Reps. Steel and Porter Introduce Bill Aimed to Help Veteran-Owned Businesses

By Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for six years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.
February 4, 2022 Updated: February 4, 2022

A new bipartisan bill from the U.S. House of Representatives was introduced to help veteran-owned businesses remain competitive, Reps. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) announced on Feb. 1.

The bill, called the Driving Veterans Success Act, would create a new Veterans Business Enterprise Program. The program would require the Department of Transportation to ensure at least 10 percent of all future federal highway and transit contracts go to veteran-owned small businesses.

Steel and Porter both said that the brave men and women who served their country and continue to serve their communities deserved more support by allowing them to compete for federal funds on an “equal playing field.”

“The veterans’ unemployment rate went up during the pandemic, and I think we should help small businesses, especially the 2.5 million small businesses owned by American military veterans,” Steel told The Epoch Times.

The move comes as veteran-owned businesses are not qualified as Disadvantage Business Enterprises, a program that attempts to help out small businesses that are at a social or economic disadvantage.

“The Small Business Administration estimates that currently that 20 percent of veterans are actively looking to start, purchase and partner in a small business startup,” Steel said. “So I think this is a really good chance where we are telling them and thanking them for what they did to protect us and our country and I think they deserve this. That’s the reason I started the drafting and I’m very happy that Katie Porter joined in.”

Steel and Porter’s bill is still in its introduction phase, so it’s unclear exactly how much money is expected to go toward the veteran-owned businesses.

Katie Porter’s office declined to comment.

Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for six years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.