Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Russ Feingold's statement on S. 1233

Feingold Helps Prioritize Federal Funding for Small Business Research and Development of Energy, Water, Domestic Security and Transportation Projects

For Immediate Release – July 14, 2009 Contact: Zach Lowe or Katie Rowley – (202) 224-8657

Washington, D.C. – Last night the U.S. Senate passed an amendment by U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) to prioritize federal funding for energy, water quality, domestic security and transportation projects – top national priorities where Wisconsin has a strategic advantage. Feingold’s amendment, an important piece of his E4 Initiative launched last year to help fuel job creation and spur economic development, was included in legislation reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research Act (SBIR) that the Senate approved. Wisconsin has numerous small businesses, universities and other research institutions that have strengths in these critical national priorities. With Feingold’s amendment, Wisconsin will be well positioned to compete for resources to further these national priorities, while creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

“I am pleased the Senate passed my amendment to help guide federal funding to research and development projects that address our nation’s needs,” Feingold said. “By prioritizing energy, water, domestic security and transportation projects, federal funds will help stimulate small business innovation and job creation, particularly in areas where Wisconsin is a national leader. Not only will this help get people back to work in the short term, it will also address some urgent domestic challenges facing our country.”

In addition to funding priorities, Feingold’s E4 SBIR legislation calls for a boost in total federal spending for the SBIR program. The SBIR legislation passed by the Senate increases the funding allocation for the program from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent, while also increasing the cap on Phase I and Phase II awards. Since the SBIR program was created in 1982 to promote small business innovation, more than 94,660 projects have been funded totaling more than $20.7 billion. The Senate bill reauthorizes the SBIR program through 2017.

“Increasing funding for the SBIR program and reauthorizing it for another eight years is great news,” Feingold said. “While we still have more work to do ensure there is adequate funding for the SBIR program, the bill passed by the Senate today is a step in the right direction. Small businesses are the engines that drive our economy and I will continue to work to ensure they receive the resources they need.”

Feingold introduced the Strengthening Our Economy Through Small Business Innovation Act to boost funding for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program on September 8, 2008. This E4 victory comes on the heels of another Feingold E4 provision that was signed into law that boosts job growth and helps businesses and homeowners go green by expanding the types of projects that are eligible for the Qualified Energy Conservation Bond (QECB) program.

More information about Feingold’s E4 initiative is available at

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