In procuring goods and services, federal agencies give preference to firms owned and controlled by veterans with service-connected disabilities. Under current law, surviving spouses of veterans whose service-connected disabilities were rated at 100 percent are eligible to retain that preferential contracting status for up to 10 years after the veteran’s death. H.R. 499 would authorize similar treatment for surviving spouses of veterans whose service-connected disabilities were rated at less than 100 percent. Those spouses would receive priority for obtaining contracts for up to three years.
The bill would change the priorities for awarding government contracts, but would not affect the amount agencies spend on such contracts. CBO expects that verifying the eligibility for preferences of those surviving spouses would have insignificant administrative costs. On that basis, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 499 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2020-2024 period; that spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.