Washington Report: Updates From the Capitol

Senate panel fast-tracks Johns' SBA nomination; Congress reconciles reform bills

Senate Panel Fast-Tracks SBA Deputy Administrator Nominee

Marie C. Johns

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship voted unanimously on Thursday to move the nomination of Marie C. Johns as deputy administrator for the Small Business Administration to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote.

Johns served as president of Verizon in Washington, D.C., retiring in 2004 after more than 20 years in the telecommunications industry. She also is a former chair of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and a former chair of the chamber’s small business committee. She is currently a member of the Howard University Board of Trustees and the Howard University Middle School of Math and Science.

During her confirmation hearing last week, Johns said that, if confirmed, she plans to play an active role in reaching out to groups that have been hard-hit by the recession, including women- and minority-owned businesses.

“Putting loans, contracts, and other job-creation tools in the hands of these fast-growing segments of the economy should be a priority,” Johns said.

A Democratic aide said that the committee is in the process of “hot-lining” the nomination. That means each Republican and Democratic senator will receive notice Thursday evening that the panel wants to move the confirmation forward by unanimous consent on Friday. If approved, Johns could be at work next week.

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