Senate Passes Women’s Small Business Provision in Defense Bill

Cantwell-backed provision would give parity to women-owned small businesses in federal contracting

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, cheered Senate passage of legislation she introduced to ensure women-owned small businesses have equal access to federal contracting.

 The provision, which was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015, passed the House of Representatives last week. It now heads to President Obama for his signature.

Section 825 of the NDAA authorizes federal agencies to award sole-source contracts to women-owned small businesses, which would put women-owned businesses on equal footing with other disadvantaged groups in the contracting process.

A similar provision authorizing sole-source contracting for women was introduced in the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014, which Cantwell sponsored in the Senate. It was cosponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and John Walsh (D-MT).

Separately, Shaheen, Cantwell and Gillibrand introduced stand-alone legislation on the sole-source contracting provision.

“This legislation will help women entrepreneurs across the country break a glass ceiling,” Cantwell said in a speechthis week on the Senate floor. “There are 8 million women-owned businesses in the United States. But they only get a tiny percent – 4 percent – of federal contracts. We want to make sure this is changed.” 

~US Senate Press Release~  READ MORE

Skip to toolbar