Heather ZichalNovember 16, 2011
01:21 PM EDT
Today marks a major step forward in the Obama administration’s efforts to save American families money at the pump, reduce our country’s dependence on oil, and boost domestic manufacturing.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have formally announced their joint proposal to set stronger fuel economy and greenhouse gas pollution standards for model year 2017-2025 passenger cars and light-duty trucks. When combined with other actions the Administration has taken to increase efficiency in the transportation sector, this announcement will save Americans $1.7 trillion, reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels per day by 2025, and slash greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons.
Under the proposal, model year 2017-2025 cars and light-duty trucks are expected to achieve increases in fuel efficiency equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. This builds on the first phase of President Obama’s national program announced in 2009, which will raise the average fuel economy of passenger vehicles to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.
These standards provide regulatory certainty and flexibility for auto manufacturers. By continuing the national program developed for model year 2012-2016 vehicles, EPA and DOT have designed a proposal that allows manufacturers to keep producing a single, national fleet of passenger cars and light trucks that satisfies all federal and California requirements, while ensuring that consumers enjoy a full range of vehicle choices.
The ambitious goals established in these standards will drive innovation in the manufacturing sector and help create high-quality jobs across the country. Major auto manufacturers are already heavily invested in developing advanced technologies that can significantly reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions beyond the existing model year 2012-2016 targets. A wide range of technologies are currently available for automakers to meet the new standards, including advanced gasoline engines and transmissions, vehicle weight reduction, lower tire rolling resistance, improvements in aerodynamics, diesel engines, more efficient accessories, and improvements in air conditioning systems. The new standards should also encourage manufacturers to explore electric technologies such as start/stop, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles. Notably, the model year 2017-2025 proposal includes a number of incentive programs to promote early adoption and introduction of “game changing” advanced technologies, such as hybridization for pickup trucks.
Developed in partnership with 13 major auto manufacturers including Ford, GM and Chrysler, the state of California, the United Auto Workers (UAW), consumer and environmental groups, and other stakeholders, these achievable and cost-effective standards represent the most significant federal action ever taken to improve fuel economy and reduce carbon pollution. In fact, these standards will bring the nation over halfway to the President’s goal of reducing oil imports by a third by 2025.
The President’s national fuel economy program represents a key component of the comprehensive energy policy that this Administration has pursued since day one, which aims to increase safe and responsible energy production at home while reducing our overall dependence on oil with advanced biofuels and greater efficiency.
November 16, 2011
11:29 AM EDT
Today, the White House Business Council launched the online Business Forum as one more way for the Administration to stay connected with the business community.
Senior officials from the White House and across the Administration meet regularly with business leaders from around the country. Since April, the White House Business Council has held over 500 events with business owners and entrepreneurs in all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. Our purpose in these discussions is two-fold: 1) to get feedback on what the Administration can be doing more of - or less of - to help create jobs; and 2) to make sure that businesses are aware of the programs and resources that can help their businesses grow and succeed.
We’re looking for ideas from entrepreneurs, business owners and the business community to help improve our policymaking. And that is why we are so excited about the White House Business Council Forum. The forum will be one way for the Administration to stay in regular contact with business leaders from around the country, continuing to get their input and perspective. It will be a place where business leaders can ask questions, offer solutions and get answers from Administration officials. If you’re part of the business community and want to contribute, you can join a conversation already in progress or start your own. Not a part of the business community, but know someone who is? Help us spread the word by letting them know about the forum.
To get the forum going, we are starting two conversations today. The first is about BusinessUSA, the one-stop shop and online platform where businesses of all sizes can access services and information to help them grow and hire that is launching in early 2012. We want to make sure that BusinessUSA meets your needs. And that is where you come in. Tell us how you would like this resource to be designed, what you want it to do and how you think it should work.
Second, over the past few weeks, President Obama has announced a series of executive actions designed to strengthen the economy and help American businesses create jobs and compete in the global economy. Why? Because we can't wait to take action to get our economy moving again. Share your ideas for what concrete actions that President Obama can take right now to create jobs and grow the economy, without waiting on Congress to write a bill or draft legislation.
We hope you join us on the White House Business Council Forum and that you share it with colleagues and friends. To keep updated on the Forum and for regular updates from the White House Business Council, be sure to sign up.
Matt ComptonNovember 15, 2011
07:15 PM EDT
When President Obama touches down in Australia tomorrow, he'll arrive with two major goals: strengthening our relationships and promoting security in the Pacific.
That starts in Canberra, the Australian capital.
On Wednesday, the President will meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and the two will hold a joint press conference. Later that day, President Obama will be hosted at a dinner at the Australian Parliament House. On Thursday, the President will give an address to the Australian Parliament, meet with parliamentary leaders, tour a primary school with Prime Minister Gillard, and visit a military base in Darwin -- where he'll speak to a combined audience of U.S. marines and Australian troops.
