Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) voted to provide tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed veterans or veterans with service-connected disabilities, and take steps to provide all service-members transitioning to civilian life the training and skills they need to find a job. H.R. 674, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, includes key provisions of President Obama's American Jobs Act and was approved by the House with a unanimous 422 -- 0 vote. Unfortunately, continued obstructionism from Congressional Republicans is still preventing other provisions of the American Jobs Act -- a comprehensive plan of bipartisan proposals that will immediately spur economic growth and put more Americans back to work -- from moving forward.
"Nearly a quarter of a million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are now unemployed," said Rep. Rep. Baca. "This is shameful. The 23 million American veterans, including almost 36,000 living in my District, deserve better. While Congress still must take action on all aspects of the American Jobs Act -- today's vote is an important step in the right direction that will put more of our returning heroes back to work."
H.R. 674 will positively impact the hiring of more American veterans by:
* Providing businesses with a tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, and a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks but less than 6 months;
* Providing a tax credit of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities;
* Making the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) mandatory for service members moving on to civilian life to help them secure 21st Century jobs through resume writing workshops and career counseling;
* Expanding education and training opportunities for older veterans by providing 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1-year of additional Montgomery GI benefits; and
* Providing disabled veterans up to 1 year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
"As an Army veteran myself, I am all too aware of the hardships our military men and women and their families must endure to protect our freedoms," said Rep. Baca. "We still have much more we must do to ease the jobs crisis in our nation. But today's legislation ensures we better live up to our responsibility of caring for those brave men and women who sacrifice every day to keep us safe."
Rep. Baca is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper with both the 101st and the 82nd Airborne Divisions from 1966-68.