On June 7, 2018, the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations (“Subcommittee”) held a hearing to examine the resources of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) for veteran-owned small businesses (“VOSB”), specifically the Veterans First Contracting Program (“Vets First”). The Subcommittee invited testimony from the National Veteran Small Business Coalition, the American Legion, and two service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (“SDVOSB”).
At the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Trent Kelly said that despite VA’s authority to assist veterans through the Vets First program, “VA has continued to impede its own authority and work against the intentions of Congress by creating internal regulations and policies that make it harder to award contracts to veteran-owned small businesses.” The statements of the Subcommittee members and the testifying witnesses confirmed the issues plaguing SDVOSBs and VOSBs that do business with VA through the Vets First program due to the significant efforts of VA to minimize and avoid using the Vets First program. PilieroMazza attorneys Jon Williams and Julia Di Vito, along with the Coalition to Defend Vets First, helped to get this hearing scheduled by the Subcommittee and attended the hearing along with a PilieroMazza client who testified about this important issue.
This hearing was a substantial first step in advancing SDVOSB, VOSB, and small business issues that PilieroMazza has been working to get VA and Congress to address. For more information about this hearing, click here.