BUTLER, WI – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today visited Green Up Solutions in Butler to tour their business, meet with workers and announce her bipartisan Boosting Rates of American Veterans Employment (BRAVE) Act to support job creation for America’s veterans that she is reintroducing with U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). The bipartisan legislation will reform the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) contracting process to give preference to businesses that actively employ veterans.
“If we incentivize businesses to hire veterans, we can help create more job opportunities for those who served and reduce the veteran unemployment rate,” Senator Baldwin said. “The BRAVE Act is a bipartisan reform that would reward businesses that hire veterans. This legislation is a win for our veterans and for the small businesses that hire them and put them to work.”
The VA establishes long-term contracts with private businesses for medical equipment, supplies, services and more. Currently, the VA gives preference for these contracts to veteran-owned small businesses, however it does not give preference to businesses that actively employ veterans.
The BRAVE Act would change that and allow the VA to consider the proportion of veterans employed by a prospective contractor when awarding federal contracts. The VA Secretary would have the authority to give preference to businesses that employ veterans on a full-time basis, and the VA would determine the preference for a business based on their percentage of full-time veteran employees. The bipartisan legislation would also encourage and incentivize VA contractors to employ veterans. In addition, the Baldwin-Tillis legislation provides oversight of VA contractors and would require 5-year debarment from contracting for those who knowingly misrepresent their proportion of veteran employees.
The BRAVE Act is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce.
“Wisconsin’s veterans have earned every opportunity to be productive and successful after they have completed their military service and returned to civilian life,” said Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Saul Newton. “The BRAVE Act is vital to ensuring veterans can have a career and support their families. Wisconsin’s veteran business community applauds Senator Baldwin for her leadership and support of businesses who hire military veterans.”
“The VFW thanks Senators Baldwin and Tillis for their bipartisan work in introducing the BRAVE Act which would incentivize and reward companies for employing veterans. We also support the proposed debarment of companies contracting with VA that willfully and intentionally misrepresent their employment of veterans. Employing veterans and working to serve veterans through VA should be a privilege and not something to be taken advantage of," said Carlos Fuentes, Director of the National Legislative Service for VFW.