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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Bipartisan bill creates hiring incentives for returning vets

MSNBC: Returning vets have trouble finding work
Although many employers take pride in hiring veterans and make up any pay an employee lost while deployed, some are reluctant to hire reservists and Guard members who might have to deploy again, said Bill Gaul, chief officer at Destiny Group, an online organization that seeks to match employers and veterans.

Almost 490,000 troops from the Guard and reserve have mobilized since Sept. 11, 2001, overseas or for duty in-country. Of those, about 320,000 have completed their mobilization.

Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., and Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Mich., are co-sponsoring legislation that would give companies up to $2,400 in tax credits for each veteran from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars they hire.

The bill number is H.R. 1352, "Veterans Employment and Respect Act of 2005".
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow employers to claim a work opportunity credit for hiring military service personnel returning from service in Iraq or Afghanistan and for hiring their dependents and dependents of deceased personnel.

It would be applicable to situations where the servicemember served 180 days or more in either Iraq or Afghanistan "qualified" operations/areas, after Ocotber 6, 2001 and through whatever date is eventually designated the termination of those conflicts.

The bill seems to have broad bipartisan support, with 159 cosponsors well-represented across both parties. The last action was referral to the House Ways and Means Committee on 3/16/2005. The hearing schedule at the committee website so far does not list a scheduled hearing for the bill.

What can be done to get this bill moving?

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