Larsen Votes to Invest in America’s Small Businesses and a 21st Century Workforce</A

Apr 25, 2007


Washington, D.C. - This week, Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted to pass three “Innovation Agenda” bills to invest in America’s small businesses and better equip our 21st century workforce to compete successfully in the global economy.  All three bills passed the House of Representatives with broad, bipartisan support.

“Congress is investing today for a healthy economy tomorrow,” said Larsen. “Our Innovation Agenda will help create new, high quality jobs and keep America competitive.”

On Tuesday, the House passed the “10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds” Science and Math Scholarship Act (H.R. 362) to increase the number of highly-qualified math and science teachers in K-12 schools. This bill will help train 10,000 new math and science teachers, encourage students to get math, science, engineering, and technology degrees, and support young researchers to foster innovative scientific research.

“This bill helps give the next generation the tools they need to succeed,” said Larsen. “We need to ensure that our children get the best possible preparation so America can continue leading the world in science and technology.”

Today, the House passed the Small Business Lending Improvements Act (H.R. 1332) to make capital more accessible for small businesses through the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan program.  This legislation establishes a rural lender outreach program to attract small lenders back into the SBA’s lending program and reduces application requirements for borrowers and lenders to streamline the process. It also helps veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan secure capital to start or expand their businesses by increasing to 90 percent the guaranteed portion of loans they receive and eliminating borrower and lender fees.

“Last year, the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan program helped provide Washington small businesses with more than 2,000 loans,” said Larsen.  “The bill we passed today will make a good thing even better by increasing access to capital so more small businesses can thrive and create jobs in Northwest Washington.” 

Larsen is a member of the House Small Business Committee.