New Veterans Jobs Bill is Top Priority as Congress Begins First 2013 Session

Legislation to help veterans find jobs was introduced in a package of top-priority bills filed on January 22 which was the first legislative business day of the new 2013 session of Congress.

The legislation would reauthorize training and employment services created by the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.

The bill, called Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act of 2013 (S.6), was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and was co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the incoming chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Some of the specifics of the proposed legislation include:
1.  Establishing a new online employment resource would be established for veterans seeking information regarding employment and job-training resources;
2.  Directing heads of federal agencies to favorably consider contractors that employ a significant number of veterans on all contracts exceeding $25 million;
3.  The measure also would allow federal agencies to suspend or debar contractors who repeatedly violate the employment rights of members of the uniformed services.

At a time when 85 percent of law enforcement agencies experienced budget cuts, grants would also be authorized for police and fire departments to train and hire veterans as first responders.

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