July 20, 2020

The following statement regarding House Resolution (H.R.) 4920 that updates the Veterans Affairs "Rule of Two" legislation may be attributed to SourceAmerica, the National Council of SourceAmerica Employers, and ACCSES:

"After 12 months of joint advocacy efforts by SourceAmerica®, the National Council of SourceAmerica Employers, ACCSES, and hundreds of nonprofit agencies nationwide, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 4920.

H.R. 4920 makes a correction to the policy at the Department of Veterans Affairs known as the "Rule of Two." The Rule of Two provision is part of the 2006 Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act which states that veteran-owned businesses take priority when two or more companies could complete contract work at a fair price.

The impact of this provision would have resulted in thousands of hardworking AbilityOne® Program veterans and individuals with disabilities losing their jobs. The AbilityOne Program is one of the nation’s largest sources of employment for people with disabilities. Today’s ruling will protect certain contracts in the AbilityOne Program, ensuring that the employment of professionals with disabilities remains a priority for the federal government. 

The bill was negotiated with the Senate earlier this year but was delayed by COVID-19.

Our thanks go out to the House Veterans Affairs Committee, including Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, including Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) for their support of this resolution. 

We are also most grateful for and give a great deal of credit to all the nonprofit agencies for their advocacy efforts. Our organizations are proud to have partnered and used our collective voices toward this shared priority."

###