By Lucy Madison
President Obama on Monday signed a bill aimed at getting unemployed veterans back to work, marking a rare moment of bipartisanship among Washington lawmakers this year, and signifying the president’s first achievement in pushing individual initiatives of his American Jobs Act through Congress piecemeal after its failure to pass earlier in the fall.
The president, speaking after an introduction from his wife Michelle Obama, said the bill would work to help America’s 850,000 unemployed veterans find jobs by offering tax credits to businesses for hiring them – and urged companies to hire veterans because “it’s the right thing to do.”
“For businesses out there, if you are hiring, hire a veteran. It’s the right thing to do for you. It’s the right thing to do for them. And it’s the right thing to do for our economy,” Mr. Obama said in his remarks.
The bill provides double the tax incentives for companies who hire disabled veterans and repeals a 2006 law that, as of 2012, would have required federal, state, and local governments to withhold three percent of payments to contractors.
Mr. Obama also announced a series of executive actions aimed at providing unemployed veterans with the resources to find jobs – including a jobs bank, employment counseling and online resources allowing veterans to explore their employment options.
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