WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Legion applauds legislation drafted by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., that would include veterans in the Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.
“This legislation is necessary to provide parity for the nearly 1 million veterans who are small business owners seeking government contracts,” said James Oxford, chairman of the Legion’s Veterans Employment and Education Commission. “Veterans should not be placed at a disadvantage in competing with other government procurement programs.”
It is incorrect to believe that the DBE program is relegated to road and infrastructure firms. According to the Small Business Administration, veterans own 380,395 construction firms, 64,542 manufacturing companies and 414,519 businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services.
Currently, only half of the states meet their DBE goals. Adding veteran small businesses to this program would increase the pool of eligible firms at the states' disposal. For states that already meet their goals, this bill does not affect them or the small business contractors they employ.
The U.S. House recently approved H.R. 1694 and passed it on to the Senate for consideration.
“The Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act is a bipartisan, common sense way to update legislation that redresses the exclusion of veteran small businesses at no cost to the taxpayer,” Oxford said. “The American Legion encourages the Senate and the White House to level the playing field for these veterans by turning Rep. Fitzpatrick’s legislation into law.”