During a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House today, President Barack Obama outlined his $447 billion Jobs Act that includes incentives not only to hire veterans, but also will provide for the training to make those veterans more marketable.
Obama delivered his remarks flanked by a group that included American Legion staff and three members of the Legion's Small Business Task Force, as well as teachers, police officers and firefighters. Under Obama's plan, which the president will send to Congress this evening, small businesses would receive a Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been unemployed six months or longer, and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit of up to $9,600 that will increase the existing tax credit for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed six months or longer.
Another face of the plan is the creation of a Department of Defense-led task force to maximize the career-readiness of all servicemembers, and enhancing job search services through the Department of Labor for recently transitioning veterans.
"We've got hundreds of thousands of brave, skilled Americans who fought for this country," Obama said. "The last thing they should have to do is to fight for a job when they come home. So let's pass this bill and put the men and women who served this nation back to work."
Mark Walker, deputy director of The American Legion Economic Division, attended the event, along with Small Business Task Force members Charles Baker, Walter Cotton III and Albert Long.
"We are pleased that President Obama is trying to put Americans back to work - particularly America's veterans," Walker said. "We like the fact that this plan will invest in small businesses so they have the capital to create jobs for veterans."
Obama said he'd unveil a plan to pay for the programs in the Jobs Act next week. "The American Jobs Act is not going to add to the debt -- it's fully paid for," the president said. "I want to repeat that. It is fully paid for. It's not going to add a dime to the deficit."