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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment that will help get our Nation's veterans back to work.

According to a Department of Labor report from June of 2011, 1 million veterans were unemployed. The brave men and women who serve and have served our great Nation deserve every effort from this body to give them the tools they need to provide for themselves and their families.

The amendment I have offered today to the National Defense Authorization Act would help provide veterans with opportunities by giving a leg up to veteran-owned small businesses. Our government has in place policies that give businesses owned by certain classes of individuals an advantage in receiving government contracts, and this amendment does nothing to change that.

My amendment simply levels the playing field by giving veterans and veteran-owned small businesses the exact same preference that is being given to others. It also preserves the ability to give service-disabled veteran-owned businesses a preference above all others. This is the exact same amendment that was agreed to by voice vote during the debate on last year's Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill.

I appreciate the continued strong bipartisan support for this policy. I think that it shows that we, as a Congress, are united in supporting employment and business opportunities for the men and women who have served in our military.


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