On 22 May 2012, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced a new bill to help small businesses compete for and obtain more federal procurement contracts. Entitled the “Small Business Goaling Act of 2012,” the legislation proposed by Cardin and Landrieu, members of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, seeks to raise the government-wide small business prime contracting goals from 23% to 25% and the government-wide subcontracting goals from 35.9% to 40%. The proposed legislation would also apply service-disabled veterans, qualified HUBZone small business concerns, small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and women-owned businesses.
In addition to increasing the small business procurement goals, the proposed legislation places significant responsibilities on the federal agencies to achieve the government’s small business contracting objectives. Under the proposed legislation, federal agency heads will be required to work with the Small Business Administration to establish plans for achieving these small business contracting goals and to prepare annual reports detailing its small business contracting achievements and deficiencies.
A similar measure was passed by the House on 18 May 2012 in its defense authorization bill. However, the likelihood that the small business contracting goals would be increased at this time is uncertain as the Obama administration has already voiced its opposition to the increase noting that such increases was "laudable but overly ambitious."