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At Risk The 8(a) program faces an uncertain future.

By Stephen Barlas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The 8(a) program faces an uncertain future.

Political and legal threats loom over the Small BusinessAdministration's 8(a) minority set-aside program, whichprovided 6,625 new contracts and more than 25,000 contractmodifications totaling $5.82 billion to small minority businessesin fiscal 1995. California's passage of the anti-affirmativeaction Proposition 209 and the Supreme Court's June 1995decision in Adarand v. Peña possibly invalidatinggovernment agencies' racial classifications make it more thanlikely Congress will attempt to redraw the SBA program as part of abroader effort to make federal laws more color- andethnicity-blind.

Rep. Charles Canady (R-FL) will reintroduce the bill hesponsored last session, which ends racial and gender preferencesfor federal programs. Last session, only Republicans publiclysupported the Dole-Canady bill. But a Canady aide says someDemocrats were also on board, if silently. "There will beDemocratic support for something in this direction," hemaintains.

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