The Small Biz Administration is Going to Dick Around All Summer and Make Us Money

Some of you may be surprised to learn that the USA has something called “The Small Business Administration” (SBA) since the federal government is absolutely in love with Big Business and is always down to get double-teamed by Wall Street and Silicon Valley. I find this love affair extremely offensive due to the fact that presidents of both parties trip all over themselves to appoint bigtime executives like Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil), Jack Llew (Citibank), and Hank Paulson (Goldman Sachs) to their cabinets, but would never even consider hiring a successful small business owner like my cousin Josh, who sells boosted cigarettes in the alley outside of the San Bernardino Fantastic Sam’s, and is responsible for the well being of two employees who are saving up for their first fake IDs.

That said, I was extremely encouraged to learn that there is one cabinet member — the SBA Administrator — whose job it is to think about the little guy. But I was even more excited to learn that Trump’s former Small Business Administration chief recently left to run the President’s Super PAC. Because of this, PredictIt has created a market that I am loving:

SBA market

I personally think that confirming a new SBA Administrator is probably dead last on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) summer to-do list, which includes 12 appropriations bills, confirming a new Secretary of Defense, dealing with a three-month backlog of federal judges to confirm, possibly passing an infrastructure or prescription drug bill, and taking a month-long vacation from August 5-September 6. Side note, the real payday for this contract is on August 5, when Congress goes on recess for 31 days.

However, I am not the type to just make bold declarations without reviewing the facts. Though I am obviously one of the most skilled data analysts in America, if not the world, my hard math skills are a bigger sack of garbage than Will Smith’s new Aladdin remake. That is why I had my cousin Josh run the numbers for me, since he operates a cash-only business and is very good at counting things. Here is how long it takes to confirm a replacement cabinet member in the Trump Administration:

Agency Nom Date Hearing Date Days Between Date of Confirmation Days Between Hearing and Conf Total Days Elapsed
Heath Tabert CFTC 1/9/19 4/1/19 82
Anne Maire Buerkle CPSC Sep-17 10/4/17 17
Patrick Shanahan DoD 5/9/19 18
Mike Pompeo State 3/13/18 Apr-18 36 4/26/18 8 44
Bill Barr DOJ 12/7/18 2/7/19 62 2/14/19 7 69
Alex Azar HHS 11/13/17 11/29/17 16 1/28/18 61 64.00
Alex Acosta DOL 2/16/17 3/22/17 34 4/27/19 36 70
Robert Wilkie VA 5/18/19 6/27/19 40 7/23/18 26 66
Kelly Kraft Knight UN Amb 2/22/19
David Bernhardt DOI 2/4/19 3/28/19 52 4/11/19 14 66
Jovita Carranza SBA 4/4/19 44 (as of 5/28/19)
AVG 42.375 25.33 63.17

So it looks like a confirmation vote on or around he Fourth of July could be in the cards. But keep in mind that SBA nominee Jovita Corranza is in line behind Patrick Shanahan (DoD), Heath Tabert (CFTC), and Kelly Kraft Knight (UN), because their agencies do things that are more important than underwriting loans for female-owned businesses that make hemp bracelets. So I would not expect to see Mitch McConnell call-up Corranza’s number until those three noms are cleared.

There are a few other reasons why I think that things over at the Small Business Administration could drag on past August 5, when Congress leaves town for vacay. The first one is that Trump is very comfortable letting cabinet-level positions stay open for a long time. If he is cool with letting the Department of Defense, which has a $700 billion budget and 11 carrier battlegroups, go without a permanent leader for 5+ months, then he is definitely cool with letting the Small Business Administration and its beta AF loan portfolio dick around for the summer.

On the Senate side, it is also obvious that nobody cares. To be completely honest, I am pretty sure that it is less cool for 16-year olds to be spotted at the movies with their mom than it is for Members of Congress to be spotted at a hearing with the Small Business Administration. Just look at what a joke this House House Small Business Committee hearing is:

empty sba committee

And how the Senate Hearing Room–

senate sba chamber
The Senate Small Business Committee Hearing Room

Is smaller than Mitch McConnell’s office, which took a CSPAN crew 37 minutes to tour.

gop leadership office

Lastly, Donald Trump nominated Jovita Corranza on April 4, 2019, but Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) has yet to schedule a hearing to review her credentials. In fact, he has not even publicly acknowledge that Trump nominated her. Not even a Tweet. This is extremely odd given that Rubio is in charge of getting Corranza through Congress, which doesn’t make him look like a guy who is falling out of his chair to put her to work. Maybe this is proof that Rubio is racist against Hispanics. Maybe it is proof that he is racist against small businesses, since corporations are people. The only thing that is for sure is that the Small Business Administration is a bigger joke than soccer.

What’s the prediction?

Given that zero people in Congress care about the Small Business Administration, I am thinking that Corranza gets called-up for a vote in the last few minutes before Congress adjourns for the Fourth of July, August, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas Recess. This is definitely the type of thing that could go by voice vote 15 minutes before the last bell. The odds feel right to me for where we are — about 60/40 favoring NO– and I would not buy north of 65 this far out. If I can, I will pick up some NOs in this range. And if I can’t, I’ll wait a month to see if a hearing date gets set, and buy in the 80s.




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