Emgage Action condemns the Republican boycott of yet another confirmation vote for Dilawar Syed to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration. This is a historic nomination for the Muslim and Asian American Pacific Islander communities.
Unfortunately, Republican members of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship have employed unprecedented tactics to stall Mr. Syed. This is the fifth time Republican senators have boycotted a vote on Mr. Syed’s confirmation.
After almost four years of this position being vacant, further delaying Dilawar Syed’s nomination prevents the SBA (with a nearly $1 trillion portfolio) from filling out its top leadership ranks and fulfilling Congress’ mandate to help small businesses recover from a once-in-a-generation public health and economic crisis.
This ongoing Republican boycott of Dilawar Syed’s hearing is a reflection of bigotry and Islamophobia. Syed’s years of experience as an entrepreneur, and his extensive engagement with small businesses across the nation, render him highly qualified to serve as the Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration. He should not be subject to a religious test to serve.
We are thankful to Chairman Cardin for his steadfast support and intensive efforts to bring the nomination to a vote. We are also grateful for the overwhelming support and incredibly diverse coalition that came together to confront the bigotry that sought to derail this nomination. We also thank the Biden Administration for standing its ground and urge it to not allow bigotry or divisiveness to win.