For 60 years, the U.S. and Australia have been joined by a defense treaty, but our military partnership extends back much further. American and Australian troops have fought side by side from First World War to the current engagement in Afghanistan.
From Australia, the President will fly to Indonesia for the East Asia Summit , where he will hold bilateral meetings with a number of allies -- including the leaders of India, Thailand, and the Philippines. Much of the conversation at the summit will center on improving economic integration and addressing security challenges in the region.
November 15, 2011
06:25 PM EDT
So, what’s a typical day like for a White House Intern
It’s a question I’m often asked, and the honest answer is that there’s no such thing. The mission of the White House Internship Program is to make the "People’s House" accessible to future leaders from around the nation, and to cultivate and prepare those devoted to public service for future leadership opportunities. To this end, the programs and opportunities of the Internship Program make for days filled with unique learning experiences, thought-provoking conversation, and unforgettable events.
White House Interns work in one of sixteen White House departments where they conduct research, manage incoming inquiries, attend meetings, write memos and staff events. Some of the offices where they work include the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of the White House Counsel, the National Economic Council, the Office of Communications, the Domestic Policy Council and the Office of Digital Strategy.
In addition to their regular duties, each week, White House Interns hear from senior members of the Administration including the First Lady, the Chief of Staff and the White House Counsel. They meet in small groups to discuss policy issues and take off-site field trips to learn more about Washington, D.C. They participate in service projects at non-profits and schools. Not to mention, they spend three months alongside other Interns who are devoted to public service and with whom they build long-lasting friendships.
Today we open the application for the Summer 2012 White House Internship Program. The summer program runs from May 29, 2012 through August 10, 2012, and the application deadline is January 22, 2012.
If you are interested in public service – Apply.
Tell other young leaders who are interested in public service to apply.
Be part of a program where there’s no typical day, and where young people from across the country dedicate their time, talents, and energy to better the White House, the community, and the nation.
Megan SlackNovember 15, 2011
06:23 PM EDT
It’s America Recycles Day! Today, we celebrate the commitment to living sustainably and rededicate ourselves to thoughtful resource management at home and in the workplace.
As President Obama wrote in his America Recycles Day Proclamation, Americans have been recycling for decades. During the First and Second World Wars, families gathered scraps and material that could be reused for war manufacturing. In 2011, we recycled or composted 34 percent of the 250 million tons of municipal waste generated in the United States. President Obama’s proclamation highlighted the importance of recycling for our economy:
We have bolstered recycling programs through individual action, community engagement, and national initiatives, and we have broadened our efforts to include a vast array of pioneering industrial processes that will drive our clean economy and create green jobs. These advances cut waste, preserve our natural bounty, and spur the robust and sustainable economic growth that will carry us through this century and into the next.
Our progress is impressive, but there is more we can be doing to protect our environment and conserve our limited natural resources. For example, updating and expanding our recycling programs to accommodate the 2 million tons of used electronic waste we generate each year can help put these resources back into productive use. Recycling just one cell phone saves enough energy to power a laptop for 44 hours, according to the EPA.
On this America Recycles Day, commit yourself to producing less waste, reusing and recycling more materials, and protecting our nation’s precious natural resources.
November 15, 2011
04:39 PM EDT
When Rick Buss left his position as city manager of Maricopa, Arizona, to become the town manager of a 2,000-person, economically struggling town called Gila Bend in 2008, some people who know him personally and professionally wondered why.
But with a firm background in both technology companies and sustainable management, Mr. Buss had a vision: "There's no reason why Gila Bend, Arizona, can't be the solar capitol of the world."
So he got to work. He brought over a young talent from Maricopa, Eric Fitzer, to serve as his right hand man. Fitzer, Buss tells me, is particularly skilled with zoning and economic development, and working together they crafted a "Solar Field Overlay Zone" (SFOZ), which greatly reduced the complications for solar companies to develop the sun-soaked fields located within the town.
In addition, Rick worked with the town government to expedite the speed at which solar companies’ construction plans could get approved. Processes that usually take at least a year, and often several years, can now go through public hearings, citizen review sessions, planning and zoning commissions hearings, publication in a newspaper, and council approval in as little as four weeks.
"We aren't even seeing that kind of consistent speed for permitting approvals in the residential sector," said Energy Department's Solar Market Transformation Lead Jennifer DeCesaro. “Whether we're talking about a small 5 kilowatt residential system or a large several hundred megawatt industrial system, lack of consistency and transparency in solar permitting is a challenge for every market sector in this country.”
Matt ComptonNovember 15, 2011
01:33 PM EDT
Nearly two years ago, President Obama signed an executive order to begin an aggressive campaign against government waste -- and directed federal agencies to prevent $50 billion in improper payments by the end of 2012.
In 2011 alone, this campaign netted $17.6 billion in savings by cutting payment errors for programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, and food stamps.
When the President issued the order, his goal was to see the error rate drop from 5.42 percent to 4.2 percent. Today, we're able to project that, by 2012, the rate will drop all the way to 3.8 percent.
