(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E756]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                               speech of

                        HON. SHEILA JACKSON LEE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, May 21, 2013

  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 1412, 
the ``Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013.'' There are 
over 800,000 veterans unemployed, or unable to find work in the United 
States, and the number is rising every year. If our brave men and women 
are to serve at home and abroad, it is our moral obligation to help 
ensure they can successfully transition into the workforce. For this 
reason I support the legislation before us.
  H.R. 1412 would extend for one month an expiring provision of law 
that limits pensions paid to certain veterans who are receiving 
Medicaid coverage in Medicaid-approved nursing homes. The bill also 
would modify the conditions for veterans to receive education benefit 
payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for participating 
in on-the-job training and require VA to enter into agreements with 
other federal agencies to promote on-the-job training opportunities for 
  The Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act will reduce the 
final OJT/Apprenticeship salary requirements that employers pay of the 
normal wage from 85% to 75% to encourage employers to offer more OJT/
Apprenticeship training for an additional 4 years. The bill also 
requires other Federal agencies to enter into agreements with the 
Department of Veterans Affairs to hire veterans using the OJT/
Apprenticeship benefit and extends reduced pension benefits for certain 
veterans in Medicaid funded nursing homes.
  If enacted, CBO estimates that, on net, the bill would decrease 
direct spending by $14 million over the next five years and by $12 
million over the next ten years. Because the bill would affect direct 
spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting H.R. 1412 would not 
affect revenues. In addition, implementing H.R. 1412 would have an 
insignificant effect on discretionary spending.
  Mr. Speaker, instead of returning home to their loving families, 
friends, and loved ones, 12 percent of veterans--about 1 in 8--are 
returning home to find unemployment lines. We owe it to these men and 
women who selflessly served our nation to help them change their 
condition for the better. The legislation before us, H.R. 1412, is a 
step in the right direction for veterans across the country and for 
many of the 35,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars who live 
in the Houston metropolitan area.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to join in me in supporting 
H.R. 1412, the ``Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013.''