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Reps. Burchett, Kim bill supporting small businesses that employ Guard members, Reservists passes house

November 13, 2019

Bipartisan legislation ensures small business owners are encouraged to hire military reservists

WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3661, the Patriotic Employer Protection Act, legislation sponsored by Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-02) and Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03). This is the first bill introduced by Rep. Burchett to pass the House of Representatives.

Rep. Burchett's bill passed in the midst of the distractions caused by the House's impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Regular House business has been held up by the impeachment inquiry, but Rep. Burchett remains focused on addressing the issues facing East Tennesseans and is willing to work with his colleagues across the aisle to achieve results.

Prior to the bill's passage, Rep. Burchett gave remarks on the House floor highlighting the importance of his legislation.

This bipartisan legislation strengthens two Small Business Administration (SBA) programs designed to financially assist small business owners when an employee takes a leave of absence for military reserve duty. Access to these programs is currently limited due to strict eligibility requirements and low outreach, but H.R. 3661 aims to fix each of these issues.

"Reservist military members undertake the patriotic duty of bravely serving our country," said Rep. Burchett. "They are also members of America's small business workforce. Small businesses shouldn't struggle as a result of an employee answering the call of duty, nor should they be discouraged from hiring a military reservist. It takes courage to put your livelihood and career on hold to serve your country, and I am proud to work with Representative Kim on this bill that benefits both small businesses and our brave reserve service members."

"Small business owners shouldn't have to think twice before hiring a military reservist, but the uncertainty from sudden deployments can sometimes get in the way of giving our service members the opportunities they deserve," said Congressman Kim. "I'm proud to partner with Congressman Burchett to pass this important bill and strengthen key programs to give patriotic small business owners the peace of mind they need to grow their businesses and hire reservists."

The Patriotic Employer Protection Act loosens eligibility requirements for the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) and Repayment Deferrals for Active Duty Reservists (Repayment Deferral). Changing these eligibility requirements ensures small businesses can easily access these programs that provide financial support. Additionally, this legislation directs the SBA to implement an outreach program marketing both the MREIDL and Repayment Deferral to the State and Territorial commands of military reservists.