EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Ben Cline Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Increase Opportunities For Veterans

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
Font Size:

Republican Virginia Rep. Ben Cline introduced legislation Thursday that would allow veterans to use their GI Bill benefits to start their own business or purchase a business or franchise.

The Daily Caller first obtained the bipartisan legislation, which is titled the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2023. GOP Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida and Democratic Reps. Lou Correa of California and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire joined Cline as coleads.

The bill would allow veterans the opportunity to pursue their small business and entrepreneurial aspirations by giving them access to resources through the Small Business Administration and their GI Bill benefits.

“Veterans often struggle when they separate from service and transition into civilian life. Many want to pursue higher education, but some seek a different path,” Cline told the Caller before introducing the legislation. “It’s common sense to expand opportunities for Veterans and offer support to pursue the American dream of starting a small business that will create jobs and grow our economy. This important, bipartisan legislation will help take care of those who took care of us in service to our great country.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans, Sen. Tuberville Introduce Legislation To Rescind Veterans Affairs Rule Providing Abortion Services)


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

The legislation would create a three-year pilot program run through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and limited to 250 veterans. Veteran applicants must get a business plan approved and complete an Entrepreneur Bootcamp run by the SBA. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Republican Lawmaker Introduces Bill Blocking VA From Interfering With Veteran Gun Purchases)

According to a 2019 survey on small business owners conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 2.52 million veteran-owned businesses, comprising over nine percent of all U.S. small businesses and employing more than five million Americans. Veteran-owned businesses generated $1.14 trillion in revenue, according to the survey.