Although the SBA funding bill is non-controversial, senators from both parties have taken advantage of the open amendment process to file more than 125 amendments — of which only about 20 are germane.
The only way to avoid time-consuming votes and allow the bill to proceed is to convince senators to combine or drop their proposals.
The three amendments holding up the bill, according to Reid, are:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s (R-Texas) proposal to delay the implementation of the healthcare reform law until a final resolution is reached in pending lawsuits;
Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) plan to form a bipartisan commission to improve oversight of government spending; and
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) proposal to establish a point of order against any effort to reduce benefits paid to Social Security recipients, raise the retirement age or create private retirement accounts.
The underlying Small Business Reauthorization Act, or S. 493, would provide funding for the Small Business Innovation Research program and the Small Business Technology Transfer program, which Democrats say would create jobs.