Senators launch assault on veterans' high unemployment

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In November, Congress cleared legislation, in a rare bit of bipartisan cooperation, that provides help for veterans leaving the service and tax incentives for employers who hire them, including a tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, $2,400 for a veteran out of work for at least a month and up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.

The new law beefs up job training and counseling programs for veterans, including improving transition assistance planning and requiring the Labor Department to provide a clearer path between military and civilian skills.

“Veterans made tremendous sacrifices for this country, and it's our responsibility to support them when they come home,” Tester said. “I expect this group to build on last year's veterans’ jobs bill and create good job opportunities that honor the service of our men and women in uniform.”

The lawmakers argue that with operations wrapping up in Iraq, and winding down in Afghanistan, time is of the essence to ensure there are jobs for those veterans.

The caucus also will look at reducing unemployment among members of the National Guard and Reserve, who also have faced challenges finding work.