RELEASE: Gottheimer’s First Amendment Signed Into Law; Measure Will Boost Veterans’ Employment, Improve VA
Today, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced that his first amendment, a measure that will accelerate the hiring of post- 9/11 veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has been signed into law. Recognizing that veterans have the skills and training to make them exceptional workers yet often face barriers to employment, the Gottheimer Amendment to H.R. 1367 will make sure that the VA Secretary includes recipients of the Post-9/11 GI bill and young veterans who have recently graduated from college as a distinct category qualifying for excepted service appointments to the VA. This language was included in S. 114, the “VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017,” which the President signed into law on August 12.
Gottheimer introduced this amendment in March, and it passed the House unanimously. Video of Gottheimer and Republican Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) speaking in favor of the amendment is available HERE. Gottheimer developed the idea for the amendment after hearing from New Jersey veterans like his Veterans Affairs Director Mike Devilliers and recent reports by the Department of Labor that post-9/11 vets face a higher unemployment rate than other veterans and that expanded hiring at the VA is needed.
More than half of all post-9/11 veterans are 34 years of age or younger, and approximately 30% have a bachelors or advanced degree. Yet the Department of Labor reported that post-9/11 vets face a higher unemployment rate than other veterans.
“I am proud and humbled that my amendment to make it easier for veterans to secure employment in service of their brothers and sisters in arms has been signed into law,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. “Each and every day, our brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for us, and we owe it to them to ensure that they have the best care at the VA and the best career opportunities available to them when they return home. This amendment shows that it is possible to work across party lines to get the backs of those who served, and I thank my colleagues for their support of this measure and of our nation’s heroes.”