Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The railroad runs on time

Today, members of the House Science & Technology Committee met (briefly) to markup H.R. 2965, the SBIR Reauthorization consolidation bill of H.R. 2767, H.R. 2772, H.R. 2769, and H.R. 2747. Apparently, nothing useful came of the meeting. Rather, it seems to have been a mere station stop as the railroad of the House SBIR Reauthorization picks up steam.

There is a willful disregard for the interests of constituents, small businesses, and the needs of society for innovation and job creation, as representatives fall over each other to fawn on the narrow interests of risk mitigation for the NVCA and BIO. Money talks, when reason can't.

One suggestion has it that the motivation behind a short fuse for SBIR Reauthorization may have something to do with the desire to extract every last cent of contributions for re-election campaigns. In the words of Rick Shindell's June 14th SBIR Insider:
As for only a two year extension, try this: BIO and NVCA have spent tons of $$$ in lobbying this issue and supporting election campaigns, in no small part for the SBIR VC change. Money will be needed in the 2010 "off year" elections as well as 2012 and the House knows it can depend on NVCA and BIO to do their share if the House will again support the VC issue for the next SBIR reauthorization. If you have a better explanation of why the SBC wants only a two year reauthorization, let me know.
The efforts on the House side are distasteful coming from committees whose purview and interests are ostensibly supporting Small Businesses and Science, Technology, and Innovation. Why do they repeatedly shut out the voice of small innovative businesses? Or, when they do permit them, why do they insist on drowning them out with NVCA and BIO representation? Perhaps the committees should be renamed The House Committee on Shafting Small Businesses and The House Committee for Remanding Science and Technology to the Sole Discretion of Universities and Profit-Takers.

Evaluation Without Representation!

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