U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored the "Hire More Heroes" Act as a free-standing bill and as an amendment to H.R. 3979, the unemployment bill. The measure was introduced in the Senate today by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).
Under Obamacare, employers hiring 50 or more full-time employees are required to provide health insurance to their employees, which creates a natural disincentive for small businesses nearing the threshold to hire new employees and grow. The "Hire More Heroes" Act would exempt veterans that have health care coverage through TRICARE or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from being counted toward the 50 full-time equivalent requirement in Obamacare.
"In Kentucky, we have a proud and honorable military history, home to both Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, and tens of thousands of servicemembers, military retirees, veterans and their families. The Commonwealth also looks with great pride upon the scores of brave National Guard members and Reservists who have given so much to defend our nation," Senator McConnell said. "This legislation that I proudly support will help provide jobs for Kentucky veterans who have faithfully served their country by eliminating the disincentive caused by Obamacare for small businesses."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans is at 6.6 percent and 9 percent for post-9/11 veterans. The measure passed the House of Representatives last month with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Senator McConnell has championed efforts to benefit Kentucky's servicemembers and veterans. Most recently, he has worked to:
* Encourage the hiring of veterans through certain tax incentives for small businesses;
* Restore the full cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for servicemembers and all military retirees;
* Pressure the VA to reduce its disability claims backlog;
* Improve services for victims of military sexual trauma;
* And encourage the Department of Defense to ensure the safe return of American Prisoners of War.