House of Representatives passes Burchett-authored Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act

April 16, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 16, 2021) – Today, H.R. 1487, the Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives. This is the first bill authored by U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (TN-02) to pass the House during the 117th Congress.

Ahead of H.R. 1487’s passage, Rep. Burchett spoke on the House floor about how his legislation increases access to capital for America’s small business owners:

“Wealthy folks have family assets to start a small business, and not everyone inner cities and rural Appalachia have the same opportunities,” Rep. Burchett said during his speech. “These are hard-working Americans just looking to get their foot in the door and have a fair shot. The fixes my legislation makes to the SBA's Microloan Program will allow America’s entrepreneurs – regardless of background or location – to have easier access to capital that helps them reach their goals. 

Reps. Andy Kim (NJ-03), Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05) and Marie Newman (IL-03) were original cosponsors of Rep. Burchett’s legislation. These members issued the following statements regarding the passage of the Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act:

“As vaccines are being distributed, it’s so important that we do everything we can to support our small businesses so they’re primed to thrive and grow jobs as we put an end to the pandemic. This bill will make sure that the Microloan Program is doing its job in providing that support, and I’m proud to work with my bipartisan colleagues to pass this through the House.” – Representative Andy Kim (NJ-03)

“As a former small business owner, I know first-hand that loan opportunities can make a life-changing difference for a business. As tens of thousands of businesses continue to be devastated by this pandemic, we have a fundamental obligation to remove barriers and bureaucratic red tape to ensure small businesses have easier and faster access to receiving microloans. I'm proud to have passed this legislation with my colleagues, which will further ensure financial support for the smallest of our small businesses so they can not only survive this pandemic but bring back their workers and help reignite our economy.” – Representative Marie Newman (IL-03)

“This bill is a bipartisan victory and proof that we can all stand behind and support small business owners. We have a responsibility to ensure the SBA’s Microloan Program, and the capital it offers, is effectively reaching businesses, especially in rural Wisconsin communities. I’m proud to have co-introduced this legislation which will do exactly this all while conducting basic oversight to protect and account for hardworking taxpayer dollars.” – Representative Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05)

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program currently experiences low participation in rural areas. Rep. Burchett’s legislation addresses this issue by offering a 5% technical assistance grant to SBA microloan intermediaries when these institutions work with rural small businesses. Microloan intermediaries must make 25% of their loans to rural small businesses to be eligible for the technical assistance grant.

This bill also aims to improve transparency within the Microloan Program, requiring the SBA to provide Congress with a Portfolio Risk Analysis of microloans on an annual basis. Updating Congress with this information will help prevent fraud and government waste within the Microloan Program. It will also ensure SBA resources are directed towards rural communities, not just metropolitan areas.

Click here or on the image below to watch Rep. Burchett’s full speech during debate on the floor of the House of Representatives.