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S. 2915 (rs) To make improvements in the operation and administration of the Federal courts, and for other purposes. [Reported in Senate] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2915

 To reauthorize programs under section 7(a) of the Small Business Act 
             (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) through September 30, 2005.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            October 7, 2004

  Ms. Snowe (for herself and Mr. Bond) introduced the following bill; 
 which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Small Business 
                          and Entrepreneurship

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To reauthorize programs under section 7(a) of the Small Business Act 
             (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) through September 30, 2005.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. COMBINATION FINANCING.

    Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(31) Combination financing.--
            ``(A) Definitions.--As used in this paragraph--
                    ``(i) the term `combination financing' means 
                financing comprised of a loan guaranteed under this 
                subsection and a commercial loan; and
                    ``(ii) the term `commercial loan' means a loan 
                which is part of a combination financing and no portion 
                of which is guaranteed by the Federal Government.
            ``(B) Applicability.--This paragraph applies to a loan 
        guarantee obtained by a small business concern under this 
        subsection, if the small business concern also obtains a 
        commercial loan.
            ``(C) Commercial loan amount.--In the case of any 
        combination financing, the amount of the commercial loan which 
        is part of such financing shall not exceed the gross amount of 
        the loan guaranteed under this subsection which is part of such 
        financing.
            ``(D) Commercial loan provisions.--The commercial loan 
        obtained by the small business concern--
                    ``(i) may be made by the participating lender that 
                is providing financing under this subsection or by a 
                different lender;
                    ``(ii) may be secured by a senior lien; and
                    ``(iii) may be made by a lender in the Preferred 
                Lenders Program, if applicable.
            ``(E) Commercial loan fee.--A one-time fee in an amount 
        equal to 0.7 percent of the amount of the commercial loan shall 
        be paid by the lender to the Administration if the commercial 
        loan has a senior credit position to that of the loan 
        guaranteed under this subsection. Any fee under the preceding 
        sentence shall be paid by the participating lender and shall 
        not be charged to the borrower.
            ``(F) Deferred participation loan security.--A loan 
        guaranteed under this paragraph may be secured by a 
        subordinated lien.
            ``(G) Completion of application processing.--The 
        Administrator shall complete processing of an application for 
        combination financing under this paragraph pursuant to the 
        program authorized by this subsection as it was operating on 
        October 1, 2003.
            ``(H) Business loan eligibility.--Any standards prescribed 
        by the Administrator relating to the eligibility of small 
        business concerns to obtain combination financing under this 
        subsection, which are in effect on September 1, 2004, shall 
        apply with respect to combination financings made under this 
        paragraph. Any modifications to such standards by the 
        Administrator after such date shall not unreasonably restrict 
        the availability of combination financing under this paragraph 
        relative to the availability of such financing before such 
        modifications.''.

SEC. 2. LOAN GUARANTEE FEES.

    (a) In General.--Section 7(a)(23)(A) of the Small Business Act (15 
U.S.C. 636(a)(23)(A)) is amended to read as follows:
            ``(A) Percentage.--With respect to each loan guaranteed 
        under this subsection, the Administrator shall, in accordance 
        with such terms and procedures as the Administrator shall 
        establish by regulation, assess and collect an annual fee in an 
        amount equal to 0.36 percent of the outstanding balance of the 
        deferred participation share of the loan.
    (b) Guarantee Fees.--Section 7(a)(18) of the Small Business Act (15 
U.S.C. 636(a)(18)) is amended to read as follows:
            ``(18) Guarantee fees.--With respect to each loan 
        guaranteed under this subsection (other than a loan that is 
        repayable in 1 year or less), the Administration shall collect 
        a guarantee fee, which shall be payable by the participating 
        lender, and may be charged to the borrower, as follows:
                    ``(A) A guarantee fee equal to 1 percent of the 
                deferred participation share of a total loan amount 
                that is not more than $150,000.
                    ``(B) A guarantee fee equal to 2.5 percent of the 
                deferred participation share of a total loan amount 
                that is more than $150,000, but not more than $700,000.
                    ``(C) A guarantee fee equal to 3.5 percent of the 
                deferred participation share of a total loan amount 
                that is more than $700,000.
                    ``(D) In addition to the fee under subparagraph 
                (C), a guarantee fee equal to 0.25 percent of the 
                amount, if any, by which the deferred participation 
                share of the loan exceeds $1,000,000.''.

SEC. 3. EXPRESS LOAN PROVISIONS.

    Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)), as 
amended by section 1, is further amended by adding at the end the 
following:
            ``(32) Express loan provisions.--
                    ``(A) Definitions.--As used in this paragraph:
                            ``(i) The term `express lender' means any 
                        lender authorized by the Administrator to 
participate in the Express Loan Program.
                            ``(ii) The term `express loan' means any 
                        loan made pursuant to this paragraph in which a 
                        lender utilizes to the maximum extent 
                        practicable its own loan analyses, procedures, 
                        and documentation.
                            ``(iii) The term `Express Loan Program' 
                        means the program for express loans established 
                        by the Administrator under paragraph (25)(B), 
                        as in existence on April 5, 2004, with a 
                        guaranty rate of not more than 50 percent.
                    ``(B) Restriction to express lender.--The authority 
                to make an express loan shall be limited to those 
                lenders deemed qualified to make such loans by the 
                Administrator. Designation as an express lender for 
                purposes of making an express loan shall not prohibit 
                such lender from taking any other action authorized by 
                the Administrator for that lender pursuant to this 
                subsection.
                    ``(C) Grandfathering of existing lenders.--Any 
                express lender shall retain such designation unless the 
                Administrator determines that the express lender has 
                violated the law or regulations promulgated by the 
                Administrator or modifies the requirements to be an 
                express lender and the lender no longer satisfies those 
                requirements.
                    ``(D) Maximum loan amount.--The maximum loan amount 
                under the Express Loan Program is $2,000,000.
                    ``(E) Option to participate.--Except as otherwise 
                provided in this paragraph, the Administrator shall 
                take no regulatory, policy, or administrative action, 
                without regard to whether such action requires 
                notification pursuant to paragraph (24), that has the 
                effect of--
                            ``(i) requiring a lender to make an express 
                        loan pursuant to subparagraph (D);
                            ``(ii) limiting or modifying any term or 
                        condition of deferred participation loans made 
                        under this subsection (other than express 
                        loans) unless the Administrator imposes the 
                        same limit or modification on express loans;
                            ``(iii) transferring or re-allocating 
                        staff, staff responsibilities, resources, or 
                        funding, if the result of such transfer or re-
                        allocation would be to increase the average 
                        loan processing, approval, or disbursement time 
                        above the averages for those functions as of 
                        October 1, 2003, for loan guarantees approved 
                        under this subsection by employees of the 
                        Administration or through the Preferred Lenders 
                        Program; or
                            ``(iv) otherwise providing any incentive or 
                        disincentive which encourages lenders or 
                        borrowers to make or obtain loans under the 
                        Express Loan Program instead of under the 
                        general loan authority of this subsection.
                    ``(F) Collection and reporting of data.--For all 
                loans in excess of $250,000 made pursuant to the 
                authority set forth in subparagraph (D), the 
                Administrator shall, to the extent practicable, collect 
                data on the purpose for each such loan. The 
                Administrator shall report monthly to the Committee on 
                Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the Senate and 
                the Committee on Small Business of the House of 
                Representatives on the number of such loans and their 
                purposes.''.

SEC. 4. STANDARDS FOR LOANS MADE WITH DEFERRED PARTICIPATION.

    Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)), as 
amended by sections 1 and 3, is further amended by adding at the end 
the following:
            ``(33) Standards for loans made with deferred 
        participation.--Deferred participation loans made on or after 
        October 1, 2004, under this subsection shall have the same 
        terms and conditions (including maximum gross loan amounts and 
        collateral requirements) as were applicable to loans made under 
        this subsection on October 1, 2003, except as otherwise 
        provided in paragraph (18)(D), paragraph (31), or paragraph 
        (32) and subject to the $1,500,000 limitation on the total 
        amount outstanding and committed in paragraph (3)(A), as in 
        effect on October 1, 2004. This paragraph shall not preclude 
        the Administrator from taking such action as necessary to 
        maintain the loan program carried out under this subsection, 
        subject to appropriations.''.

SEC. 5. INCREASE IN GUARANTEE AMOUNT AND INSTITUTION OF ASSOCIATED FEE.

    Section 7(a)(3) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)(3)) is 
amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``$1,000,000'' and 
        inserting ``$1,500,000''; and
            (2) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``$1,250,000, of which 
        not more than $750,000'' and inserting ``$1,750,000, of which 
        not more than $1,250,000''.

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATES.

    The amendments made by this Act shall be effective beginning on the 
date of enactment of this Act and ending on September 30, 2005.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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