In Bipartisan Vote, House Passes Vow to Hire Heroes Act
Posted by Tom Tarantino on November 16
Today, Congress put politics aside and sent their first jobs bill to President Obama for his signature. VOW to Hire Heroes Act easily passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 422-0. We expect the President to sign this bill in to law as soon as possible, so that veterans can get back to work. See IAVA's statement here.
“The House has stepped up for new veterans in a big way. In passing the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, they are getting vets to work. This bill contains critical provisions that IAVA has been targeting since launching our Combat to Career program at Storm the Hill earlier this year. And with new veteran unemployment rising, the timing couldn’t be more critical,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. “We applaud the House for fighting through the partisan gridlock that has been plaguing Washington. And we're glad to see that Congress has finally realized that the smartest investment they can make is supporting the New Greatest Generation. We call on President Obama to sign this legislation as soon as he gets back from Asia. Veterans cannot wait any longer.”
Provisions of Vow to Hire Heroes
Beginning at Storm the Hill in March, IAVA has been pushing Congress for legislation to stem the rising tide of veteran unemployment. Thanks to the bi-partisan leadership of Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Chairman Jeff Miller (R FL-1), Congress stepped up in a big way.
Also included in the bill are provisions from President Obama’s American Jobs Act (AJA) that give tax credits to employers who hire unemployed veterans.
Included in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act are provisions that will:
- Make the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) mandatory for service members moving on to civilian life to help them secure 21st century jobs through resume-writing workshops and career counseling.
- Help veterans translate their military skills and certifications into similar jobs in the civilian work force.
- Expand educational and training opportunities for older veterans by providing 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to one year of additional Montgomery GI benefits for education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools.
- Provide disabled veterans up to one year of additional vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits.
- Allow service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.
- Authorize tax credits of up to $5,600 for businesses that hire veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks but less than 6 months.
- Authorize tax credits of up to $9,600 for for businesses that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.
This bill will make a difference for veterans who are currently unemployed and service members who will be entering the civilian workforce in the future. IAVA thanks Chairman Miller, Senator Murray and President Obama for putting party differences aside and showing veterans that our nation’s leaders have their back in Washington.
Tom Tarantino is the Senior Legislative Associate at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in Washington D.C. He served 10 years in the U.S. Army and returned from Iraq in 2006 after one year of deployment with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Follow him on Twitter at @TomTarantino.
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