ICYMI: McEachin Celebrates Passage of Bipartisan Mentor-Protégé Bill

April 21, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON  Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) yesterday proudly announced that H.R. 408, the Department of Homeland Security Mentor-Protégé Act of 2021, passed the House of Representatives.

This legislation, which McEachin introduced in January with Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) and Congressman Van Taylor (TX-03), will authorize an existing mentor-protégé program within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), helping small businesses thrive.

The goal of the bill is to encourage large contractors to partner with small businesses, augmenting their capabilities and therefore, making them more attractive and competitive for DHS contracts. Moreover, by helping these smaller businesses enhance their abilities, the pool of contractors for DHS grows, which helps DHS fulfill their needs and keeps Americans safer. The mentor-protégé program has existed at DHS since 2003, but the congressman’s legislation will codify it into law.

“This is a marriage of two critical goals – strengthening and helping small business, the backbone of our economy, and bolstering DHS, which has the critical responsibility to keep Americans safe from terrorism, foreign and domestic,” McEachin said.

“The legislation will give a leg up to minority-, women- and veteran- owned small businesses, making them more competitive to earn DHS contracts, and therefore, more likely to be successful, offering jobs and returning dollars into their communities. This pandemic has only reinforced the significant role that small businesses play in our communities, providing jobs to support families.”

“A broader, more diverse pool of contractors saves taxpayer dollars, creates a stronger economy by helping small businesses and, most critically, keeps our country safe.”

This same bill passed the House of Representatives in 2019, but, unfortunately, was left to languish in the Senate. The congressman is optimistic this important program will fare better this year.