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President Barack Obama on Monday urged Congress to pass a provision of his jobs bill that would help veterans find jobs and announced new measures aimed at helping returning soldiers find work.
President Obama, speaking in the White House Rose Garden, said there's no good reason for lawmakers to oppose the tax credits. "Not one. Our veterans did their jobs; it's time for Congress to do theirs," Obama said.
The president's $447 billion jobs plan, the American Jobs Act, includes tax credits for employers who hire veterans. A "Returning Heroes" tax credit would provide employers with a credit of $4,800 for hiring veterans who face unemployment of six months or longer. It also includes expanding the "Wounded Warriors" tax credit so companies will get $9,600--instead of the current rate of $4,800--for hiring soldiers who have a service-related disability.
The tax credits are expected to be voted on this week in the Senate, though it's unclear exactly how they would be paid for. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he expects it will be paid for in a way that will satisfy Republicans and Democrats.
The House last month passed a bill to help veterans find jobs. That legislation includes training and credentialing programs to help veterans transition into jobs.
President Obama also announced new Web tools to help soldiers determine how their work on the field would apply in civilian life.
The new measures are part of a broader effort by the Obama administration, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, to help veterans and their families. In October, the Obama administration announced that companies such as ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) and Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) are committing to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.
Friday is Veterans Day, and the president and first lady are scheduled to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
-By Jared A. Favole, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9256; email@example.com