or Login to see your representatives.

Access Candidates' and Representatives' Biographies, Voting Records, Interest Group Ratings, Issue Positions, Public Statements, and Campaign Finances

Simply enter your zip code above to get to all of your candidates and representatives, or enter a name. Then, just click on the person you are interested in, and you can navigate to the categories of information we track for them.

Public Statements

Hire a Veteran Week

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


HIRE A VETERAN WEEK

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. HOLT. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman, and I would also like to thank the chairman and ranking members of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Mr. BUYER and Mr. Filner, for bringing this bipartisan bill to the floor. I would also particularly like to thank Mr. Brown of South Carolina, my partner in this bill, for all of his help in moving the bill through Congress.

Madam Speaker, our Nation was built by citizen soldiers, whom all too often we fail to repay for their service. We should be giving them employment opportunities, the opportunities they deserve. By virtue of their discipline, their work ethic, their clear thinking, veterans make outstanding employees; and we should be doing all we can to help them find jobs, and yet we know veterans return from the field and have trouble breaking into the workforce.

This bill is an affirmation of the commitment of Congress to encourage all employers, government at all levels, nonprofits, trade associations, and the private sector, to think of veterans when making hiring decisions. The bill itself calls upon the President to proclaim an annual Hire a Veteran Week and to use the occasion to remind all employers of the value of hiring veterans.

Let there be no doubt, the need for a renewed national focus on veterans employment is real. If you look at the Bureau of Labor statistics, for example, and take the age cohort of 18 to 24 years old, you will find among veterans recently returned from the front, unemployment is at 18.7 percent compared with 9.9 in the general population in that age cohort. The data about women actually are worse. And these aren't simply numbers. These are men and women who put on our country's uniform to protect each and every one of us. We can and we must do what we can to help them find good-paying jobs, to use their skills to contribute to our society.

This is especially true now with our country at war in multiple theaters of operation, as we are minting new veterans every day. For them to make a successful transition from military to civilian life, their employment, their job training, their readjustment needs must be a top priority for our country. I would ask my colleagues, how could we tolerate a high unemployment rate among veterans, higher than among the general population that has not served in uniform?

As the original GI bill showed us, when we invest in our veterans, our society reaps the rewards many times over. The same philosophy should guide us as we seek to help veterans obtain and sustain meaningful good-paying jobs in their civilian lives.

This bill is a step in that direction.

Again, I thank the ranking member and the chairman of the committee and Mr. Brown for their help.

Madam Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the chairman and ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Mr. Buyer and Mr. Filner, for bringing this bipartisan bill to the floor. I also want to thank my colleague and partner on this bill, Mr. Brown of South Carolina, for all of his help in moving this bill through the Congress.

Our Nation was built by citizen-soldiers, but too often, we fail to repay their service properly by giving them the employment, education, and other opportunities they deserve. By virtue of their discipline, work ethic, and clear thinking, veterans make outstanding employees, and we should be doing all we can to help them find good jobs that benefit them and their families.

This bill is an affirmation of Congress's commitment to encourage all employers--government at all levels, nonprofits, trade associations, and the private sector--to think of veterans first when making hiring decisions.

The bill itself calls upon the President to proclaim an annual ``Hire a Veteran'' week and to use that occasion to remind all employers of the value of hiring veterans. I hope the President acts on this legislation swiftly, because the need for a renewed national focus on veterans' employment is real and urgent.

According to the most recent U.S. Labor Department data, in August 2005, 20- to 24-year-old veterans had an unemployment rate of 18.7 percent compared with their nonveteran counterparts. For all of 2005, the annual rate was 15.6 percent for 20- to 24-year-old veterans compared with 8.7 percent for nonveterans in that age group.

These aren't simply numbers; these are men and women who put on our country's uniform to protect each and every one of us. We can and must do more to help them find good-paying jobs that allow them to build a career and a life in the Nation they served and protected.

This is especially true now, with our country at war in multiple theaters of operation and with tens of thousands of new veterans being created every year. For them to make a successful transition from military to civilian life, veterans' employment, job training, and readjustment need to be a top national priority.

As the original GI bill showed us, when we invest in our veterans, our society reaps the rewards many times over. The same philosophy should guide us as we seek to help veterans obtain and sustain meaningful, good-paying jobs in their civilian lives. This bill is a first step in that direction, but we need to do more. We need to ensure that within both the DoD and VA budgets, we devote the necessary resources to transition assistance, job retraining--where necessary--and related activities that help veterans in their search for civilian careers.

Again, I thank my friends, the gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Buyer, and California, Mr. Filner, for their help and support in securing passage of this bill today.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

http://thomas.loc.gov

Back to top