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February 28, 2024

House passes Panetta bill on contracts for veteran-owned businesses

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill co-authored by local Congressman Jimmy Panetta ensuring veteran-owned small businesses are given opportunities for V.A. contracts.

According to a statement from the congressman’s office:

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2781, the Ensuring Veteran Enterprise Participation in Strategic Sourcing Act. This legislation expands government contract opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses and ensures that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is complying with federal law. The bipartisan bill, coauthored by Congressman Neal Dunn (R-FL-02) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), passed with unanimous consent.

“This bill will make it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to contract with the very veterans they serve,” said Congressman Panetta. “It is a simple legislative fix to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs is held accountable and honors its commitment to support service-disabled veteran and veteran-owned small businesses.”

The VA uses the General Services Administration (GSA), which provides federal agencies with procurement support, to match them with suppliers of the goods and services they need to purchase. H.R. 2781 directs the VA to verify that GSA is connecting with small businesses owned by veterans before they make a final decision on a contract for goods and services to be used by the VA.

This bill is now awaiting action in the U.S. Senate.

Congressman Panetta spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives on July 24 to encourage his colleagues to support the passage of H.R. 2781.