WASHINGTON Despite President Bushs recommendation, it appears the Small Business Administration will survive the budget process without suffering deep cuts in its 7(a) loan guarantee programs.
Senate appropriators this month recommended authorizing $773.5 million, or 42% more for fiscal year 2002 than the White House had requested.
When the full Senate in September takes up the funding, which is authorized through the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill, small-business advocates hope even more funding will be restored.
President Bush proposed slashing the budget from this years $857.6 million to $546 million. The House, which passed its version this month, agreed to restore the agencys budget to $745 million.
President Bush proposed raising 7(a) loan fees to compensate for the cuts, but so far Congress has balked.
Senate appropriators wrote in their report that accompanied the bill: The budget request seeks to increase the fees paid by borrowers and lenders to offset the need for an annual appropriation. The net result of the administrations budget request would be to drive both the small-business borrowers and lenders from the program.