[www.SDVOB.coop] We lost a major opportunity to advance veterans entrepreneurship last night.

  • From: "John Kolsun" <john.kolsun@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <wired@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 13:48:23 -0500

From: Louis J. Celli Jr. [mailto:LCelli@xxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 11:51 AM
To: www.vetbiznetwork.net <http://www.vetbiznetwork.net/> 

Subject: House and Senate both working for veterans


Veterans and veteran supporters,

We lost a major opportunity to advance veterans entrepreneurship last night.
S-1784 was attached to the DoD Defense Authorization package and was dropped
from consideration as the DoD spending bill moved forward.

It is our goal to educate our congress on the importance of reintroducing
this piece of legislation AND a House version as well.

Contact your elected representatives and let them know that it is important
to you to have this important piece of legislation reintroduced before they
close the books on the 2008 budget forever.

Bills like S-1784, H.R. 3867 and S-2300 are a tiny fraction of the overall
legislative picture and while hundreds of bills get passed all the time??.. 

?HIGHLIGHTS, House Committees ordered reported 16 sundry measures.?


Bills discuss yesterday; 


And here you can review the work of the congress over the past year at; 


Veterans are fast becoming the darlings of the season as some choose to
oppose the war but embrace veterans.  Everyone claims to support veterans,
but we have become the overlooked program.  There are several truths that
are beginning to coalesce at a convenient time for veterans; election
season, we are a noble cause, we are a deserving cause, we can demonstrate a
socioeconomic disadvantage and we are a highly recognizable group. We come
with a built in fan base as ?Support [of] our troops? hasn?t been this high
since WWII, so we are a logical and safe choice because we can check all the
right blocks.

With all that in mind, it is time for you to come forward and make the most
of the time we have available to us.  Help to educate our elected officials
and let them know how important these issues are to you, your businesses and
your families.  Learning who your elected representatives are and
communicating with them doesn?t make you an activist, it makes you a
responsible and concerned citizen.  Come out from behind the camouflage,
stand up and be recognized.  

Initiatives like the ones below WILL die on the floor without the support of
the community.  While the below story reads well, it is a very small step
toward getting legislation like this actually signed into law.  Without the
support of the entire congress (who can only speak for you if you let them
know what you want them to say), this bill WILL NOT make it to conference
(that?s where congress works out the bugs and prepares it to be sent to the

In a similar struggle for recognition, the Woman?s chamber of Commerce sued
the SBA and are still waiting for federal agencies to comply.  Is this a
window onto how veterans are to be treated as well?

On December 8, 2005 Judge Reggie B. Walton refused to dismiss the complaint
brought by the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce against the SBA for failure
to implement the Women's Procurement Program, and made it clear through his
memorandum that he will closely monitor SBA's progress toward

View Judge Walton's Memorandum Opinion here:

View the USWCC complaint here:  <http://www.sblink.us/html/complaint.aspx.>

View additional information here:


Beneath this story is an example of a letter that I used to contact my
elected representatives.

Senate follows House in taking up small business contracting bill


By Elizabeth Newell  <mailto:enewell@xxxxxxxxxxx> enewell@xxxxxxxxxxx
November 7, 2007 


Legislation aimed at expanding contracting opportunities for small
businesses by updating and expanding existing programs passed the Senate
Small Business Committee Wednesday.


Similar legislation  <http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1007/103107e1.htm>
passed the House last week.


The Small Business Contracting Revitalization Act (
<http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:s.02300:> S. 2300) was drafted
by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Olympia Snow, R-Maine, the chairman and
ranking member of the committee. It includes provisions to unbundle
contracts, enforce protections for subcontractors and expand opportunities
for minority, women and service-disabled veteran owners of small businesses.
Many of the provisions were taken directly from legislation that passed the
committee last year but did not reach a vote in the full Senate.


A key provision aims to reduce contract bundling, in which several contracts
are consolidated into one offering, by improving reporting and oversight.
Lawmakers and small business advocates have argued that bundling creates a
disadvantage for small businesses in competing for awards.


Like the House bill (
<http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.r.3867:> H.R. 3867), the
Senate legislation would mandate the implementation of existing programs and
augment them, not create new ones. Small business contracting goals are
already well defined and promoted through several programs, but agencies are
by and large failing to meet them.


"Currently, small businesses are eligible for $340 billion in federal
contracting dollars, yet they receive only $77 billion," Snowe said in a


The Senate bill mandates that the Small Business Administration implement
the women's procurement program within 90 days. The program, created by
Congress seven years ago to help agencies award 5 percent of contracting
dollars to women-owned small businesses, still has not been fully
implemented and has been the subject of renewed scrutiny recently. In
announcing passage of the House legislation, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y.,
said the women's program has "languished in the current administration's
endless delays" and urged immediate implementation.


