– Robin Enos is a contributor to FindLaw’s Free Enterprise blog. FindLaw is a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

The U.S. Senate voted this week to kill a bill to reauthorize the popular SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program, according to the New York Times.

SBIR, a program to encourage small businesses to explore commercialization of technology, reserves 2.5 percent of federal research and development (R&D) funds for small businesses. Thus, said the SBA, SBIR enables small businesses to compete for federal R&D funds with larger enterprises.

In an example of legislative perversity, the bill’s author, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), flipped her vote this week to oppose cutting off debate. Thus she voted to kill her own bill, reports the Times.

So why does a senator administer a poison pill to her own bill? Especially a bill that passed Sen. Snowe’s own Senate committee by a vote of 18-1?