The Congresswoman’s Bipartisan Legislation Would Allow Non-Profit Refurbishers to Repair Federal Computers and Distribute to Veterans, Students, Seniors, & Underserved Communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today unanimously passed U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s bipartisan bill that would help provide surplus computers to nonprofit computer refurbishers — who would then repair and distribute these federal computers to veterans and others in need.
Spanberger’s bipartisan Computers for Veterans and Students Act would allow certified, nonprofit refurbishing organizations to directly obtain, refurbish, and distribute repairable, surplus government computers to serve veterans, students, and seniors in need of a device. Additionally, the legislation would require each nonprofit computer refurbisher receiving computers to provide training programs in the use of this technology.
“More jobs and hiring processes are moving online. But for the millions of U.S. households without a computer, this transition means access to fewer opportunities and even more difficulties in getting ahead,” said Spanberger. “As veterans transition to the civilian workforce and look for new opportunities, a computer can be the difference between landing the job or remaining on the hunt. Today, the U.S. House made major progress towards closing this gap and providing veterans, students, and seniors with the tools they need to succeed. Not only would my bipartisan bill give back to those who gave so much to our country, but it would make sure we are focused on cutting government waste, tackling veteran homelessness, and bringing more Americans into our workforce.”
This legislation is backed by several nonprofit organizations that help veterans and students receive these refurbished computers — including Tech for Troops, a Virginia-based, veteran-staffed, and veteran-operated organization. According to a recent report from S&P Global, Tech for Troops recycled and refurbished more than 112,000 pounds of equipment in 2021 alone.
“As a Veteran myself it means so much to be able to help and give back to fellow Veterans who need it most,” said Mark Casper, President & CEO, Tech For Troops. “I am also personally honored and excited that Rep. Spanberger supports Tech For Troops in our mission.”
Click here for additional supporting organizations.
In 1949, Congress created the Federal Surplus Personal Property Program through the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act. This program transfers nonessential federal property from the federal government to authorized State Agencies for Surplus Property, who then serve local units of government, businesses, nonprofits, and other eligible recipients.
However, not all of this property — including computers and other technology equipment — is immediately usable, and the federal government does not currently have the authority to transfer this repairable equipment to third-party computer refurbishers. This restriction has resulted in waste and inefficiency, as many recipients lack the funds or capacity to refurbish computers they receive through this program.
Spanberger’s legislation is co-led by U.S. Representatives Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02). Her bill was most recently introduced in May 2021, and it was first introduced in July 2020.
Click here for the full bill text.