News Article

House Tees Up Votes on SBIR, Workforce Safety
September 28, 2022


By: Joe Rascon

House leadership has teed up votes for this week on legislation to extend the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, and a bill shepherded by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., to provide for Federal workforce safety measures during health-related emergencies.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House plans to vote on dozens of measures between Sept. 28 and Sept. 30, and very likely including a continuing budget resolution that would fund Federal government operations beyond September 30, which marks the end of the government 2022 fiscal year.

The planned House vote on the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022 follows Senate approval on September 21 of the bill which will extend those programs for another three years. Currently, they are set to expire on Sept. 30.  The programs aim to encourage the “scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy,” according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

“SBIR and STTR represent the best of government-industry partnerships – harnessing the creativity and ingenuity of American entrepreneurs to solve our nation’s most pressing public health and national security challenges,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., last week when the Senate approved the legislation.

Also set for a House vote is the Chai Suthammanont Remembrance Act of 2022, which was approved by the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week.

The bill, which Rep. Connolly has pushed since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, would “require the head of each agency to establish a plan relating to the safety of Federal employees and contractors physically present at certain worksites during a nationwide public health emergency declared for an infectious disease,” among other provisions.