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Snap-O Fact #96

President Obama Unveils A $5 billion Veterans Proposal To Give Them A Hand-Up Instead Of A Hand-Out!
President Barack Obama unveiled a new $5 billion veterans jobs plan Thursday 02/Feb/2012. The administration says will put thousands of men and women who once wore their country's uniform back to work.
The new Veterans Jobs Corps initiative, first mentioned in the president's State of the Union address the week before, involves partnerships with the Veterans Administration and the Interior Department, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies.
Under the blueprint, the administration will award $166 million in grant money to communities that show a preference for hiring post-9/11 veterans for new law enforcement positions. In addition, $320 million in grant money will be awarded to various fire departments who pledge to hire and train ex-servicemen and women to become new members of their units. The money for those grants has already been appropriated by Congress. The president, however, will now seek an additional $4 billion in his upcoming budget to expand both programs and add others.
"This has been a top priority of mine," the President declared. "These are Americans that every business should be competing to attract. These are the Americans that we want to keep serving here at home as we rebuild this country. So we're going to do everything we can to make sure that when our troops come home they come home to new jobs and new opportunities and new ways to serve their country."
The president's upcoming budget will also include a $1 billion proposal to create as many as 20,000 new jobs for veterans relating to conservation efforts on America's federal and state public lands.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki added, "Our country owes them a debt of gratitude and we must ensure that veterans who come home from Afghanistan and Iraq get the opportunities they deserve."
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is 11.1%, or about 3 percentage points higher than the country's overall unemployment rate.
Although this is an investment in rebuilding the country as well as giving our returning heroes a hand up instead of a hand out, the proposal's $5 billion price tag makes it a potentially tough sell in the Tea Party influenced Congress.