Republicans Vote Down Initiative to Create Jobs for Returning Veterans

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur offered an amendment today in the House Budget Committee's mark up of the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution.

Kaptur's amendment would establish a Veterans Job Corps that would employ at least 20,000 veterans over 5 years in projects to preserve and restore America's national parks, state parks, and other public lands.

While the Veterans Job Corps amendment drew unanimous support from House Democrats, it was voted down 17-20 in the Republican controlled House Budget Committee this afternoon.

"I can only hope that the lack of sensitivity for the plight of unemployed returning veterans will change. These men and women answered the call to service for their country and now they are getting nothing but a dial tone from House Republicans," Kaptur said.

"President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set up the original CCC in very short order. In three months, there were 1,463 working camps and 317,000 employees," added Kaptur.

The Veterans Job Corps amendment was based on the bill Kaptur introduced last year, the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act (H.R. 494), as a means of providing gainful employment to unemployed and underemployed citizens through public works projects.

Veterans, particularly those recently returned from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan have been disproportionately affected by the depressed economy. A year ago, more than 1 million veterans were unemployed. In February, that number had declined to 770,000. About 150,000 of these are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The President recently embraced the idea of a Veterans Job Corps after Congresswoman Kaptur personally proposed the idea to him during a visit he made to Ohio last year. The concept was also a centerpiece of his State of the Union address last month.