2011-11-16 / Features

Maloney Salutes Vets, Urges OK Of Jobs Bills


All told, as of October, Maloney said, more than 850,000 American veterans were unemployed. With the drawing down of our forces in Iraq, she said, the problem could grow much greater in years to come. All told, as of October, Maloney said, more than 850,000 American veterans were unemployed. With the drawing down of our forces in Iraq, she said, the problem could grow much greater in years to come. Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) urged Congress to pass legislation to create jobs to help unemployed military service vets and those leaving service.

Expressing her gratitude to current and former members of this country’s armed services, Maloney declared:

“Our military members and veterans are truly the best of America. We can never fully repay our military personnel for their service, but every day—not just Veterans’ Day—we can keep them in our thoughts and prayers, and, when possible, thank them personally for their dedication to our country. I firmly believe that we in Congress have a duty to honor our armed forces not only with words of praise, but with the help and benefits they have earned.”

Maloney said the Great Recession has had a devastating impact on veterans and those who have recently left the military. She emphasized that the unemployment rate for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is nearly 12 percent, leaving 235,000 veterans of those conflicts struggling to find jobs.

In addition, the lawmaker pointed out, more than 20 percent of younger returning veterans (those ages 18 to 24) were out of work and looking for a job last year.

All told, as of October, Maloney said, more than 850,000 American veterans were unemployed. With the drawing down of our forces in Iraq, she said, the problem could grow much greater in years to come.

Responding to this situation, Maloney urged the passage of key elements of President Obama’s jobs bill that are intended to help veterans. She also urged approval of H.R. 1941, known as the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, of which Maloney is a co-sponsor.

The jobs bill would, among other measures, she said, provide a new Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for veterans who have been unemployed six months or longer, and doubled the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit to $9,600 for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed six months or longer.

Maloney explained that the Hiring Heroes Act would take a number of steps to help veterans find jobs, including encouraging federal agencies to hire veterans; improving job counseling service for veterans and requiring those separating from the armed forces to participate in a transitionassistance program; providing an additional 24 months of vocational rehabilitation and employment services to veterans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits; and creating a competitive grant program for non-profit organizations that provide mentorship and job-training programs for veterans.

“As we emerge from the Great Recession,” Maloney said, “all too many veterans are having a difficult job finding jobs—despite the skills and high degree of professionalism that former members of our military would bring to the workplace.

“On this Veterans’ Day, I urge my colleagues in Congress to make a renewed effort to pass the provisions in the Jobs Act to help veterans, as well as the Hiring Heroes Act. I have no doubt that there is a bipartisan support for these measures—so let’s give struggling veterans the assistance they deserve and pass these bills now.”

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