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Public Statements

Veterans Skills to Jobs Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

We are here today to discuss H.R. 4155, the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, introduced by Mr. Denham of California. I really appreciate the approach that this is taking with jobs and the economic environment as such. This is a commonsense, good measure. I think it is widely supported on both sides of the aisle, and I would urge my colleagues to pass it.

Essentially, H.R. 4155 ensures that applicants for Federal licenses receive credit for relevant training completed while serving as a member of the Armed Forces. While most licenses are issued by the States, the Federal Government does grant a number of licenses, most notably in the aerospace, communications, and maritime sectors.

After 40 months with the unemployment rate above 8 percent, we must do more to help create jobs; and with the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans at 12.7 percent, we must better support our veterans as they transition to the civilian workforce.

In April, the Defense Business Board issued a report recommending Federal agencies review military training as a qualification for their respective program requirements. H.R. 4155 is in line with this recommendation.

The bill provides some certainty to veterans during their transition from the military by ensuring their training is taken into account when applying for Federal licenses. The bill does not infringe on the jurisdiction of the licensing agency. Instead, it leaves the agency free to determine whether military training is sufficient to meet license requirements.

H.R. 4155 will reduce the licensing burden for qualified veterans, enabling them to more quickly re-enter the workforce and ease their transition to civilian life.

Again, I appreciate the work of Mr. Denham, Mr. Walz, and others in a bipartisan way to introduce this bill, and I would urge my colleagues to support it.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Speaker, this is a good, commonsense, bipartisan bill. I appreciate both these gentlemen who spoke here earlier for their work on this, Mr. Denham and Mr. Walz.

The Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, H.R. 4155, it makes sense, it's good government, it's what our troops deserve; and I encourage all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this and send a strong message to the military and to the private sector to let them know that we support them, that the work they do, the skills that they learn are a value, and that they are needed within the workforce as a whole, and that the skills and the training they get--the best in the world--mean something. And we can bypass this licensing issue and get them back to work sooner rather than later.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.


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