Yesterday, the HSBC chaired by Sam Graves (R-MO-6th) marked up several contracting bills of importance to NASBP, including H.R. 776 (Hanna-R-NY-22nd), the Security in Bonding Act. HSBC, by voice vote, passed the measure but only passed the provision in the bill which increases the bond guarantee to 90 percent in the SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Preferred Program. HSBC did not take action on the individual surety provisions of the bill, because it lacks committee jurisdiction. While Chairman Graves noted, that even though HSBC lacks jurisdiction, he and others of the committee, such as Representative Grace Meng (D-NY-6th), support the bill as a whole. The committee which has jurisdiction over the individual surety provisions in H.R. 776 is the House Judiciary Committee. NASBP will continue to lobby members of the Judiciary Committee requesting they take action on H.R. 776. Prior to yesterday's markup, NASBP and other construction-related associations delivered a letter to Chairman Graves and Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) asking that they and members of committee support H.R. 776 and H.R. 2751 (Hanna), a bill to prohibit federal agencies from procuring small business construction services through reverse auctions. HSBC passed H.R. 2751 yesterday as well.
The markup was significant, because contracting reform bills approved in HSBC may be included as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The 2013 and 2014 versions of the NDAA included several measures passed by HSBC that were adopted into law, such as a provision that increased the contract size of the SBA Bond Guarantee Program from $2 to $6.5 million. NASBP owes a great deal of thanks to Chairman Graves for his leadership in recognizing the need for making contracting reforms a priority for his committee, which will undoubtedly create greater opportunities for small businesses. NASBP also wishes to thank Mr. Hanna, his colleagues on HSBC and staff for their assistance with these efforts.
For additional information, including the bills approved by HSBC at yesterday's markup, please visit the House Small Business Committee website by clicking here.