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President Obama Unveils Jobs Initiatives to Help Veterans

Nov 09, 2011

President Obama put his American Jobs Act back on the agenda Monday by announcing several new programs geared towards getting veterans back in the workforce. In a Rose Garden ceremony with veterans by his side, the president announced new executive actions designed to aid veterans and encourage companies to assist those who have served in the military.

The programs will provide veterans with customized job-search assistance at any employment center operated by the Department of Labor. A separate program will provide online access for veterans to opportunities through a new website called

Roughly 850,000 veterans are currently unemployed. Not only will this number increase as the administration begins to pull back American involvement overseas, but Pentagon officials say more than one million more service members are expected to transition to civilian life over the next five years.

"Just think about the skills these veterans acquire at a very young age; the leadership they've earned, the technology they've mastered, the ability to adapt to changing circumstance that you can't learn in the classroom,” Obama said. “This is exactly the kind of leadership and responsibility every American business should be competing to attract.”

While the programs are modest, they are intended to pressure congressional Republicans to support a larger-scale measure in Obama's $447 billion American Jobs Act that would give a tax credit of up to $5,600 to companies that hire veterans. A separate proposal would give a maximum credit of $9,600 for hiring veterans with disabilities they suffered as a result of military service.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill later this week.

Supercommittee Ready to Deal?

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction met on Monday and discussed a proposal that would raise additional revenue by limiting tax breaks for higher-income households.

According to Politico, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), a member of the supercommittee, said, "I have said from the beginning that the way to get to a deal is through tax reform that is pro-growth and can generate revenue."

Democrats have countered that the proposal was unlikely to lead to an agreement.

The supercommittee is up against the clock because the Congressional Budget Office needs to have time to review any plan.

According to George Will on ABC's This Week, "The problem is, by next Sunday they have to have a plan if they're going to get it scored by the Congressional Budget Office before the 23rd." He added that the president "needs this committee to fail, because he's already decided to run against what he calls the 'Republican Congress.'"

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