Reps. Burchett, Kim introduce bill to help small businesses hire Reservists
WASHINGTON, DC (July 10, 2019) – Today, Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-02) and Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) introduced H.R. 3661, the Patriotic Employer Protection Act, which would strengthen programs intended to protect small business owners whose employees are military Reservists deployed on active duty.
“Men and women in East Tennessee and across the United States serve in the National Guard and Reserve in defense of our nation, and we should support and protect them when we can,” said Congressman Burchett. “This bi-partisan bill provides economic security to Guard members and Reservists who are small business owners or small business employees. Small businesses drive our economy and service members guard our freedom, and the least we can do is protect these patriotic employers and employees when they’re called into service.”
“Across Burlington and Ocean Counties, I’ve seen small business owners who have done the right thing by hiring military Reservists for key positions but worry about the uncertainty posed if they’re transferred to active duty and deployed overseas,” said Congressman Kim. “This bipartisan bill would strengthen key programs and give these patriotic small business owners the peace of mind they need to put more of our Reservists to work without worrying if a single deployment will severely impact their business.”
The Patriotic Employer Protection Act would restructure Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) program and the Repayment Deferral for Active Duty Reservists program so that they better reflect the current deployment trends of Reservists. The bill would allow these programs to be used for any Reservists being ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 consecutive days, broadening the program to more people in need.
“These important programs are underutilized because their eligibility restrictions do not fully reflect current deployment practices,” said Davy Leghorn, Assistant Director of the Veterans Employment and Education Division at the American Legion, which has endorsed the bill. “National Guard members and military reservists are an integral part of our armed forces and national defense and this nation should do everything we can to support their service.”
“National Guard members and military reservists are a vital part of our national defense,” said Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH). “This legislation ensures that they and their businesses can receive financial support from current SBA programs while they serve our country.”
Congressman Tim Burchett took office in January 2019 after serving eight years as mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. Congressman Burchett currently serves on the House Budget, Foreign Affairs and Small Business committees.
Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and as a Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities.