WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 29 Republican Senators, led by Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Administrator Karen G. Mills, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, in opposition to a controversial new approach to government contracting under consideration by the Obama Administration that, if implemented, would hurt small businesses and increase costs for taxpayers. The letter calls on the SBA Administrator to dissuade the Administration from following through on the purported plan, which would represent a major change in federal procurement policy.
The plan, called "High Road," would reportedly change how businesses are "scored" for federal contracts, adding a subjective labor score that can introduce inappropriate political and other considerations into the federal contracting process. The purported changes could cause an otherwise qualified business to be eliminated from consideration – even though it offers the lowest price, provides the best technical solution, and is fully compliant with all labor laws. Senator Collins’ Committee has jurisdiction over federal procurement policy.
"The proposal under consideration would make it more difficult for small businesses to compete for federal government contracts," Senator Collins said Thursday. "This policy would have major implications for both small businesses and the American taxpayer. In the current economic climate, it is inconceivable that the Administration would even contemplate a policy that would increase the cost of federal contracts, restrict the number of bidders, hurt small businesses, and reduce competition."
In addition to Senator Collins, the GOP Senators signing the letter are: the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell; Olympia Snowe, Maine; Mike Enzi, Wyoming; Robert Bennett, Utah; Johnny Isakson, Georgia; George Voinovich, Ohio; Lamar Alexander, Tennessee; Scott Brown, Massachusetts; Tom Coburn, Oklahoma; Mike Johanns, Nebraska; and Richard Burr, North Carolina; George LeMieux, Florida; John Ensign, Nevada; Saxby Chambliss, Georgia; Kit Bond, Missouri; Chuck Grassley, Iowa; Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma; Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas; John Cornyn, Texas; Orrin Hatch, Utah; Richard Shelby, Alabama; John McCain, Arizona; Jon Kyl, Arizona; Jeff Sessions, Alabama; John Thune, South Dakota; Thad Cochran, Mississippi; Roger Wicker, Mississippi; and Lindsey Graham, South Carolina.
Click here to view the letter to Administrator Mills.