By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Last week, Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) and Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), introduced H.R.2221, the Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act of 2015. The bill would allow Veteran-owned small businesses to apply for and receive government surplus or excess property.
The Government Service Administration’s excess federal property program is currently available to minority-owned businesses and Veterans Service Organizations and H.R. 2221 would expand eligibility to veteran-owned small businesses. The legislation will save taxpayer money; it is estimated that GSA’s excess federal property program saved the U.S. government $200 million in 2013. There are over 2.5 million Veteran-owned small businesses in the United States.
Cook said, “This bill will not only give veteran entrepreneurs an extra opportunity to succeed and grow their businesses, but will save taxpayers money. When the federal government disposes of unclaimed excess property, this bill will allow it to go to veteran businesses where it can be put back to use. This commonsense bipartisan bill grows our economy, helps create jobs, and gives a hand up to our nation’s heroes.”
“Our Veterans deserve every opportunity to achieve the American Dream that they fought for,” said Duckworth. “This legislation will help Veteran-owned small businesses grow and allow some of our country’s most talented workers to succeed and create jobs. I look forward to working with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to pass this important legislation for our Veterans.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.