WIPP Highlights in FY2015 Funding Bill
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The FY2015 omnibus funding bill, H.R. 83, was released late last night. Please find below a list of the programs WIPP follows and their respective funding levels. There were also a few policy directives included in the bill that are likely of interest.
With respect to small business lending and assistance programs, the funding levels are in many cases above what was appropriated last year, which is due to our joint advocacy efforts on the Hill with coalition partners like AEO, AWBC, etc.
SBA Micro Lending -- $25 Million (AEO recommended level) SBA Micro TA -- $22.3 Million (12% increase over FY14) SBA WBC Program -- $15 Million (7% increase over FY14) SBA STEP Program -- $17.4 Million (100% increase over FY14)
SBA Office of Advocacy -- $9.1 Million (13% increase over FY14)
SBA NWBC -- $1 Million (same as FY14)
SBA 7(j) TA – 2.8 Million (same as FY14)
SBA VBOC -- $3 Million (same as FY14)
CDFI Fund -- $230.5 Million (2% increase over FY14)
There are a number of additional policy directives included in the bill:
1) GSA Contracts: The legislation notes that untimely payments from prime contractors to subcontractors continue to be a problem. Following up on the guidance in the previous fiscal year, the bill directs GSA to report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate, no later than 120 days after enactment on steps it is taking to improve payments to subcontractors.
2) SBA Veterans Outreach: The bill directs the SBA, along with the WBC, SBDC, and VBOC (Veterans Business Outreach Center) Programs to identify steps to improve outreach to women veterans.
3) SBA Microloan Program: The bill includes a special provision directing the SBA to assess the impact of the requirement that only 25 percent of funds for Microloan technical assistance (TA) may be used for pre-loan TA and is directed to submit recommendations to the Congress within 90 days.
4) SBA Loans for Veterans: The bill would waive all 7(a) loan fees for veterans and their spouses.
5) Internet Tax Ban: The bill extends the moratorium on internet taxation (known as the "Internet Tax Freedom Act") through October 1, 2015. This is of interest to businesses selling items online and across state borders.
Next Steps: The FY2015 funding bill will likely go up for a vote in the House on Thursday and the Senate immediately thereafter in order to avoid a government shutdown (Thursday at midnight). Since the timing will be extremely tight, it is entirely possible that Congressional Leadership will decide to pass a short-term continuing resolution, likely of a few days, to allow enough time for a smooth vote in the Senate.
The entirety of the $1 Trillion-plus FY2015 funding bill is available here:
If you are interested in tax, economy and budget issues, please sign up to become part of WIPP’s Tax & Economy Issue Committee here.