What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Victims of Natural Disasters : Reforming the program providing federal disaster loans to small business (H.R. 1361)/Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) amendment to remove language allowing the Small Business Authority the ability to offer grants of up to $100,000 for certain businesses severely affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma
 Who: All Members
[POW!]
 

To find out how your Members of Congress voted on this bill, use the form on the right.

Reforming the program providing federal disaster loans to small business (H.R. 1361)/Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) amendment to remove language allowing the Small Business Authority the ability to offer grants of up to $100,000 for certain businesses severely affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma
house Roll Call 223     Apr 18, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment to legislation aiming to reform the Small Business Administration's (SBA) disaster loan program, which was widely critiqued for ineffectiveness and delays following the 2005 hurricanes to hit the Gulf Coast. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) proposed an amendment that would have removed the section of the bill allowing the SBA to offer grants of up to $100,000 for businesses severely affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma that had been denied conventional disaster loans.

Chabot said such loans would represent "the height of fiscal irresponsibility."

"The SBA's determination of whether to grant a disaster loan is based on its determination of reasonable assurance that you can repay your loan, which is a direct quote from the SBA's rules found in the Code of Federal Regulations," Chabot said. "Thus, if the SBA has denied a business a disaster loan, it already has determined that it is unlikely, for whatever reason, to repay the loan. In other words, its capacity as a viable business is seriously called into question."

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), who authored the legislation, said Chabot's amendment would "eliminate an important tool for helping otherwise viable businesses rebuild."

"These businesses need financial assistance that the disaster loan program cannot provide," Velazquez continued. "This has been very narrowly tailored to ensure that grants only go to businesses located in communities most in need. Only a small number of businesses are expected to meet the requirements for one of these grants. If the administrator feels that grants are inappropriate, he will not need to exercise this authority. Furthermore, this program will not be carried forward to future disasters."

Only one Democrat supported Chabot's provision, and 23 Republicans crossed party lines to oppose it. Thus, on a vote of 174 to 252, the House rejected an amendment that would have eliminated a portion of a bill that would allow the Small Business Administration to provide $100,000 grants to small businesses affected by the 2005 hurricanes that were denied other assistance, and legislation to reform the federal small-business disaster loan program went forward with the provision intact.

Issue Areas:

Find your Member of
Congress' votes

Select by Name