A little-noticed provision of the massive defense bill the Senate passed last week would eliminate the preference veterans get once they are in the government and apply for another federal job. Former service members would still go to the head of the hiring queue.
Top defense officials pressed Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, for the change, Senate aides said, to ensure that qualified non-veterans are considered equally with veterans for specialized, hard-to-fill positions.
The language, which will now head to conference with the House as part of the larger defense bill, would apply government-wide. It would affect thousands of veterans, many of whom get a foot in the door with an entry-level position and then seek jobs at other agencies.
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