Quigley, Bustos Continue Efforts to Put Veterans Back to Work
Jobs For Heroes Act Would Reauthorize, Expand & Make Permanent Expired Tax Credits For Businesses That Prioritize Hiring Vets
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Cheri Bustos (IL-17) continued efforts to create jobs for our nation’s veterans by introducing the Jobs for Heroes Act, legislation that would not only reauthorize, but also expand and make permanent two currently expired federal business tax credits designed to spur veteran employment. Additional original supporters include Congresswomen Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Robin Kelly (IL-02) and Donna Edwards (MD-04)
“The last thing our active duty service members and veterans should have to worry about is finding employment after proudly serving their country,” said Rep. Quigley. “Businesses that make hiring current and former members of our military play a crucial role in the fight against veteran unemployment, and I commend them for their continued commitment to tackling this problem. Now we need to be there for them and make these job-creating tax credits permanent for businesses that hire our bravest men and women.”
“Our brave veterans deserve our full support and that starts with making sure they have access to good-paying jobs when they return home,” said Rep. Bustos. “Democrats and Republicans should work together to reauthorize, expand and make permanent these job-creating tax credits that put our veterans to work and provide our businesses with talented, skilled and dedicated workers.”
Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 are especially prone to high unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their unemployment rate was 16.2 percent.
The Jobs for Heroes Act would:
- Reauthorize, expand and make permanent the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to make the tax credit available to businesses, both small and large, that hire veterans, members of the National Guard, or Ready Reservists.
- Reauthorize, expand and make permanent the Employer Wage Credit (EWC) to make the tax credit available to all businesses, both large and small. When National Guard members or Reservists are called up to active duty, their civilian jobs and salaries are placed on hiatus and they begin receiving military pay. If their civilian salary was higher, the civilian employer might voluntarily provide differential pay to the individual to make up for this pay gap and in return, claim a tax credit of up to 20 percent of the difference.
Rep. Bustos introduced similar legislation last Congress, and after her urging, Congress reauthorized these tax credits. However, they expired once again at the beginning of this year. In addition to reauthorizing these tax credits, the Jobs for Heroes Act would make them permanent. Full text of the bill can be found here.
Rep. Quigley is a stalwart supporter of veterans and, voting to reinstate military cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to provide veterans the full benefits they earned during their service. He sponsored the bipartisan Military CDL Act, which became law in 2012 and allows active duty military personnel to pursue new job opportunities immediately after leaving the service. In his capacity on the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Quigley supported $75 million towards the VA Supportive Housing Program, which provides homeless veterans with rental assistance. Locally, he is active with Chicago Honor Flight’s mission to bring World War II veterans from Illinois to the World War II Memorial to commemorate and celebrate their military service, and has worked "undercover" at Rags of Honor.