Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Chair: Marco Rubio

A-

Projected Grade for the 116th Congress*

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

0 Investigative Oversight Hearings

13 Policy/Legislative Hearings

30 Total Hearings

Last updated: July 24, 2020, 11:26 a.m.

The committee’s jurisdiction is largely limited to oversight over the Small Business Administration, an independent and oft-troubled agency whose administrator can be designated as a cabinet-level position. The SBA provides financing, advice and training to help entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses, advocates for less onerous regulations on small businesses and supervises a regulation that sets aside 23 percent of federal prime contracts for small businesses. (Large companies’ use of illegal means to qualify for these small-company contracts is a constant problem.) The committee may also consider non-SBA legislation and refer it to another committee of jurisdiction, and is charged with conducting periodic studies on problems affecting small businesses. The committee has no subcommittees.

The Small Business Committee has a relatively small staff and conducts fewer hearings than most other standing committees with legislative responsibilities. Most of the financing it authorizes is done through loan guarantees and subsidies rather than direct federal spending. In the 115th Congress (2017-18) under Chair Jim Risch (R, Idaho), the committee held only 17 hearings, less than half the number it held under Chair David Vitter (R, La.) in the 114th Congress (2015-16), and the fewest in the 10-year period.

The committee only held five policy and legislative oversight hearings in the 115th Congress under Chair Risch, the fewest in the 10-year period. That was well below the average of 14 policy and legislative oversight hearings in the previous four Congresses.

The committee held no investigative oversight hearings in the 115th Congress, and held only one during the four previous Congresses. It was one of six committees in the 115th Congress to conduct no investigative oversight.


Chairs

111th Congress: Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

112th Congress: Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

113th Congress: Mary Landrieu (D-LA) [Maria Cantwell (D-WA)]

114th Congress: David Vitter (R-LA)

115th Congress: Jim Risch (R-ID)

116th Congress: Marco Rubio (R-FL)


Current Congress

We are 100% of the way through the 116th Congress

Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

0 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 0% historical maximum
13 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 85% historical maximum
30 Total Hearings; 89% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 0 19 39 100% A
112th Congress 1 14 20 71% C-
113th Congress 0 9 25 56% F
114th Congress 0 15 42 94% A
115th Congress 0 4 17 32% F
116th Congress* 0 13 30 90% A-
Historical average 0.2 12.3 28.8

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

Number of Hearings

--- Historical Average

Hearings held by the
Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Date Hearing Title Committee Category