Huntsville Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith (D - AL5) has introduced a new bill in the House of Representatives that will allow divisions of Fortune 500 firms and thousands of other large businesses to receive billions of dollars in federal contracts earmarked for small businesses.
Several Fortune 500 firms in Congressman Griffith's district such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman and British Aerospace (BAE) are currently receiving millions of dollars in federal small business contracts through loopholes in federal contracting law.
If H.R. 3558 becomes law, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, BAE and their subsidiaries could continue to receive federal small business contracts indefinitely. Boeing and Northrop Grumman are amongst Congressman Griffith's largest campaign contributors. (http://tiny.cc/JWuUg)
Currently, there are 5,126 small businesses registered to do business with the federal government in the State of Alabama, according to the Central Contractor Registration database. If H.R. 3558 is passed and signed into law, more than 99 percent of the small businesses in Alabama would be put at a significant competitive disadvantage.
In 2005, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA IG) referred to the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants as, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today." (http://www.asbl.com/documents/05-15.pdf)
Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have found that Fortune 500 firms in the United States and some of the largest firms in Korea, Italy, Holland, France and England have received billions of dollars in federal small business contracts.
Another bill that has been introduced in the House of Representatives, "the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2009," or H.R. 2568, is designed to close all of the loopholes, and halt the flow of federal small business contracts to large businesses.
H.R. 2568 was introduced by Congressman Hank Johnson (D - GA) and has 15 co-sponsors. Congressman Johnson's bill is backed by small business groups and chambers of commerce across the country.
Research by the American Small Business League (ASBL) estimates that legitimate small businesses are losing over $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts through various loopholes in federal contracting law and policy.
ASBL estimates that if H.R. 2568 becomes law, over $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts will be redirected to middle class firms nationwide. If Congressman Griffith's bill, H.R. 3558, becomes law billions of dollars in federal small business contracts will continue to be diverted to corporate giants.
Please click here to watch a short clip about the ASBL's concerns regarding H.R. 3558: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbGwwEaEGSM