Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today introduced legislation -- the Preference for Local Veteran Contractors Act -- he authored to give veteran-owned businesses preference for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) projects. The veteran-owned businesses must be headquartered within 60 miles of where the VA project is scheduled to be completed.
"Many veterans return home from service and open up businesses that help other veterans and give back to the community," said Congressman Cohen. "We owe so much to our veterans for the sacrifices they make. My bill would build on the current preference for veteran-owned businesses for VA contracts by giving an additional preference to businesses located within a 60-mile radius of the VA project. Giving these businesses preference would help create local jobs and would help our veterans make an easier transition to civilian life."
The VA currently gives preference to service-connected disabled, veteran-owned businesses and other veteran owned businesses. Small businesses continue the current law order of preference for VA contracts.
The Cohen bill does not eliminate preferences for veterans who fall into one of these categories. Instead, the Cohen measure would add locally owned businesses to the order of preference for VA contracts so long as those businesses are headquartered within 60 miles of the VA project with veteran-owned businesses continuing to take primary preference.
Below is the current law order of preference for VA contracts and the local additions of what Congressman Cohen is proposing with his Preference for Local Veteran Contractors Act.
Current law order of preference for VA contracts:
1) Service-connected disabled, veteran-owned
2) Veteran owned
3) 8(a) or Sect. 31 of Small Business Act
4) Other small businesses
Proposed order of preference for VA contracts under the Cohen measure:
1) Service-connected disabled, veteran-owned & local
2) Service-connected disabled, veteran-owned
3) Veteran owned & local
4) Veteran owned
5) 8(a) or Sect. 31 of Small Business Act & local
6) Other small businesses & local
7) 8(a) or Sect. 31 of Small Business Act
8) Other small businesses