Chairman Graves, thank you for holding this hearing on the Small Business Innovation Research program and the Small Business Technology Transfer program. Nationwide, our unemployment rate is 8.9%; although the unemployment rate in my district is below the national average, 1 in 3 people in my district work in the oil and gas industry and are being sidelined by this Administration's De Facto Moratorium. This week my friend from Colorado, Mr. Tipton, expressed his dire concerns about the unemployment rate in his state at double digits in some areas of his district. We MUST find ways to free small businesses to create jobs. The 8.9% of Americans cannot afford to be without a job for much longer. These programs are clearly ways we can help create job opportunities.
However, I am convinced there is room for improvement in anything in life, and the SBIR and STTR are no exceptions. We need to continue to closely evaluate the efficiency of these programs and be certain they are allowing individuals, small business owners, develop their ideas and spur economic growth and innovation. I look forward in earnest to the upcoming hearings our Committee will hold to reauthorize these programs. Thank you to all of you on the panel today. Your testimonies are refreshing. You bring a real and
important face to how our government can free businesses to flourish and foster innovation in the private sector