In the News

Veteran-owned small businesses might have a better shot at getting government contracts after the House of Representatives approved legislation aimed at the issue.

The Ensuring Veteran Enterprise Participation in Strategic Sourcing Act, which requires the VA to work with the General Services Administration (GSA) to ensure small businesses owned by veterans are given preference in government contracts, passed Monday. Congressman Neal Dunn, R-Panama City, introduced the legislation about a month ago.

“H.R. 2781 is a common-sense solution to a complicated problem,” Dunn said Monday on the House floor. “I’m proud to sponsor it with my good friend [California Democrat Jimmy] Panetta.

“Over the last 10 years, Congress gave veteran- and service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses the highest preference to compete for VA contracts. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in the Kingdomware case that this preference applies in all situations, even when VA uses contracts awarded by other agencies.”

But according to Dunn, a loophole has emerged: The VA purchases routine office supplies and services through the General Services Administration (GSA), which does not share the same requirement.

The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.