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Politics

Florida Congressmen's Bill to Help Vets Enter Civilian Workforce Heads to the Senate

May 28, 2019 - 8:30am
Al Lawson and John Rutherford
Al Lawson and John Rutherford

A bill from two North Florida congressmen -- Republican Rep. John Rutherford and Democratic Rep. Al Lawson -- to help veterans transition out of the service and into civilian careers has cleared the U.S. House and now heads to the U.S. Senate. 

Back in October 2017, Rutherford and Lawson unveiled a bill creating a grant matching program for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support organizations that help veterans enter the private sector through job training programs and other training to help them enter the civilian workforce. While the bill cleared the House, it failed to pass the Senate. 

In March, the two North Florida congressmen brought it back with U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., on board. Other backers include U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn. Earlier this month, Rutherford was able to wrap his bill into a proposal from U.S. Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., helping veterans transition into the workforce.

After moving through a final committee stop, the bill passed the House on a voice vote last week. Rutherford and Lawson weighed in after the bill cleared the chamber. 

“Strengthening transition assistance programs for servicemen and women is key to preventing veteran suicide, homelessness, and unemployment,” said Rutherford. “By passing legislation that includes the Veterans Armed for Success Act in an overwhelming and bipartisan fashion, the House renewed our commitment to taking care of our brave heroes when they return to the civilian world. I thank Congressman Lawson for his teamwork on this initiative and urge Senate Majority Leader McConnell to quickly consider this important bill.” 

“We must honor our brave men and women in uniform by providing them with access to the resources necessary to transition back to civilian life,” said Lawson. “H.R. 2326 supports our veterans by providing grants for programs that train them in job readiness and help them launch their careers. Our veterans bring back real-world leadership and technical skills that strengthen our economy. I will continue to fight to create more opportunities for our nation’s veterans.”

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