President Obama signed into law Monday a bill that creates tax breaks for businesses that hire unemployed veterans and provides job training and counseling for vets. The bill was a rare show of bipartisanship by Capitol Hill lawmakers, who seemingly agree on very little, and the first component of Obama’s $447 billion jobs package to be passed.
According to the president, about 850,000 unemployed veterans will benefit from the legislation as well as tens of thousands of troops who will begin their return to the United States from Iraq and Afghanistan at the end of the year. Businesses that hire disabled vets would receive tax credits of up to $9,600 and up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who've been out of work for six months or more.
“To our veterans, know that we will stand with you as long as it takes to find a job,” Obama said. “And to our businesses, if you’re hiring, hire a veteran. They will make you proud, just as they’ve made this nation proud.”
The president added that he was pleased that the two parties could work together on the bill but also urged lawmakers to move forward with the other parts of his jobs bill that have made little to no progress in Congress.
“It is important to note that in addition to our veterans, there are millions of other Americans who are still working for work right now. They deserve the same kind of bold, bipartisan action that we’ve seen here today,” Obama said. "So my message to every member of Congress is: keep going, keeping working. Keep finding more ways to put partisanship aside and put more Americans back to work."
The bill signing took place against the backdrop of an impasse on Capitol Hill where the Joint Economic Committee on Deficit Reduction is struggling to reach an agreement on a plan before its looming deadline that would reduce government spending by $1.2 trillion.
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