WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives passed six pieces of veteran legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support this week (H.R. 2433, as amended; H.R. 2074, as amended; H.R. 2302, as amended; H.R. 2349, as amended; H.R. 1263, as amended; and H.R. 1025).
"The House of Representatives sent a clear message that not only is support for our veterans strong, but that we stand together to end veteran unemployment," stated Rep. Jeff Miller (FL-01), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "The VOW Act is the most comprehensive, thoughtful legislation that has been introduced to get our veterans out of unemployment lines and into meaningful jobs. We must also get government out of the way and ensure we have the right environment for the job market to flourish once again for all Americans."
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest unemployment figures, and while the national unemployment rate held steady, there was an alarming rise in the veteran unemployment rate – from 7.7% to 8.1% nationwide.
The Veterans Sexual Assault Prevention and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2011 also passed the House. The bill will prevent further sexual assaults from occurring at VA facilities, hundreds of which were uncovered last spring by the Government Accountability Office and reported in a June GAO report.
"We cannot, and will not, tolerate sexual assault in VA facilities," Miller said. "We saw a problem and we took immediate and responsible action to prevent these occurrences for future patients."
All six pieces of legislation will now head to the Senate for consideration.
"I look forward to working with Senator Murray and our colleagues in the Senate to make a difference in the lives of America's veterans," stated Miller. "My goal has always been to have these bills signed into law by Veterans Day. Our nation's veterans deserve nothing less."
Watch Chairman Miller's Floor statement here.
RT @HouseVetAffairs: #VOWAct passed House, heads to Senate. Support #jobs4vets!
RT @HouseVetAffairs: Do right by our #vets, support the #VOWAct – comprehensive jobs legislation for our nation's heroes!
For more news from the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, please visit:Find us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/HouseVetsAffairs or follow us on Twitter at: @HouseVetAffairs
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans