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Miller: Wrong Direction for Our Veterans, for Our Country


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, issued the following statement on the latest unemployment report:

"Once again, under President Obama's economic recovery plan, unemployment rates are headed in the wrong direction--up, not down. In May, veteran unemployment rates have again spiked*.

"Instead of helping to promote the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which the President signed into law late last year, today, he will instead tout an election-year gambit, his Veterans Job Corps proposal, which has already been found short on substance by both the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees.

"Under the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) will put nearly 100,000 unemployed veterans on the path to a meaningful and sustaining career track. Under the law, which was paid for, it will cost the government $16,161 to train one veteran per job in a high-demand industry such as manufacturing, technology, and healthcare.

"Under the President's proposal, training will cost $50,000 per veteran per job, and will only help 20,000 veterans, who, at the end of the day, have no guarantee of a long-term position after government funding runs out.

"The past three and a half years have demonstrated that President Obama's "stimulate the economy' initiatives are failing. This is the wrong direction for our veterans, and for our country.

"It is also a shame that the President continues to threaten the welfare of America's veterans by stating he will veto the House-passed VA/MilCon appropriations bill. Not only do we still have troops fighting for our defense and freedom in Afghanistan, but since our founding, our nation has promised to care for our veterans upon their return. That is a promise that should never be broken, nor ever used for political gain."

*May Veteran Unemployment Figures:

Vietnam Era Veterans: 215,000 (previously 202,000 in April)
Cold War Era Veterans: 223,000 (previously 240,000 in April)
Persian Gulf War Era Veterans: 161,000 (previously 129,000 in April)
Iraq and Afghanistan Era Veterans: 263,000 (previously 195,600 in April)

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