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house Bill H.R. 974

Should the VA Give Preference to Contractors That Employ More Veterans in Full-Time Jobs?

Argument in favor

Veterans have unique skills and experiences that equip them to excel in the civilian workforce — encouraging businesses to hire veterans by giving them preference for VA contracts will help veterans gain employment with these companies.

USAF-SARGE's Opinion
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11/11/2018
ABSOLUTELY!! ALL Veterans, including the disabled and Seniors!
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Gary's Opinion
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11/11/2018
Whatever it takes to make it better for the VETERANS is OK by Me.
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Kat's Opinion
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11/11/2018
Anything we can do to support our Veterans we need too support them. So many Veterans come back broken. Ones with disabilities aren't always visible to ur eyes and most go unnoticed. Bless our Veterans
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Argument opposed

Recent unemployment statistics show that the veteran unemployment rate is actually lower, rather than higher than, the non-veteran unemployment rate so there’s no need to encourage VA contractors to hire veterans.

Kim's Opinion
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02/13/2017
Keep a level playing field for small businesses, women-owned businesses, and minority owned businesses. Excessive legislatioN AND RED TAPE IS NOT HELPFUL, but instead favors large, well funded businesses and contractors. Please make sure we don't make it harder for small, women-owned, and minority businesses.
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Sigert's Opinion
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11/11/2018
I don’t understand how we can simultaneously attempt to gun down affirmative action for racial minorities and women But then push the same program targeting a different group?
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Steven132929's Opinion
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11/11/2018
While I support our troops and veterans I do not think it is right to force a business to have to hire certain people. Let business have the right to choose
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed February 14th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 407 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 974?

This bill — the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment (BRAVE) Act — would authorize the Dept.t of Veterans Affairs (VA) to give preference to contractors for the procurement of goods or services based on the percentage of the company’s full-time employees who are veterans. It’d also authorize the VA to debar any contractor determined to have willfully and intentionally misrepresented the veteran status of its employees for at least five years.

The debarment would apply all of the contractors’ principals individually for at least five years. The VA would commence debarment actions within 30 days after determining that the contractor misrepresented veteran status, and would complete debarment actions within 90 days.

Impact

Veterans; government contractors; and the VA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 974

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) introduced this bill to reward companies that hire veterans by giving them preference when competing for VA contracts:

“One of the biggest problems facing our veterans right now, especially those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is finding good jobs in civilian life. We’ve seen progress in recent years, but the unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans is still higher than the national average – and that’s completely unacceptable. Our veterans have received the best training in the world. They have unique skills and experience that can’t be acquired anywhere but in the United States military. They have what it takes to excel in the civilian workforce – and they don’t need charity. They don’t need a handout. They just need the opportunity. The BRAVE Act will reward companies that provide that opportunity – it gives them an advantage in securing federal contracts, and that creates an incentive for other contractors to step up and do the same, to make it a priority to actively invest in our veterans. And I have no doubt that as contractors hire more veterans, they’ll realize that it’s a smart investment. That’s really what this bill is all about. We don’t just want people to hire veterans because it’s the right thing to do – we want them to realize it’s a smart investment. We want them to recognize that it’s in their own self-interest to actively hire men and women who are highly-trained, highly-skilled and know how to get the job done, whatever job it is. That’s the goal. That’s how we’ll solve this problem and ensure that every single man and woman who served our country can find a good job and succeed in civilian life.”

Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW) Deputy Legislative Director Aleks Morosky, expressing his organization’s support for this bill when Rep. Rice introduced it in the 114th Congress, called it a necessary incentive to encourage companies to hire veterans:

“The VFW supports the BRAVE Act, which would allow the VA to give preference to prospective contractors based on the percentage of veterans their companies employ. Such a policy would potentially incentivize companies to hire more veterans. The VFW believes that such incentives are still necessary, in light of the fact that the unemployment rate for current-era veterans continues to outpace that of the nation at-large.”

While proponents of this bill argue that the veteran unemployment rate is consistently higher than that of the general population, the most recent unemployment statistics don’t support this claim. According to Department of Labor statistics in October 2018, the veteran unemployment rate was 2.9 percent, compared to 3.5 percent for the non-veteran unemployment rate, and an overall national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.

