discharged of the nomination months ago and has since attempted to hold multiple business meetings to advance the nomination. Committee Republicans denied a quorum – the minimum number of members needed to conduct business – each time.

“Mr. Syed has spent decades building and scaling successful businesses, as well as advocating for struggling entrepreneurs and small business owners in underserved areas,” Cardin said. “It is clear that he is eminently qualified to help lead the SBA at a time when the agency is providing unprecedented assistance to help small businesses survive and recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Click here to watch a video of Cardin’s floor speech.

The SBA Deputy Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency, under the direction of the Administrator, including helping to usher billions of dollars in desperately needed economic relief aid to struggling entrepreneurs. The position has remained vacant for more than 3 years due to the Trump Administration’s failure to put forward a nominee.

Syed’s experience and business career spans 20 years— building and scaling companies that are still driving major impact across the technology, healthcare, and business services sectors. In addition to being a proven business leader, Syed has also built a record as a civic leader and advocate for entrepreneurs in Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, rural, and other underserved communities.

Syed’s nomination is endorsed by more than 200 civic, government, higher education, and business leaders and organizations, including former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Black Chambers, Small Business Roundtable, the Anti-Defamation League, and the American Jewish Congress.