Speeches and Statements
SPEECH: Rep. Murphy Floor Statement in Support of Her Amendment to Increase Funding for SBA’s Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Outreach Initiatives
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
I rise in support of this bipartisan amendment, which I am proud to co-lead with Congressman Knight of California, Congressman Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, and Congressman Bacon of Nebraska.
This amendment would provide additional support for two important and successful initiatives overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
First, it would increase funding for SBA’s Women’s Business Centers by $600,000. This amendment builds on a successful floor amendment I offered to last year’s bill, which boosted funding for WBCs by $1 million. If our amendment is adopted, the House would provide a total of $19 million for WBCs—a substantial funding level that I will work to retain when the House and Senate meet to reconcile their respective bills.
There are over 100 Women’s Business Centers located across the country, each operated by a local non-profit organization that receives financial support from SBA and others. These WBCs provide business training, counseling, and mentoring geared to women, especially those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Every WBC tailors its services to the specific needs of the community in which it is located, but all provide training in finance, management, and marketing. They also help clients utilize SBA’s suite of capital, counseling, and contracting programs.
My central Florida district is home to many talented entrepreneurs, and yet it currently lacks a WBC. If this amendment is adopted, it will increase the number of WBCs that can be established nationwide and increase the chances that a WBC will be established in the Orlando area. This would help many of my constituents start or grow their small businesses, and in so doing, further strengthen our local economy.
In addition, our amendment would increase funding for SBA’s Veterans Outreach programs by $400,000, from $12.3 million to $12.7 million.
Each year, SBA uses these resources to serve over 200,000 veterans and their families, including service-disabled veterans. SBA provides veterans with business training and mentorship, and helps them obtain loans, apply for federal contracts, and cultivate connections within commercial supply chains.
My support for these investments in our veterans is rooted in the belief that servicemembers have fought for our nation, and we as a nation must fight for them—both while they are in the military and once they transition to civilian life.
Our amendment does not increase the total amount of funding appropriated by Congress in the bill, and it enhances support for WBCs and veterans programs without reducing support for any other priority.
I thank the Rules Committee for allowing the House to consider this bipartisan amendment, and I respectfully ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support it.
I yield back the balance of my time.
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