Sunday, 03 March 2024

Veterans groups call for dismantling of Veterans Corp.

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars are calling on Congress to cease federal funding of the Veterans Business Development Corp. (also known as The Veterans Corp. or TVC).

A just-released report from the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship states that the TVC has failed in its mandate to properly provide monetary and educational resources to military veterans wishing to establish small businesses.

Congress created TVC in 1999 to provide military veterans with the resources and guidance necessary to start small businesses, but an investigation report released by the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship revealed that TVC failed to achieve its goals.

"This latest report from Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and ranking member Olympia Snow (R-ME) indicates that the TVA has continued its pattern of failure to perform," said David K. Rehbein, The American Legion's national commander. "This appears to be due, in part, to questionable expenditures and excessive compensation for its executives. The TVC has failed miserably in meeting its obligation to the entire veterans' community and should be held accountable.

The Senate committee recommended that TVC no longer receive any federal funding for fiscal 2009 and beyond. The VFW national commander agrees.

"This is a prime example of a good government initiative that went bad," said Glen M. Gardner, Jr., a Vietnam veteran from Round Rock, Texas. "Without proper oversight, TVC management had their way with $17 million in taxpayer funding over the past seven years. That has to stop and TVC needs to be shut down."

The VFW wants TVC’s funding redirected to expand veteran-specific programs within the Small Business Administration, and for the federal government to incorporate TVC business centers into its Veterans Business Outreach Center network. The Small Business Administration, unlike TVC, is subject to congressional oversight and accountability, and with 1,500 small business development centers across the country, it is more capable of reaching out and working with veterans.

"The Small Business Administration is the right place for Congress to fund and expand small business programs for veterans," said Gardner. "It has a proven track record and provides greater bang for the buck."

The American Legion raised this issue many months ago, said Rehbein.

In March the American Legion fired off a letter to Sen. Robert Byrd, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, pointing to the TVC's insufficient support of the country's three Veteran Business Resource Centers, said Rehbein. At that time, The American Legion requested emergency monies be distributed to these centers by the Small Business Administration to compensate for the TVA's inadequate actions.

At the group's August convention, members adopted a resolution stating that it no longer supports the continuing initiatives or the existence of the National Veterans Business Development Corp., Rehbein said.

"Therefore, we reiterate our call for the dismantling of the Veterans Business Development Corporation and propose that its funding be redirected to the Small Business Administration's Veterans Business Development Office. The SBA is subject to congressional oversight and has in place 1,500 small business development centers across the country that can certainly incorporate dedicated services to entrepreneurial veterans. This, in our view, would be of much greater benefit to our nation's warriors."


Upcoming Calendar

St. Patrick's Day
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
Tax Day
Cinco de Mayo
Mother's Day
Memorial Day

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.