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The Senate Committee Approves Bill Curbing Biden Administration’s Plan to Expand Fintech Role in Small-Business Loans

WASHINGTON — In a significant move, the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee voted overwhelmingly, 18-1, in favor of a bill aimed at curbing the Biden administration’s plan to expand the role of financial technology startups in providing government-backed small-business loans. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the Chairman of the Small Business Committee, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, the ranking member, was passed as part of a larger small business package. This bill is a direct response to the growing concerns among lawmakers about the Small Business Administration’s ability to regulate nonbank lenders gaining access to the agency’s flagship 7(a) loan program.

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Sen. Rand Paul, (R-Ky.), cast the sole opposing vote against the bill, highlighting the divisions and differing perspectives within the Senate regarding this issue.

The focus of the concern lies in an SBA rule that would eliminate a moratorium restricting the number of nondepository institutions that qualify as small-business lending companies, or SBLCs. The elimination of this moratorium would allow new for-profit SBLCs, potentially including fintechs, to offer 7(a) loans. Additionally, it would create a new category of nonprofit mission-based SBLCs targeting underserved markets and demographic groups.

However, amidst the push for fintech involvement, lawmakers are also becoming increasingly cautious about the SBA’s lending program’s integrity. This caution stems from instances of fraudulent activities observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly related to the Paycheck Protection Program. Critics argue that the SBA lacks adequate measures to monitor and regulate these lenders, thus raising concerns about potential risks associated with the proposed changes.

To address these concerns and mitigate the risks, the AI legalese decoder can play a crucial role. By analyzing the bill and related regulations, the AI legalese decoder can identify potential loopholes or areas of weakness that may need further attention. This technology can assist lawmakers, regulators, and stakeholders in ensuring that the necessary safeguards are in place to prevent fraud and protect the integrity of the small-business lending program.

The critics of the Biden administration’s SBA changes, including traditional banks, have expressed apprehension about the potential risks associated with these modifications. They suggest that the proposed changes could lead to an increase in riskier loans, placing a significant financial burden on the program.

The approved bill will now proceed to the full Senate, where further discussions and deliberations will take place to determine its ultimate fate. It will be crucial for all involved parties to utilize advanced technologies like the AI legalese decoder to navigate the complexities of the bill and reach a comprehensive understanding of its potential implications.

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