Marking the spirit of the Veterans Day holiday, the Senate passed a bill 95-to-0 on Thursday to help veterans find work by offering tax credits to companies that hire them.
The Vow to Hire Heroes Act, whose co-sponsors include Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D – Mich., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was a small piece of President Barack Obama’s stalled $447 billion jobs bill.
The legislation also will increase tax credits for companies hiring veterans with disabilities resulting from their service, and provide service members with training.
“On the eve of Veterans Day, we should all remember that we keep faith with veterans in actions not words,” said Sen. Kerry, who fought in the Vietnam War. “We’ve got a new generation of veterans coming home to an economy that’s in trouble and I’m sickened when I read the unemployment rates and foreclosure rates for veterans.”
The bill provides a tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for work for more than six months, and a $2,400 credit for veterans who’ve been unemployed for more than four weeks, but less than six months.
Its measures include a credit of up to $9,600 for firms hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who’ve been looking for work for more than six months.
Congress “should take real action to help America’s 1 million unemployed veterans get back to work,” said Sen. Stabenow. She noted that while the national jobless rate stands at 9 percent, the unemployment rate for service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is substantially higher at 12.1 percent.
“No veteran should stand at the back of any unemployment line,” Stabenow said.