On the eve of Veterans Day, the Senate passed the VOW to hire our Heroes Act. But the bill has yet to clear another hurdle: The House is slated to vote on it this week.
No matter your politics, it’s hard to disagree with President Barack Obama’s assertion regarding the legions of unemployed veterans — 850,000 at last count.
“No veteran who fought for our nation should have to fight for a job when they come home,” said Obama.
And the U.S. Senate, in a rare display of unity, has agreed. On the eve of Veterans Day, the Senate passed the VOW to hire our Heroes Act, a crucial first step in addressing the struggles faced by our military servicemen and women.
Yet, while the ceremonies of Veterans Day have passed, the bill has yet to clear another hurdle: The House is slated to vote on it this week.
The legislation offers valuable incentives — up to $9,600 for companies hiring disabled veterans who have been jobless at least half a year, and up to $2,400 for hiring veterans who’ve been unemployed more than four weeks.
It will also boost training opportunities and career counseling, and it will allow soldiers to begin applying for civilian jobs in the federal government before they leave the military. In addition, the bill repeals a law, set to take effect in 2013, requiring governments to withhold 3 percent of their payments to contractors, which is expected to help employers hire more workers.
This is crucial, especially now, as veterans struggle. Nationwide, nearly 1 in 12 veterans is unemployed, according to the Labor Department. That’s unacceptable.
We urge the House to swiftly pass this measure so it can go to the president’s desk for his signature. Our leaders can’t hold off on passage of this bill, which offers assistance at a time when veterans truly need it.
On the front lines and in our neighborhoods, our veterans are one of our country’s greatest assets. They’ve earned our respect — and our support.
-- Messenger Post (N.Y.)