Dec 20 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act today that was introduced by U.S. Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) to help veteran entrepreneurs cut costs and enhance their economic opportunity by giving them access to surplus federal property. This legislation now heads to the President’s desk to be signed.
The federal surplus property program allows certain non-government organizations to acquire equipment and property that the federal government no longer needs. This legislation adds veterans to the program’s list of eligible recipients, which already includes minority-owned and women-owned small businesses. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property (NASASP) and the American Legion support this legislation.
“All veterans deserve our utmost respect and support after they return home,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Adjusting back to civilian life can be challenging, and as policy makers, we should try to make the transition as seamless and painless as possible. As Americans, we should support and encourage those veterans who decide to start their own small businesses. This legislation will offer veteran entrepreneurs some well-deserved support. The federal surplus property program is already established, so it’s just common sense that we should allow veterans to qualify for the program. I’m happy to see this legislation pass in both chambers and make it to the President’s desk.”
“When our Veterans return home from their service, they deserve our full support as they transition back into civilian life, and that includes supporting their efforts to build and manage a small business,” said Duckworth. “Our nation should be doing much more to help our Veterans and I’m pleased the Senate unanimously passed our bipartisan bill to help Veterans expand their business operations, reduce costs, and create jobs across Illinois and around the country. I’m thrilled we were able to work with members on both sides of the aisle to send this legislation to the President’s desk.”
“Last month we honored the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans, and part of that commemoration is committing to help America’s warriors when they return from battle and transition to civilian life. Countless veterans are entrepreneurs and small business owners making contributions to their communities, but many struggle with the costs of starting a new business idea,” said Durbin. “With passage of the Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act, veterans can now use GAO’s federal property surplus program, which can help veterans save costs as they open new businesses and store fronts. This is a commonsense and bipartisan bill, and I was proud to join Senators Duckworth and Kennedy to help pass it in the Senate.”