Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today introduced the "Surplus Property for Veterans Act" (H.R. 6114), a bill to provide qualified Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) greater access to federal surplus property, such as military vehicles and equipment, for use at their facilities.
"From a refrigerator for use at a local post to a vehicle for a Memorial Day parade, access to surplus property will help our veterans' organizations better serve their members. These items have already been purchased by the federal government, so why not give our veterans' organizations a chance to utilize them instead of letting them sit unused? This is a common sense measure," said Dr. Benishek, a doctor who worked in the Iron Mountain VA Medical Center for 20 years.
Under current law, veterans' organizations must meet certain requirements to be eligible for surplus property. They must demonstrate that they are a qualified non-profit organization and are acquiring the property for educational or public health purposes. These requirements greatly limit the number of VSOs that are eligible for surplus property. The "Surplus Property for Veterans Act" will simply amend current law to remove these restrictions and make it easier for local VSOs to acquire surplus property.
"I see this legislation as a simple fix to a simple problem. In these tough economic times our veterans' organizations are trying to stretch their bucks a little further, and being able to receive surplus property will make that easier. I am confident that this small but important legislative fix will give the men and women who have served our country greater access to the items they deserve," added Dr. Benishek.
The "Surplus Property for Veterans Act" has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.