Unlike yesterday's issue, this is the type of story I very much like sending you.
HOUSE PASSES SBIR/STTR/CPP EXTENSION THROUGH JANUARY 31, 2011
Borrowing the title of a song from My Fair Lady, "You Did It!" There was thunder on Capitol Hill today as hundreds of you responded to an emergency call to action (from many people and organizations) to save the SBIR program from lapsing, and that you did it!
Around 7:00pm this evening, Nydia Velazquez under pressure from her peers and the House leadership, accepted the Senate's SBIR and SBA extender bill, she and moved to suspend the rules to pass S.3839 without amendments. That has now happened and the SBIR program will be extended through January 31, 2011, pending signature of the President (virtually automatic), who supports the bill.
This is the 9th continuing resolution for SBIR, which in and of itself is an outrage, but perhaps Velazquez & Day are now wounded and certainly embarrassed, having been rolled over by the House leadership twice in as many weeks. The Senate has worked strenuously in bipartisan fashion to construct a compromise that Nydia & Day would accept, but they showed little interest.
We will provide a postmortem of this escapade in a future issue to show how close we came to a programmatic lapse. Your voices played a major role in getting the support to overrule Velazquez.
Nowhere were the cries for passing S.3839 stronger than from the great state of Massachusetts. Not only are they the second largest SBIR award winning state, but also the most organized. To that end, two of their congressionals played major roles in this victory, Ed Markey (D-MA) and Niki Tsongas (D-MA). Tsongas wrote a powerful "Dear Colleague" letter (signed by supporters) that truly made a difference. There are many more heros and we'll cover that next week.
This fight is far from over, but the tide is turning. The big challenge for you is to get out and educate the candidates running for election. Do it not only for the candidate of your choice, but to the opposition as well. Attend their rallies, talk to their staff, and to the press. Undoubtedly there will be many new freshman congressmen and senators coming in to the next congress and you'll want them to know about the importance of the SBIR/STTR programs to your business and the economy. Also, step up to the plate and publically thank those who have supported your programs, and don't be afraid to criticize those who didn't.
2010 NATIONAL SBIR FALL CONFERENCE
Now that we know we'll have our program for a while, consider attending the Fall National SBIR conference in Oklahoma City, OK November 8-10, 2010. Most of the National SBIR conferences are targeted to beginning and intermediate companies participating, or wanting to participate in SBIR/STTR. Complete details are available at www.sbirok.org/
I'm sorry I haven't had enough time to answer all my email but I will try as best I can to get back to all of you who have contacted me. Thanks so much for your time, dedication to SBIR and patience.
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