Versions vary on three of the SBA's capital-access programs.
For FY 2001, the Clinton White House requested a budget of $1.06 billion for the SBA; Congress eventually settled on approximately $860 million (see table). This year, the positions are reversed, with the White House coming in lower than Congress.
The budgets don't differ much in terms of salaries and administration. The main variations involve three capital-access programs. The White House is requesting $163.16 million for the 7(a) program, but it expects new fees of $141 million, coupled with cutting the New Markets Venture Capital program, to make it break even. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, ranking Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, estimates that the new fee plus interest charges will add about $10,000 to the cost of an SBA loan. According to the budget, "the administration's fee proposal acknowledges that some small businesses may have trouble accessing capital but does not require the government to subsidize their cost of borrowing." Finally, the president's budget eliminates direct business loans for disasters.
Ending the New Markets program, in addition to increasing the fees, will require later legislation, the budget notes. In the table that follows, figures in the "Congress" column represent the House version of the appropriations bill.
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