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Inside Washington (09/19/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (9/20/12)--U.S. House members voted late last week to increase the federal government's subsidy for loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The increase is needed because of higher default rates on SBA-backed loans made from 2005 to 2008 (American Banker Sept. 19). Under the stopgap measure, the House agreed to raise the SBA's federal subsidy to $333 million from $210 million appropriated for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. "The goals of our oversight changes are twofold: ensuring that our loans benefit only the small businesses for which the lending programs are intended, and protecting the taxpayer dollars that support our loan programs," SBA administrator Karen Mills told the House Small Business Committee in June. "We believe we now have the tools and structures in place to more effectively achieve both goals. But there are some obstacles that we must overcome." The challenges relate to the "stratification" of its current portfolio …


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