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Senate Passes SBIR CR as Conferees Meet

July 30, 2009

The U.S. Senate passed July 24 a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would temporarily reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program through September 30. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to follow suit this week.
While the CR was being approved, Senate and House conferees were busy trying to hammer out a legislative compromise between the disparate bills approved by the two bodies. (For more on the differences between the two reauthorization bills, click here.
While it appears that staffers for the House Committees on Small Business and Science and Technology and the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship are engaged in goodwill negotiations, at this time it is unclear if/when a compromise will be reached—and what it might look like. The CR allows the negotiations to continue without the looming authorization expiration.
This week, a bipartisan group of more than 25 representatives, led by Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), wrote a letter to the conferees, urging them to adopt a compromise more in keeping with the Senate bill.

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