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Military Reservist And Veteran Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. CHABOT. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Today, Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the request to suspend the rules and pass H.R. 4253, the Military Reservist and Veteran Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act of 2007. I would like to thank Chairwoman Velázquez for working in a cooperative and bipartisan manner to bring this bill, which incorporates provisions of a bill authored by Mr. Buchanan, who is a freshman member of the Small Business Committee and who has already shown tremendous initiative and leadership on that committee, to the House floor.

While we could never adequately repay the debt we owe to America's fighting men and women for their service and sacrifice, today's bill takes important steps to help our Nation's veterans make a smoother transition to civilian life.

While serving in the Armed Forces, service men and women learn and practice technical skills valued in today's civilian workforce, in addition to the leadership and decisionmaking skills that they learn on the battlefield. All

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of these attributes are critical to success in the business world and are particularly important traits for successful small business owners.

Despite the success that veterans have shown in starting and operating small businesses, more must be done to assist our veterans in the startup and operation of their businesses. Outreach must improve to ensure that veterans wishing to start their own businesses will have the training and advice needed to transfer their skills to entrepreneurship without first working for someone else.

Title I of H.R. 4253 represents an excellent start in the efforts to expand and ensure that our veterans have the technical support they need to start their own businesses.

I want to especially thank the chairwoman for incorporating Mr. Buchanan's interest in expanding the number of Veterans Business Outreach Centers, which will play an increased role in providing assistance to veterans wishing to start small businesses.

The technical advice and assistance are not limited to veterans continuing their service in the Reserves. Title II of the bill recognizes Reservists who operate small businesses have their own unique set of operational problems associated with their call-up to duty. They may not know how long their call-up will last and they need assistance in ensuring they have a plan in place to operate their business while they are on active duty. This legislation builds on the existing network of entrepreneurial partners to deliver key technical and operational assistance to Reservists.

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Another important element of the bill is the recognition of the changing nature of the military with a greater involvement of women. The legislation requires the administrator to expand assistance to women veterans and Reservists. Given the rapid expansion and success of women-owned businesses, it makes sense to ensure that the needs of women Reservists are met when they seek to start and operate small businesses.

Our fighting men and women are the best in the world. Let us help them become the best entrepreneurs in the world by enacting this legislation, H.R. 4253.

Again, I want to thank Mr. Buchanan for his leadership in this effort, and I also want to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Altmire, who also has worked very hard in this area as well and is responsible for this bill being here today.


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