WASHINGTON – While calling the SBA budget "generally sound and reasonable," House Small Business Committee Chairman Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) expressed opposition to President Bush's proposal to increase the agency's loan guarantee fees to cover administrative costs. At a March 15 committee hearing on the SBA's fiscal 2007 Budget and Reauthorization Proposals, Manzullo praised SBA Administrator Hector Barreto – who testified at the hearing – for his efforts to "do more with less" at the agency but stopped short of agreeing with any fee increases. He also gave the budget high marks for making certain tax cuts permanent, expanding the deductibility of health savings accounts, and allowing national associations to provide more affordable health insurance to small businesses. The process for reauthorizing the SBA programs is "well underway," Manzullo said, adding it will include legislative changes that aim to improve the agency's response to catastrophic disasters and expand the reach of finance and entrepreneurship programs to more small businesses in America. Grace Mayo, CUNA Business/SEG Services Task Force chairperson and president/CEO of Telesis Community Credit Union, recently testified on behalf of CUNA at a House Small Business Committee hearing saying credit unions have concerns with the SBA's 7(a) loan program fee increases.

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