WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs favorably reported seven pieces of legislation (H.R. 2433, as amended; H.R. 2646 as amended; H.R. 2302, as amended; H.R. 2349, as amended; H.R. 2074, as amended; H.R. 1025; and H.R. 1263, as amended) for full House consideration.
"Through the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, we will create the most qualified, most skilled veteran workforce since World War II to compete in today's tough job market," stated Rep. Jeff Miller (FL-01), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "But as all Americans know, the government cannot create jobs. But what we can do is create the right environment for the economy to flourish. So, we owe it to our veterans to reduce the burden of overreaching regulations that encumber America's small businesses, including our veteran-owned businesses, the engine of our economy. In other words, we need to get the government out of the way of the economy and get our veterans back to work, and I am confident we can do this through the VOW Act."
The latest job figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that nearly 1 million veterans are currently unemployed, including more than 600,000 veterans of past eras and conflicts.
Next week, on September 13, the Committee will host a Veteran Job Summit, bringing together dozens of companies and organizations focusing on the best practices of hiring veterans in the private sector.
Also included in the legislation headed to the House is legislation to prevent sexual assault at VA facilities. The Veterans Sexual Assault Prevention Act is a result of a June GAO report which found that lack of reporting, security measures, and accountability lead to hundreds of patients and VA employees being left vulnerable to sexual assault.
"Our veterans come to VA seeking care and support and should not be left to fend for themselves when faced with assault," Miller said. "As I have stated many times before, even one act of this nature, one sexual predator in VA's system is absolutely unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated."
"I would also like to commend all of the members of the Committee for their hard work in reporting measures on a bipartisan basis to better America's veterans," stated Miller. "I am proud of this legislation and the work we have achieved this summer, work that will ensure our veterans receive the care they have earned in a timely manner and with compassionate."
The legislation is expected to come up for vote in the House this fall.
Summary of Legislation Advancing to House Floor:
H.R. 2433: The Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011 (Introduced by Rep. Miller)—as amended. ADD IN SPONSORS
H.R. 2646: Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011 (Introduced by Rep. Johnson)—as amended.
H.R. 2302: To amend Title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to notify Congress of conferences sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (Introduced by Rep. Stutzman)—as amended.
H.R. 2349: Veterans' Benefits Training Improvement Act of 2011 (Introduced by Rep. Runyan)— as amended.
H.R. 2074: Veterans Sexual Assault Prevention Act (Introduced by Rep. Buerkle)—as amended.
H.R. 1025: To amend Title 38, United States Code, to recognize the service in the reserve components of certain persons by honoring them with status as veterans under law (Introduced Rep. Walz).
H.R. 1263: To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to provide surviving spouses with certain protections relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosures (Introduced by Rep Filner)—as amended.
#HVAC acts to stop sexual assault at VA facilities through the Veterans Sexual Assault Prevention Act. Learn more at: http://veterans.house.gov/press-release/miller-buerkle-statement-va-sexual-assault-report
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans