Yesterday, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity received testimony considering ten pieces of legislation; H.R. 3329, H.R. 3483, H.R. 3610, H.R. 3670, H.R. 3524, H.R. 4048, H.R. 4051, H.R. 4052, H.R 4057, and H.R. 4072.
H.R. 4072, the Consolidating Veteran Employment Services for Improved Performance Act of 2012, introduced by House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (FL-01), will improve employment services to veterans by moving the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) and its programs and funding from the Department of Labor (DOL) to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
"I believe it is time to move the Department of Labor's veterans programs to the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA is better-suited than other Federal agencies to address veterans' challenges and moving the Veterans Employment and Training Service to VA will foster a closer relationship between VA's education, training and employment programs and the veterans programs now operated by the Department of Labor," commented Chairman Miller.
H.R. 4051, the TAP Modernization Act of 2012, and H.R. 4052, the Recognizing Excellence in Veterans Education Act of 2012, were both introduced by Rep. Marlin Stutzman (IN-3), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. H.R. 4051 extends authorization to provide additional Transition Assistance Program (TAP) classes to veterans at a location near their home. The extension would be authorized as a pilot for three years in up to five states that have the highest veterans unemployment rates. To encourage schools to provide superior service to veterans, H.R. 4052 will authorize VA to designate institutions of higher learning that meet certain academic and student services criteria with an award recognizing their excellence in veterans' education.
"Even though the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 made TAP mandatory it is still imperative that veterans have additional opportunities to retake this class as they continue their search for employment," said Stutzman on the importance of H.R. 4051.
"The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) has needed a significant overhaul for some time," said Rick Weidman, Executive Director for Foreign Policy and Government Affairs for the Vietnam Veterans of America, about H.R. 4051. "Our nation spends a great deal of time and treasure to train these young Americans to be effective soldiers, sailors, Marines, and members of the Air Force and Coast Guard. Surely we can spend the time and resources to train these young Americans to successfully reintegrate into civilian life."