Kuster Legislation to Protect Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Signed into Law
Concord, NH, October 30, 2020
Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) issued the following statement after President Trump signed her legislation, the Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2019, into law. This law requires businesses participating in the Vets First Program to verify that they are doing the required percentage of work and directs the VA to refer suspected violators to the Office of the Inspector General for investigation.
“I am pleased President Trump signed this important legislation into law, which will ensure veterans and veteran-owned small businesses have the opportunities they deserve,” Kuster said. “This Act will give the Department of Veterans Affairs the tools they need to support our veterans, prevent fraud and abuse, and provide critical oversight to businesses serving our veterans’ communities.”
There is a persistent problem of unfair and wrongful “pass-throughs” in the Vets First Program, where businesses profit from the contract they are awarded while doing little to no work. This results in service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses that play by the rules being sidelined for contracting opportunities by bad actors abusing the system. Although pass-throughs are prohibited by law, the VA currently lacks the tools to detect them and enforce the rules. Kuster sat on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs for six years, where she introduced the Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2017 last Congress. The Protecting Business Opportunites for Veterans Act passed the House in February.