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Congressman Tom Garrett

Representing the 5th District of Virginia

Army Veteran and Virginia Congressman Continue Support for Servicemembers

July 18, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, Representative Tom Garrett (VA-05) introduced H.R. 6407, the Computers for Veterans and Students (COVS) Act, in the United States House of Representatives. 

This bill revises the current program,Computers for Learning (CFL), which is used for recycling dated government equipment as it has not been updated since 1996. While CFL has the right goal, it is highly flawed in that it gives the used computers and technology in their original form straight to the receivers. Therefore, the recipients do not have the resources to fix the equipment and CFL fails to fulfill its intended function. 

H.R. 6407 would overhaul this issue by sending the unwanted computers directly to certified non-profit computer refurbishers, then the working equipment would be donated to the desired recipients, ready for immediate use. This legislation eliminates waste, inefficiency, and fraud that has interfered with the proper refurbishing and reuse of federal surplus computers and technology since 1996.

Upon introduction, Rep. Garrett (VA-05) stated:

“I hope my colleagues understand the urgency of this bill and move towards passing H.R. 6407 quickly. We should take every possible measure to ensure precious resources are not wasted on such a flawed program. More importantly, veterans, students, and other low-income groups deserve to have reliable equipment so their learning experiences may be as effective as possible.”

Mark Casper, Marine Corps Veteran and President of Tech For Troops echoed those sentiments by saying:

"This legislation has the potential to have a tremendous impact on addressing the needs of nearly 30 million American families lacking access to computer technology in their homes and schools.  The needs of these Americans can be addressed through the coordinated efforts of the existing network of nonprofit computer refurbishers all across the country - The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse (AFTRR) and the personnel within the Federal Government responsible for asset disposition.”

Casper went on to say, “support from the Federal Government, by way of COVS, is key for our men and women who were willing to give all for our nation. Bridging the Digital Divide can radically change veterans and their families lives by giving them access to technology that provides educational, employment and other resource opportunities.  COVS will allow veterans voices to be heard!”

Congressman Garrett and Mark Casper have held congressional meetings and worked towards this legislation since 2017 as outlined by CBS 19. Read the full text of the bill here.