Bishop Sponsored Hiring Heroes Act Provisions Pass U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. – Today, provisions of the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, which was sponsored by Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senator Patty Murray in the U.S. Senate, passed in the House by an overwhelming bipartisan majority vote. Last week, the Senate passed this bipartisan initiative by a 95 to 0 vote. The legislation now goes to the President for his signature.
The Hiring Heroes Act provisions were included in a comprehensive bill, H.R. 674, which also repeals a 2006 law requiring federal, state, and local governments to withhold three percent of payments that are due to government contractors. The legislation combines key components of President Obama’s American Jobs Act with Congressman Bishop’s Hiring Heroes Act and other related bipartisan initiatives designed to boost employment opportunities for veterans.
The bipartisan Hiring Heroes provisions will ensure that all service members transitioning to civilian life receive the job training skills they need to find a job. The bill also offers a tax credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans, and will increase existing tax credits for companies that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities.
Last month, the unemployment rate for veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan was 12.1 percent versus 9.1 percent for the U.S. overall. The youngest of veterans, age 18 to 24, had a 30.4 percent unemployment rate in October, an increase from 18.4 percent a year earlier. Among African-American veterans age 18 to 24, the jobless rate is a striking 48 percent.
“As a nation, we all have an obligation to ensure our veterans land on their feet when they come home and help them find good paying jobs to support their families,” said Congressman Bishop. “These heroes have risked the most for our country. They shouldn’t be coming home to unemployment checks. That’s why providing this support to our nation’s veterans is simply the right thing to do, and I look forward to President Obama signing this comprehensive, bipartisan veterans’ employment initiative into law.”
KEY VETERANS PROVISIONS OF H.R. 674:
- Tax credit of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.
- Makes the Transition Assistance Program (TAP)—an interagency workshop coordinated by Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs—mandatory for service members moving on to civilian life to help them secure 21st Century jobs through resume writing workshops and career counseling.
- Expands education and training opportunities for older veterans by providing 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI benefits to go towards education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools.
- Provides disabled veterans up to 1-year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
- Allows 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, Homeland Security, or the many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.