Small Business Advocacy Improvements Act of 2023

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 25, 2023
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 399, the Small Business Advocacy Improvements Act of 2023.

Let me begin by welcoming the new chairman of the Small Business Committee (Mr. Williams of Texas).

The committee has a long tradition of setting partisan differences aside and working together on behalf of America's small businesses. I am glad we are off to a good start in the 118th Congress.

Today, we are considering three bills that overwhelmingly passed the House in the last Congress. As the chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee in the 117th Congress, I worked closely with my colleagues on the committee and stakeholders to craft dozens of bills that will increase access to capital, expand opportunities for free and low-cost counseling, and boost entrepreneurship. The three bills we are considering today are a product of that hard work, and I am hopeful that we will continue in the spirit of bipartisanship and focus on areas of agreement throughout the 118th Congress.

Turning to our first bill, the Office of Advocacy was established in 1976 to be an independent voice for small businesses within the Federal Government and is tasked with representing the views of small businesses before Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies.

To that end, the office has regional advocates on the ground that provide outreach to small businesses, local chambers of commerce, and other associations to hear firsthand the concerns of small businesses. The office works closely with Federal agencies to elevate these concerns throughout the rulemaking process.

Over the years, their hard work has saved small businesses billions of dollars in regulatory costs while still accomplishing the important goals of the regulations. However, their charter does not specifically state that they have the authority to represent the views of small businesses before foreign governments and international entities.

H.R. 399 will simply clarify that the Office of Advocacy has the authority to examine international economic data and represent small businesses in international discussions, particularly in trade negotiations.

I thank Chairman Williams, Mr. Luetkemeyer, Mr. Carter of Louisiana, and Mr. Mfume for their bipartisan work on this bill.


Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representatives Luetkemeyer, Carter, and Mfume for their work on this bill that will give small businesses a strong voice in the international regulatory arena.

All too often, small businesses' views are drowned out by larger companies with sophisticated legal departments and armies of lobbyists. SBA's Office of Advocacy works tirelessly to ensure that small business interests are heard at all levels of government.

Now that the world is more connected, more and more small businesses are participating in the global economy. Looking ahead, they will need a strong voice advocating on their behalf in international discussions and trade negotiations.

The Office of Advocacy is ready, willing, and able to assume this responsibility.


Ms. VELAZQUEZ. General Leave