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 BurrOvernight Cybersecurity: Staff changes upend White House cyber team | Trump sends cyber war strategy to Congress | CIA pick to get hearing in May | Malware hits Facebook accounts Senators express concerns over Haspel's 'destruction of evidence' Overnight Cybersecurity: US, UK blame Russia for global cyberattacks | Top cyber official leaving White House | Zuckerberg to meet EU digital chief MORE (R-N.C.).