Louisiana Senator to Lead Small Business Committee

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has been tapped as the new chair for the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee for the 111th Congress convening in January.

"Bolstered by my seats on other key committees for our state, this assignment provides the seniority to fight even harder for Louisiana's more than 350,000 small businesses," said Landrieu.

The small business panel has jurisdiction over all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials and other matters relating to the Small Business Administration.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the Louisiana economy. I intend to use my gavel to ensure that they play an active role in our nation's economic recovery, and that the federal government is a supportive and efficient partner in their success," Landrieu said. She added that she hopes to build on progress made this year in enacting improvements to the SBA's disaster recovery programs.

Landrieu co-chairs the Common Ground Coalition with small business committee ranking member Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). The group of senators works to forge consensus on controversial legislative matters facing the Senate. Landrieu also chairs the Disaster Recovery Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. She is also a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) who currently heads the Senate small business committee will become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"As Small Business Committee Chairman, I traveled to Louisiana with Mary and I saw firsthand her passion for helping small business owners in her state and across the country," Kerry said. "After Louisiana was walloped by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Senator Landrieu put Washington on notice that she wouldn't accept a second-rate federal response and she fought for aid to rebuild her state's economy."

By Sharon McLoone |  December 16, 2008; 7:55 AM ET Policymakers
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