The Veterans Small Business Act would extend these benefits to surviving spouses and children who wish to continue to run the small business.

“Congress has provided numerous benefits to our nation's veterans who own small businesses, including sole-source contracting, low-interest loans and other resources in order to help these small businesses grow and create jobs,” Heller said on the Senate floor Thursday. “However, should a spouse or a child of a veteran lose a loved one in combat, they can no longer receive these benefits or enroll in these programs.

“My legislation closes this large gap in federal law that does little for those who own businesses before their activation and were killed in the line of duty. As a member of Congress, we must honor our nation's fallen as well as ensuring that the loved ones they leave behind have the same economic opportunities afforded to that veteran.”

Heller seemed confident that his bill could pass in a bipartisan vote. Another Veterans Affairs bill, the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, passed in the Senate last week.

“While there are larger issues we must address, such as tax reform, there are smaller common-sense measures, such as this bill, that we can pass right now if given the opportunity,” Heller said. “Measures such as this will make a big difference in our nation's veterans and job creators.”

S. 3405 is co-sponsored by Senate Veterans Affairs ranking member Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHillicon Valley: New FTC chief eyes shake up of tech regulation | Lawmakers target Google, Huawei partnership | Microsoft employees voice anger over ICE contract On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senate Intel requests more testimony from Comey, McCabe MORE (R-N.C.).