Senate Democrats

Heard From the Floor: Four Reasons to Support the Veterans’ Jobs Bill

Today, the Senate will take up the VOW to Hire Heroes Act – a bill that would help unemployed veterans get back to work, — as an amendment to the three percent withholding bill.

The VOW To Hire Heroes Act, introduced by Democratic senators, combines a key component of President Obama’s jobs plan with a bipartisan initiative to boost veterans’ employment opportunities.

Here’s what Democratic senators are saying about the VOW To Hire Heroes Act, and why it’s so important —

#1 Hundreds of Thousands of Veterans are Out of Work

Senator Reid (NV): “One in five young veterans, veterans under age 25, they’re unemployed. On any given night at least 75,000 veterans, including 2,500 in Nevada, sleep on the streets.”  Watch the video clip.

Senator Durbin (IL): “If we are serious, serious about dealing with this recession and putting people back to work, let’s not stop with the veterans of America. Let’s start with the veterans of America.”

Senator Reed (RI): “The unemployment rate for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq is an indefensible 12.1%. [It’s] a significant blow to young men and women who are returning home after serving their country in very difficult circumstances.”

Senator Murray (WA): “On this Veteran’s Day, after almost ten years of war, nearly one million American veterans will be unemployed.”

#2 The Legislation Keeps America’s Promise to Protect Those Who Serve Overseas

Senator Pryor (AR): “We should not let our current financial difficulties take away the support we owe those who served.”

Senator Durbin (IL): “They fought for America. They shouldn’t come back home and fight for a job. Let’s give them a helping hand.”

Senator Reed (RI): “These veterans deserve our help as they transition from the military service to their civilian careers.”

Senator Murray (WA): “We have all made a promise to those who signed up to serve, and we all need to keep it..”

Senator Menendez (NJ): “Every veteran deserves better.”

#3 It Provides Job Training Services and Extends Disability Benefits

Senator Murray (WA): “It requires broad job skills training for every service member as they leave the military as part of the military’s transition assistance program.”

Senator Menendez (NJ): “This bill would give a credit up to $2,400 for short-term unemployed veterans] and up to $5,600 for long-term unemployed, and an increased credit up to $9,600 for hiring unemployed wounded veterans.”

#4 It Does Not Add a Dime to the Deficit  

Senator Reid (NV): “The bill wouldn’t add a dime to the deficit so there should be no objection there. It’s paid for with a nonconference extension of existing fee on fee-back mortgages. It is a version of the same one House Republicans already voted.”

Senator Menendez (NJ): “We cannot and should not balance the budget on the backs of those who have served. Veterans are not bankrupting America, they’re protecting it, and it’s not veterans’ programs, health care, or services that should be cut.”