Today, as the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs moved the TAP Modernization Act of 2012 to the full House, Congressman Stutzman (IN-03) issued the following statement.
"Returning veterans are rejoining the civilian workforce at a time of historic unemployment. These men and women put their lives on hold to defend our freedoms. As they come home, we must ensure that they have the right tools to get back into the job market. The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) gives veterans an opportunity to gain job training, understand their benefits, and brush up on skills like resume writing and interviewing. Unfortunately, many veterans never had an opportunity to participate in TAP and others could use a refresher course. I introduced the TAP Modernization Act of 2012 to give our men and women in uniform another opportunity as they enter the workforce. This is an important step in the right direction. We've received great support from the veteran community and I'm glad that the bill has been included in Chairman Miller's legislation and will be sent to the full House."
Thanks to the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which was signed into law late last year, TAP is now mandatory for all servicemembers prior to their discharge. In an effort to reach those veterans who never had the opportunity to take the program or simply need a review, the TAP Modernization Act of 2012, H.R. 4051, would authorize TAP training for veterans and their spouses at more convenient locations. The bill would authorize a temporary extension of TAP benefits for three years through a pilot program in three to five states with the highest veteran unemployment.
The TAP Modernization Act of 2012 is supported by the American Legion, the Association of the United States Navy, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Today, during a markup hearing, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs voted to include the TAP Modernization Act in H.R. 4072, the Consolidating Veteran Employment Services for Improved Performance Act of 2012, authored by Chairman Jeff Miller (FL-01). The package was sent to the Full House for consideration.