Obama Pushes for Veterans Portion of Jobs Plan

Will it suffer the same fate as the president's other employment initiatives?

President Obama delivers remarks on his veterans jobs plan in the White House Rose Garden on Monday (Image: White House Photo/Pete Souza)

With the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the double digits, President Obama urged Congress on Monday to pass a component of his jobs package aimed at helping veterans find work.

The measure would provide a $5,600 tax break for companies that hire veterans who’ve been out of work for more than six months; a $2400 credit for hiring veterans who’ve been unemployed for less than six months, and a $9,600 credit for hiring unemployed veterans with service-oriented disabilities.

“There’s no good reason to oppose this bill, not one. Our veterans did their jobs. It’s time for Congress to do theirs,” said Obama, flanked by soldiers, in the White House Rose Garden Monday. “It’s time for them to put country before party, put our veterans back to work, and pass this element of the jobs package that benefits our veterans and gives businesses an incentive to hire veterans.”

The White House also announced a series of other initiatives that would create an online jobs bank for veterans and provide six months of personalized case management and employment counseling for unemployed veterans.

“We can’t simply wait for Congress to do its job,” Obama said. “If Congress won’t act, I will.”

The U.S. Senate may consider the veterans proposal this week. But will it fare any better than the others?

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  • Florian Schach

    Pushing for the vets portion of the jobs bill is a great stride in getting ahead on at least part of this unemployment matter. However, there is another concern of how long we can keep veterans employed with this new measure? Unemployment in the veteran community is higher than the national average (http://eng.am/uIueSZ), and in most times of economic crisis it is this group that feels the brunt of those hardships the most. If we come up with a long term plan that would be beneficial for the middle class and vets returning home, we could avoid some of the employment traps of the past (http://eng.am/s3KrWW) and make our way back onto the path to a state of normalcy.