Legislation: Give service-disabled business owners priority

Service-disabled veterans who own small businesses should get top priority in government contracting, according to a bill the House passed today.

“For those men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, many with life-altering injuries, this bill will provide the tools to start a new endeavor and begin a new life,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the Small Business Committee, in a statement.

In addition, the bill would punish business owners who lie about being disabled veterans.

If the bill becomes law, it would also require the Small Business Administration to launch the Women's Procurement Program, which would focus on government contracting with woman-owned small businesses. It would direct agencies to immediately begin putting contracts out for bid among women business owners.

Velázquez and others say SBA officials have delayed the Women's Procurement Program for too long. Congress created the program in 2000 to increase the presence of woman-owned businesses in the federal marketplace, but SBA has not initiated it.

Bush administration officials said they disagreed with some provisions of the House bill but did not threaten a presidential veto.

SBA said it is taking steps to include more woman-owned businesses. This month, officials announced that they had drafted a new rule to increase contracting opportunities for such businesses. Other agencies are reviewing the rule, and SBA expects to publish it soon.

The House passed the bill 334-80. It now goes to the Senate for further action.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Featured

  • FCW PERSPECTIVES
    sensor network (agsandrew/Shutterstock.com)

    Are agencies really ready for EIS?

    The telecom contract has the potential to reinvent IT infrastructure, but finding the bandwidth to take full advantage could prove difficult.

  • People
    Dave Powner, GAO

    Dave Powner audits the state of federal IT

    The GAO director of information technology issues is leaving government after 16 years. On his way out the door, Dave Powner details how far govtech has come in the past two decades and flags the most critical issues he sees facing federal IT leaders.

  • FCW Illustration.  Original Images: Shutterstock, Airbnb

    Should federal contracting be more like Airbnb?

    Steve Kelman believes a lighter touch and a bit more trust could transform today's compliance culture.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.