This bill has passed the House by a unanimous vote and has the support of six cosponsors, including four Democrats and two Republicans. When Rep. Rice introduced this legislation in a previous Congress, it had support from Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).


Of Note: The VA establishes long-term contracts with private businesses for medical equipment, supplies, services, and more. Currently, the VA gives preference for these contracts to veteran-owned small businesses, but not to businesses that actively employ veterans.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / asiseeit)

AKA

Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment Act

Official Title

To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in awarding a contract for the procurement of goods or services, to give a preference to offerors that employ veterans.

    ABSOLUTELY!! ALL Veterans, including the disabled and Seniors!
    Like (69)
    Follow
    Share
    Keep a level playing field for small businesses, women-owned businesses, and minority owned businesses. Excessive legislatioN AND RED TAPE IS NOT HELPFUL, but instead favors large, well funded businesses and contractors. Please make sure we don't make it harder for small, women-owned, and minority businesses.
    Like (84)
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    Share
    Not enough info - put specifics so constituents can voice opinions
    Like (56)
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    I don’t understand how we can simultaneously attempt to gun down affirmative action for racial minorities and women But then push the same program targeting a different group?
    Like (52)
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    BRAVE Act - HR 974 Sponsor: Rep. Rice, Kathleen M. [D-NY-4](Introduced 02/07/2017) Committees: House - Veterans' Affairs Latest Action: 02/07/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.  Summary Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment Act (BRAVE) Act This bill authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in awarding a contract for the procurement of goods or services, to give preference to offerors based on the percentage of the offeror's full-time employees who are veterans. The VA is authorized to debar from VA contracting for at least five years any offeror determined to have willfully and intentionally misrepresented the veteran status of its employees. Bill Text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/974/text
    Like (24)
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    While I support our troops and veterans I do not think it is right to force a business to have to hire certain people. Let business have the right to choose
    Like (24)
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    Whatever it takes to make it better for the VETERANS is OK by Me.
    Like (20)
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    Absolutely they should.
    Like (13)
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    Anything we can do to support our Veterans we need too support them. So many Veterans come back broken. Ones with disabilities aren't always visible to ur eyes and most go unnoticed. Bless our Veterans
    Like (10)
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    Yes, but add a sentence stating that no member of Congress may own any shares of any company providing services under this bill.
    Like (10)
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    Vets need civilian jobs to successfully renter life back home
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    100%.
    Like (9)
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    More information is needed to make a good decision
    Like (6)
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    Government needs to stay out of business for the most part. You can’t tell people who to employ, and even just giving incentive to employ certain people might as well be the same thing. This actually eventually leads to people crying discrimination and imbalance, which is the exact thing that is trying to be avoided.
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    Fortunately, my spouses job translated very directly to a civilian life employment in high demand. So this has never been a struggle for us, but I know others who it wasn’t easy for. I support this type of affirmative action.
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    VETERAN PREFERRED JOBS COMPANIES As a veteran, I strongly recommend and support the passage of the the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment (BRAVE) Act — would authorize the Dept.t of Veterans Affairs (VA) to give preference to contractors for the procurement of goods or services based on the percentage of the company’s full-time employees who are veterans. It’d also authorize the VA to debar any contractor determined to have willfully and intentionally misrepresented the veteran status of its employees for at least five years. Veterans have unique skills and experiences that equip them to excel in the civilian workforce — encouraging businesses to hire veterans by giving them preference for VA contracts will help veterans gain employment with these companies. SneakyPete..... 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸. 11*11*28.....
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    We need to take better care of our Veterans. The identity politics needs to stop and we need to give back to those who have made the choice to serve. Minorities and women are veterans too and it is not forcing, only incentivizing.
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    Let the veterans be able to obtain jobs maybe only a bit more easier than civilians they definitely deserve it
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    Yup. Only way to go.
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    Contracts should be awarded based on the contractor providing the best service/product for the dollar value. The VA should not be restricted in their search by regulations that may narrow the field.
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