WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today approved an amendment offered by Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) to cut ties with a controversial organization that has mismanaged $17 million intended to help veterans start small businesses. Senator Snowe, the Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, offered an amendment to eliminate the Federal Charter and any future federal funding of the National Veterans Business Development Corporation (TVC). The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 99 to 0. TVC was the target of a 2008 congressional investigation initiated by Senators Snowe and John Kerry (D-Mass) that showed the organization failed to meet its mission and misspent its funds.
“Since the release of our report in 2008, Congress has not appropriated funding for TVC, and the three Veterans Business Resource Centers formerly funded by TVC have now been comfortably and efficiently incorporated into the Small Business Administration’s existing Veterans Business Outreach Center program,” said Senator Snowe. “However, it is inappropriate for TVC to continue receiving the benefits of a government charter without government oversight.”
Video of Senator Snowe’s remarks on the Senate floor in support of this amendment can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcRviJaR5fI
Background: In December of 2008, Senator Snowe and former Small Business Committee Chairman John Kerry (D- Massachusetts) investigated TVC and issued a report detailing the organization’s blatant mismanagement and misuse of taxpayers’ dollars. Specifically, their report revealed that TVC failed to support Veterans Business Resource Centers; supported wasteful programs; lacked outcomes-based measures; provided employees with unacceptably high executive compensation; engaged in dubious expenditures, and failed to properly fundraise.Since the report’s issuance, groups including the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. have called on Congress to stop appropriating funds to the organization.