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Blaine’s Bulletin: Keeping Our Promise to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

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Washington, August 3, 2018 | comments

America is a nation built on the promise of opportunity, particularly the promise that all citizens have an equal opportunity to attain success and prosperity. This is the reason Congress passed the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act in 1999. It established a government-wide contracting goal for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. But as the saying goes, nothing is perfect.

Although the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act intended to increase the available opportunities for service-disabled veteran businesses, in practice there has been a disparity between state and federal contracting goals. Under the current Highway Bill, federal funds are distributed to the states to fund our nation’s roads and bridges, but unfortunately some states do not have the same contracting goals as the federal government. This means that many service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses are at a competitive disadvantage and do not receive the contracting preference they were promised.

To correct this inequity, I recently introduced the Service Disabled Veteran Infrastructure Investment Parity Act. My bill amends the Highway Bill to add service-disable veteran-owned small businesses to an already existing contracting goal which currently includes women and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses. By including service-disabled veterans in this classification we are ensuring that no matter the industry, those who served our nation will have a fair opportunity to compete for transportation contracts.

We can never fully thank or repay our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. However, as neighbors, friends, relatives, and as Americans we can work hard every day to show our veterans just how grateful we are. As a member of Congress, it is my duty to fight for our veterans with just as much passion and conviction as they utilized when fighting for us. I’m hopeful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join me in supporting the Service Disabled Veteran Infrastructure Investment Parity Act. By advancing this legislation, we will be fulfilling the promise we made by ensuring service-disabled veteran small businesses receive the opportunities they deserve.

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