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Mr. KIND. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 674, the Three Percent Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act.
The Three Percent Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act repeals a burdensome tax law that President Bush and Congressional Republicans passed in 2006. Fortunately, the law has never gone into effect because Democrats have fought it for years, and the Senate was successful in voting to repeal it last week. Estimates project that the tax actually costs more to implement than it raises in new revenue. Thus, it only hurts our local businesses, especially in an underperforming economy, by restricting cash flow and causing administrative headaches. Eliminating such a barrier will allow our businesses to better use their assets to grow and hire, which is exactly what our economy needs right now.
Currently, many contractors and small businesses are strapped for cash and doing everything they can to keep their doors open. In addition to repealing a burdensome tax, the Three Percent Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act also provides incentives to grow our stagnant economy by helping businesses all over the country hire unemployed veterans. Because veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are facing 12.1 percent unemployment, the Three Percent Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act contains critical veterans' jobs initiatives that will not only incentivize hiring, but will spur economic growth by putting veterans back to work and investing in small businesses that are struggling in this stagnant economy.
In a fiscally responsible way, the Three Percent Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act provides meaningful tax incentives to hire 45,000 unemployed veterans in 2012 and 54,000 each in 2013 and 2014. It not only helps veterans who have been unemployed for more than six months, but also those who have been unemployed for over four weeks. Businesses are further incentivized to hire veterans returning to the workforce with service-connected disabilities after six months of looking for a job.
In addition to providing incentives to hire veterans, the Three Percent Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act provides transition assistance through a mandatory program for servicemembers returning to civilian life. Such a vital program will assist returning servicemembers in securing 21st Century jobs through career counseling and resume-writing workshops.
By helping our veterans transition back to civilian life and by creating opportunities for them to obtain meaningful employment, we show our thanks for their selfless service to our country. Furthermore, we instill faith in our local businesses to grow and hire by providing them support and resources to get through this tough economic time.
This bill is one small but important step in upholding our commitment to support the troops that have proudly defended our Nation. I'm proud to support this legislation for our veterans and our small businesses and government contractors.
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