President Obama has asked Congress for aggressive new tools to help the federal government save even more money -- as much as $160 billion over the next decade. But because we can't wait for lawmakers to build on this progress, the Obama administration is moving forward with additional steps to find savings.
The Department of Health and Human Services will soon launch four new pilot programs to reduce the error rate further and cut Medicare and Medicaid waste and fraud. And Jack Lew, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, just directed federal agencies to step up their oversight of contractors and grant recipients in order to eliminate waste and fraud.
For more information on the work to reduce payment errors, visit paymentaccuracy.gov.
Dr. Jill BidenNovember 15, 2011
10:39 AM EDT
Friday was a special day, as we paid tribute to our Nation’s Veterans. My husband Joe and I attended a Veterans Day parade in Media, Pennsylvania. That evening in New York, I was honored to attend the dedication of a statue created to commemorate the United States military’s response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The 16-foot tall bronze statue entitled De Oppresso Liber (“to liberate the oppressed”) – the motto of the U.S. Army Special Forces – depicts a soldier on horseback in honor of the first Special Forces unit that rode into combat in the mountains of Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. Upon completion of the 9/11 Memorial, the statue will be permanently located at the World Trade Center site.
Our veterans and their families show us every day just what words like “strength” and “courage” mean. And these special operators are no exception. Joe and I met with several of them before the dedication ceremony. I was in awe of the group – many of whom have continued to serve. And as we chatted with them, I couldn’t help but think of their families too – and the fear their parents, spouses, and children must have felt watching them leave without knowing where they were going or when they would come home. I met one young woman in her early twenties who remembers her father leaving for Afghanistan for the first time in 2001. Since then, she has watched him leave for deployment countless times, and she has spent nearly half her life worrying about him. But like all military families I have met, she is fiercely proud of his service. Her father is her hero.
We must never forget the sacrifices of our troops and their families – at home and abroad. This statue serves as a reminder of the very first brave soldiers who rushed into harm’s way in response to the attacks on 9/11 – and of their families, to whom Afghanistan was a dangerous unknown. On Veterans Day and every day, it is our duty to show appreciation for the service of our military community and to remember that each of us has the ability to make a difference in the life of a military family.
Dr. Jill Biden is the Second Lady of the United States.
Matt ComptonNovember 14, 2011
06:57 PM EDT
At the end of October, the Senate confirmed John Bryson to head the U.S. Department of Commerce, and today, Vice President Biden was on hand to swear in the new Secretary at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Secretary Bryson comes to the job with decades of experience and deep knowledge of American business. Learn more about Bryson here.
Matt ComptonNovember 14, 2011
04:17 PM EDT
This weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the President in Hawaii to host the conference of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders.
At a luncheon for APEC spouses, Mrs. Obama discussed why Hawaii is uniquely suited to entertain talks like those held between the 21 nations in attendance:
Hawaii is an incredibly diverse place; it's home to people of all different cultures. And there’s a special spirit here –- a spirit of openness and tolerance. And I have experienced it myself. I feel like this is my home away from home, a place where I feel welcome and open and optimistic. Folks here view their differences as strengths –- not as weaknesses. And people of all different backgrounds live together and work together and seek to learn from each other.
The meal featured produce from the MA'O Organic Farm -- which the First Lady toured over the weekend. Guiding her through the farm, which is also home to a youth leadership program, were high school and college interns.
At the luncheon, the First Lady presented each of the spouses with a personal gift created by Hawaiian artists.
Megan SlackNovember 14, 2011
02:01 PM EDT
Over the weekend, the United States hosted the 19th annual leaders meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC in Honolulu. APEC promotes trade and economic cooperation among 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2010, APEC economies purchased $774 billion worth of U.S. exports, accounting for 61 percent of total U.S. exports.
Trade with these APEC nations supports 5 million American jobs, and strengthening our relationship with other economies in the Pacific region—and their 2.7 billion consumers—will help create new business opportunities, jobs, and buying power for Americans.
Leaders at this year’s summit agreed to adopt innovative market policies, reduce tariffs and barriers to trade in environmental goods and services, and improve regulations that create burdens on businesses.
President Obama knows that we can’t wait to create jobs like the ones fostered by cooperation in the Asia Pacific region. In addition to working hard with world leaders to create economic opportunity and jobs through trade, he introduced the American Jobs act to put our millions of unemployed workers back on the job while helping businesses invest and grow. And, he’s signed a series of Executive Actions to ensure our workers don’t have to wait for Congress to act. These orders range from challenges to establish innovative and job-creating health and education programs, to initiatives that connect unemployed veterans with jobs, to steps that help developers bring their projects to market more quickly.
November 14, 2011
12:45 PM EDT
Ed. note: Cross-posted from HealthCare.gov.
Health care costs remain a significant drain on the budgets of families, businesses, and federal and state governments. The health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, made significant strides in making Medicare more affordable and insurance companies more accountable. