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Kaine Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill To Strengthen Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, cosponsored the Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act of 2018 introduced by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran, to make veteran small business owners eligible to acquire equipment and property that the federal government no longer has a use for. The bipartisan bill would add veterans to the list of eligible recipients for federal surplus property, which already includes women and minority small business owners as well as veterans service organizations.

“This bill tries to make it a little easier for veteran business owners to thrive in our communities,” Kaine said. “It’s about recognizing and honoring their sacrifice and ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed.”

Kaine has made it a top priority in the Senate to support veterans, servicemembers, and their families. He’s been a leader on efforts to reduce unemployment for veterans and military spouses and ensure those who serve our nation receive the health care and benefits they were promised. The first bill Kaine introduced in the Senate – the Troop Talent Act of 2013 – was a bill to ease the transition for servicemembers into the civilian workforce. This year, Kaine introduced two bills — the Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018  and the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act of 2018 — to reduce military spouse unemployment and support military families. Key provisions of these two military spouse bills passed as part of the Senate's FY 19 National Defense Authorization Act and are closer than ever to becoming law.

The General Services Administration (GSA) has overseen distribution of federal surplus property for 15 years in partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and State Agencies for Surplus Property (SASP). When there is no federal need for excess property, SASPs disburse the property to eligible recipients who otherwise may have been unable to acquire it. This legislation is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property (NASASP).

“As President of the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property representing all 50 states, 6 territories and over 67,000 donees around the country as part of the Federal surplus Property program, we commend Sen. Duckworth for her initiative and vision to secure, for over 2.5 Million veterans who own small businesses, the opportunity to secure surplus property for their operations,” said Kristy Fierro, President of the NASASP. “By introducing the “Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act, Sen Duckworth has taken the lead to help those men and women who have served our country by allowing them to access surplus property through our state agencies. Through the donation of vehicles, equipment, and other property, Veterans can grow their businesses, thereby creating jobs and increasing the tax base for localities, and most importantly, helping Veterans in America succeed. NASASP will support passage of this legislation as it is considered in the US Congress and we look forward to working with the federal government to make this a reality.”

You can view full text of the bill, here.