House Committee on Small Business

Chair: Nydia Velázquez

C

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]

1 Investigative Oversight Hearings

24 Policy/Legislative Hearings

87 Total Hearings

Last updated: Sept. 26, 2020, 2:29 p.m.

Although the committee has a strong following among America’s small entrepreneurs, its jurisdiction is narrow, officially, “Assistance to and protection of small business, including financial aid, regulatory flexibility, and paperwork reduction. (2) Participation of small-business enterprises in Federal procurement and Government contracts……The Committee on Small Business shall study and investigate on a continuing basis the problems of all types of small business.” One of its chief functions is to ride herd over the Small Business Administration, whose loan program to small businesses has periodically come under criticism. The independent agency has survived several attempts over the years to eliminate it. The committee has five subcommittees: contracting and infrastructure; economic growth, tax and capital access; innovation and workforce development; investigations, oversight and regulations; and rural development, agriculture, trade and entrepreneurship.

The committee’s limited jurisdiction and relatively small membership has resulted in a lighter hearing schedule than many permanent House committees. During the 10-year period it held an average of about 73 hearings each Congress, with relatively few investigative oversight hearings. That quiet oversight pace was broken, however, in the 114th Congress (2015-16) under Chair Steve Chabot, a conservative Ohio Republican, who launched 12 oversight hearings, most of them critical of the Obama administration. That was nearly as many oversight hearings as in the other four Congresses combined. Many of the hearings under Chair Chabot examined alleged mismanagement and other problems at the SBA and its various divisions.

In the 115th Congress (2017-18), the first two years of the Trump administration and still under Chair Chabot, the committee’s hearing schedule recorded the most total hearings (86) for any Congress in the period. Its investigative oversight activity fell back to five. Among the oversight hearings the committee held was a June 2017 look at the “SBA’s Failed 2014 Restructure. ” Other hearings, often based on GAO or inspector general findings, examined the SBA’s office of the Chief Information Officer, the SBA’s Microloan Program, the various small business advocacy offices spread around numerous cabinet departments, and a “Review of SBA’s Standard Operating Procedures Process.”


Chairs

111th Congress: Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)

112th Congress: Sam Graves (R-MO)

113th Congress: Sam Graves (R-MO)

114th Congress: Steve Chabot (R-OH)

115th Congress: Steve Chabot (R-OH)

116th Congress: Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)


Current Congress

We are 95% of the way through the 116th Congress

House Committee on Small Business

1 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 10% historical maximum
24 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 76% historical maximum
87 Total Hearings; 100% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 1 26 65 53% F
112th Congress 3 26 60 57% F
113th Congress 4 38 79 79% C+
114th Congress 12 36 76 100% A
115th Congress 5 31 86 79% C+
116th Congress* 1 24 87 77% C
Historical average 4.3 30.2 75.5

* 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
House Committee on Small Business

Date Hearing Title Committee Category