THE BLOG
09/29/2009 08:29 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Alabama Congressman Introduces Bill to Give Small Business Funds to His Top Campaign Contributors

On September 14, 2009, Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith (D - AL5) introduced a new bill, H.R. 3558, which will allow some of his largest campaign contributors to land billions of dollars in federal small business contracts. (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3558ih.txt.pdf)

Boeing and Northrop Grumman are two of Congressman Griffith's largest campaign contributors. If H.R. 3558 becomes law, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and hundreds of Fortune 1000 firms will be able to hold on to billions of dollars in federal contracts earmarked for middle class firms. (http://tiny.cc/mp06p )

Information from the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) indicates the Obama Administration counted billions of dollars in contracts to many of the largest firms in the world towards the government's 23 percent small business contracting goal. During fiscal year (FY) 2008, the Obama Administration included over $775 million in awards to Textron in the government's small business data. Textron is a Fortune 500 firm with 43,000 employees and annual revenue of over $14 billion. In addition to Fortune 500 firms in the U.S., billions of dollars in contracts awarded to corporate giants in Italy, England, France, Holland and Korea were included in the Obama Administration's small business statistics.

The American Small Business League (ASBL) estimates that legitimate small businesses are losing over $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts as a result of the abuses. The ASBL has won a series of lawsuits against several federal agencies, which have forced the release of thousands of pages of data indicating that corporate giants in the U.S. and abroad have received hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts for over 10 years. (http://www.asbl.com/aboutus.html)

The Small Business Administration Office of Inspector (SBA OIG) condemned the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants in Report 5-15, referring to the abuses 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)

If Congressman Griffith's bill becomes law, billions of dollars in federal small business contracts could be diverted to Fortune 500 firms, corporate giants around the world, and their subsidiaries indefinitely.

In May of 2009, Congressman Hank Johnson (D - GA) introduced H.R. 2568, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2009, which will have the opposite effect of H.R. 3558. The ASBL played a major role in the drafting of H.R. 2568. The bill will halt the flow of federal small business contracts to large business. The ASBL estimates H.R. 2568 will redirect over $100 billion a year back to legitimate small businesses and deliver the largest economic stimulus for middle class firms to date.
(http://www.asbl.com/documents/hr2568.pdf)