In early October, lawmakers and the Women's Chamber of Commerce criticized
SBA for  <http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1007/100507e1.htm> initiating a
new round of rulemaking for the program. The SBA defended that decision in a
U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia status hearing Wednesday,
arguing that further interagency review was necessary to ensure all aspects
were legal and could be practically implemented. The Women's Chamber,
however, maintains that the latest regulatory step was an unnecessary
delaying tactic. The court ruled against the SBA in a 2005 case brought by
the Women's Chamber, calling the program delay "unreasonable" and ordering
the agency to develop and meet deadlines for implementation.


Judge Reggie B. Walton said he was "not happy with the pace of how the
program has proceeded" and scheduled a follow-up hearing in late January.
Walton said he hoped by that time the Office of Management and Budget will
have finished the review process and the SBA could report on implementation.


Small business advocates, including the American Small Business League,
lauded the recent legislation.


"I am pleased to see that S. 2300 includes all of the changes that have been
recommended by the ASBL since 2002," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said in a
statement. "Every small business in the country needs to realize that they
owe Senators Kerry and Snowe a debt of gratitude for drafting this


The ASBL has launched a national campaign in support of the Senate bill,
asking its members and all small business owners to encourage their
representatives to vote in favor of the legislation.


Kerry spokeswoman Kathryn Seck said it is unclear when the legislation will
be considered. "Sen. Kerry is working with members who still have concerns
about the bill and will address them before bringing the bill up for full
Senate consideration," she said. She said a vote is extremely unlikely
before Thanksgiving recess but that Kerry is hopeful the legislation will be
considered before the end of the year.




Dear Representative/Senator XXXX, 


Please support (S.1784, H.R. 3867, S.2300, etc.).  Service Disabled Veterans
have been struggling for support as entrepreneurs and recognition in the
federal marketplace since 1999 with a crippled down outreach program and
less than ½ of one percent of federal contracting dollars annually to show
for their efforts. 


Veterans should never be compared to other small business categories as
veteran and service disabled veteran status is the ONLY small business group
which must be earned.  Veterans should in no way be made to feel as though
their program takes away from or competes with any other SBA program for


There are over 4 million Americans claiming veteran status and two and a
half million who currently wear our nations uniform.  Latest statistics show
that nearly 23 percent of those who are serving or have served our nation
proudly will seek self employment and either own small businesses or will
try to start one. 


The Department of Labor reports unemployment figures among our 20-24 year
old veterans to be 15% which is nearly twice that of non-veterans their age,
making self employment a more attractive and in some cases their only
employment option.


Veterans are at a much greater disadvantage when starting businesses than
their civilian counterpart. Long term removal from society, extended absence
from our economy, the increased challenge of maintaining contacts and
relationships while deployed and the refusal of our large and small
businesses to recognize military skill sets as valuable training make
starting a business much more of a challenge for our men and women in
uniform than nearly any one else who is interested in entrepreneurship. 


On behalf of myself and the veterans I served with, I am writing to ask for
your strong support for this and other bills which seek to support veteran
entrepreneurship.  Further, I ask that you steadfastly oppose any amendments
to alter the legislation?s provisions that assist veteran business owners.


The entrepreneurial needs of America?s veterans are being brought to the
forefront, particularly those that have sustained a disability as a result
of their active-duty service in the armed forces.  With nearly a quarter of
newly discharged veterans considering starting their own businesses, the
importance of opening the federal marketplace and federal assistance to
support our nations veteran entrepreneurs has never been so important.  


As you are aware, there has been no appreciable progress towards meeting the
three percent service-disabled veteran government-wide contracting goal.
Federal agencies have fallen well short, accomplishing levels of only 0.2
percent in 2003; 0.383 percent in 2004; 0.605 percent in 2005, and 0.87
percent in 2006.  As a result, you must take stronger action.


Please support and defend important bills such as these just as we have
sworn to support and defend you, and the constitution of the United States
of America.


I look forward to working with the your office on this and future
legislation to assist our country?s veterans and small businesses and can be
reached at (123) 555-1212. 


Your Constituent, 


Mr./Ms. xxxxxxx




You are responsible for your own businesses, and it is you who are
responsible for letting your elected leaders know what is important to you.
Do not assume they already know.  I can?t tell you how many times I have
heard, ?Gee, we haven?t had any complaints or concerns from our
constituents, this is the first we have hears of this?. 


Lead from the front,




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  • » [www.SDVOB.coop] We lost a major opportunity to advance veterans entrepreneurship last night.