5:16 PM EDT

Nydia M. Velázquez, D-NY 12th

Ms. VELAZQUEZ. In our hearings, Mr. Chairman, the committee heard testimony on the various challenges facing the 7(a) program. One of the more troubling developments has been a steady decline in the number of lenders participating in the 7(a) program, particularly among small lenders and community banks located in rural areas. With fewer lenders in the program, we all lose.

The rural lender outreach program is intended to help remedy this problem. With simpler application standards and a streamlined lending process, the rural lender outreach program will facilitate participation in the 7(a) among small lenders in rural communities.

I look forward to working with my colleague to ensure that this amendment will help the rural lender outreach program achieve its important objectives.

I yield to the gentleman from Ohio for any comments that he might have.