Durbin Statement on Passage of the Veterans Jobs Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Senate passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act - a bill that will help tens of thousands of unemployed veterans get back to work – by a wide bipartisan margin:


“More than 75,000 veterans in Illinois are out of work, and as we end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that number will likely grow. These veterans fought for America, and it’s our duty to see that they are given a helping hand when they return home.”


“If we are serious about dealing with this recession and putting Americans back to work, let’s not stop with this important bill for our veterans. It’s time we keep this bipartisan momentum and pass legislation necessary to put all Americans back to work.”


The Vow to Hire Heroes Act:

  • Expands education and training opportunities for older veterans by providing nearly 100,000 unemployed veterans of past eras and wars with up to 1 year of additional Montgomery GI benefits to go towards education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools for high-demand jobs.


  • Makes the Transition Assistance Program (TAP)—an interagency effort coordinated by Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs—mandatory for service members moving on to civilian life to help them secure 21st Century jobs through resume writing workshops and career counseling.


  • Provides disabled veterans up to 1 year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.


  • Works with the states to create a licensing and credentialing standard for returning service members to break down the barriers to find meaningful employment in their military occupations.


  • Allows service members to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, Homeland Security, or the many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.


  • Strengthens the protections for members of the National Guard and Reserve in the workforce to minimize hostile work environments.


  • Provides a tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, but less than 6 months. Also provides a tax credit of up to $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.