We must do more to assist returning veterans in their efforts to find jobs and start careers. I know that the men and women I served with were among the most talented and hardworking people in the world. Veterans know what it is like to work in high-pressure situations and to be held to a standard of excellence.
Veterans are among the most qualified potential employees for any position, but men and women returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan face an unemployment rate that is substantially higher than the national average. Among my work on your behalf this week, I took a number of votes to help veterans find jobs and get the benefits they've earned. Here are three:
- The Wingman Act: This was a bill that I’ve cosponsored and supported since I took office to make it easier for congressional staff - like the staff that work in our office - to help veterans get access to their benefits. The bill does that by allowing Congressional staff to have read only access to veterans' records in the databases of the Veterans Benefits Administration if the veteran provides permission to the Congressional office for their records to be accessed.
- The BRAVE Act: This bill allows the Secretary of the VA to give preference to government contractors who employ veterans. I think this is a great idea to help incentivize the VA to use veterans to serve veterans and help more veterans find careers after they come back from overseas.
- The HIRE Vets Act: This bill directs the Department of Labor to establish a voluntary database of private businesses that hire veterans and recognize businesses that are particularly supportive of veterans. Again, this is a great way to incentivize businesses to hire more veterans.