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Public Statements

Hiring Heroes Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, America continues to be the land of the free because America continues to be the home of the brave. I think it most appropriate that this House take up legislation today that will include the Hiring Heroes Act.

This legislation is exceedingly important because our brave heroes, our troops, go to distant places, and they risk their limbs and their lives to protect great and noble American ideals. They do not ask why. When the clarion call comes, they respond by going to their various assignments and doing their jobs.

When they leave home, they many times will leave home a wife that is with child. Many of their children are born while they are in distant places protecting our great and noble American ideals. They will leave behind them children who are about to take their first steps. They never get to see the first step or hear the first words spoken.

When a troop goes to war, that troop has that family with him or her. A family goes to war, not directly, but always indirectly, with the troop that goes to war.

And they do their jobs. They have done their jobs in Afghanistan. They have done their jobs in Iraq. And they will continue to do their jobs.

But it is sad to note that of those veterans who have done their jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan, 12.1 percent of them are unemployed. This is not a partisan issue. This issue transcends the lines that generally separate us. If they can go to distant places and risk their limbs and their lives for us to do their jobs for us, we have to provide jobs for them when they come home.

This is about doing the right thing for people who answer the clarion call to serve without reservation or equivocation. They merit jobs when they come home. This is why I'm proud that this House will take up legislation that will accord tax credits to businesses that hire our veterans.

If a business hires a veteran who has been unemployed for 4 weeks, there is a $2,400 tax credit available. If that veteran has been unemployed for 6 months, there is a $5,600 tax credit that's available. If the unemployed veteran has been unemployed for 6 months and has a service-connected disability, there is a $9,600 tax credit available to the business.

This is the business of America: putting our veterans to work.

This piece of legislation merits our consideration for other reasons as well. The legislation will allow approximately 100,000 veterans of wars of other eras to be helped with job training and other programs. This piece of legislation is the least a grateful nation can do for those who answer the clarion call to serve in distant places.

I am honored to say I will vote for the legislation. I believe in our country. I believe in the American service people--the troops that go to distant places. I want to make sure that they have every opportunity to recapture what they lost when they left their homes, left their jobs for years on end. If they can leave their jobs here and make sacrifices for us, we've got to make sacrifices here so that they can have jobs when they return home. America will continue to be the land of the free as long as we continue to make sure that we have jobs for those who are brave enough to serve us in distant places.

God bless America and God bless our troops.


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