CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, November 16, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 1694, the Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 1694 was introduced on March 26, 2015 by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition, to the Committee on Small Business.
H.R. 1694 adds veteran-owned small businesses to the list of entities eligible to receive contracts under the Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) program.
The DBE program, most recently reauthorized in 2012 by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), sets a goal for states to ensure that 10 percent of all federal highway and transit funding is expended through small businesses owned by women, minorities, and other socially or economically disadvantaged individuals. H.R. 1694 adds veteran-owned small businesses to the list of entities eligible to receive existing contracting preferences authorized under this program.
According to the bill’s sponsor, “right now, there are over 380,000 veteran-owned construction firms across the United States, including thousands in my home State of Pennsylvania. These veteran-owned businesses are primed to play a vital role in the rebuilding of our nation’s roads and bridges. However, right now, when it comes to federal transportation contracts, we are failing to recognize their full potential. That is why I have introduced the bipartisan Fairness to Veterans Act in an effort to level the playing field by providing veterans access to existing preferences. Fairness to veterans is a simple idea that says, if any group is going to get special treatment from our government, it should be those who have served in our Armed Forces.”
 See Rep. Fitzpatrick’s introductory comments on H.R. 1694, April 14, 2015.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently unavailable.
For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.