GOP Rep. Pete Stauber’s bill to help small businesses in the federal contracting and contracting orbit quietly passed through the U.S. House last month with broad bipartisan support.
The legislation, known as the Strengthening Small Business Contracting Out Act, was introduced by Stauber in May and passed the House about a month later in a 411-11 vote.
“You don’t get much [more] bipartisan than that,” Stauber said of the vote.
The bill’s passage through the House represented a low-key moment of success for Minnesota’s Republican second term, given Democrats’ control of the House and Senate as it seeks to win a third term in the midterm elections this fall. The bill was sent to the Senate, where it was not passed.
While the invoice text is relatively short, Stauber said “it’s going to have real and meaningful impacts on small businesses that are looking for these opportunities in the federal government procurement marketplace.”
Stauber, who sits on the House Small Business Committee, said the measure would “help small businesses by increasing their access to federal contracts.”
The bill is also being introduced by Maryland Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume, vice chairman of the House panel. His office said in a Press release the legislation requires “federal agencies to consider the past treatment of small business subcontractors by large prime contractors when determining whether to award future contracts to such prime contractors.”
“This bill is a critical piece of legislation and will ensure our nation’s valuable small businesses are protected when working with large federal contractors,” Mfume said in the June statement. “At a time when small businesses risk being forced out of the federal procurement space, it is imperative that we unite across the aisle to speak up for small business concerns.”
Stauber also noted the timing of the bill, as inflation continues to be a major concern for small businesses and consumers.
“This presents an opportunity for small businesses,” Stauber said of the bill. “And it shows the American people that there’s a lot of bipartisan work that can be done in our nation’s capital.”
Two Democrats have deposit to run against Stauber in this year’s midterm cycle, including DFL state representative Jen Schultz, who has the party’s endorsement.
“I support this minor amendment to the Small Business Act, which was recommended by the US Government Accountability Office, but it is embarrassing that my opponent touts this as a major legislative achievement over the past two terms,” Schultz said in an e -mail.
Stauber easily won re-election in 2020 after a tighter contest in 2018, but is now running under the modified eighth congressional district lines brought about by the redistricting process. Stauber also faces a minor primary challenge from the Republican side.