Sinema and Fitzpatrick Introduce Legislation to Create Jobs for Arizona Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) honored Veterans Day by introducing the Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act [H.R. 4319], bipartisan legislation to ensure veteran-owned businesses can compete for federally contracted transportation projects.

“Our men and women in uniform know the meaning of hard work. That’s why Arizona veterans make the best employees, managers, and small business owners.  This bill is a commonsense solution that creates more jobs for Arizona veterans and ensures we have the best workers rebuilding our country’s infrastructure,” said Congresswoman Sinema.

“Our veterans are one of the most highly skilled workforces in America’s history – the product of rigorous training, an ironclad commitment to teamwork and the remarkable ability to succeed where others might fail. In total, veteran-owned businesses make up nearly 10% of all businesses in the United States and account for more than $1 trillion in business receipts every year. Let’s put these heroes to work rebuilding our roads and bridges; this bill does just that,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick.

Federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, have special ‘set-asides’ for contracts going to small businesses owned and controlled by particular groups of people who have been designated for contracting preferences. Fairness to Veterans simply states that if any business is going to get a preference, then veteran-owned small businesses should at least get that same partiality. There is currently no equal preference for veterans when it comes to building our nation’s roads, highways, and critical infrastructure.

Nearly 2.5 million veterans own and operate small businesses in the U.S.?—?including over 380,000 construction firms?—?and sustain over five million American jobs. Of the 250,000 service members currently transitioning from military to civilian life, surveys show one in four are considering starting or buying a business.

The Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act is endorsed by the American Legion as key legislation to increase access to jobs for veterans.

“The Fairness to Veterans legislation is a simple, yet powerful, update to current law to ensure Veteran-Owned Small Businesses play a key role in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. This straightforward, bipartisan measure is critical to both the shared goals of creating and sustaining jobs for our veterans and fortifying our roads and bridges – The American Legion is proud to support it,” said American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan.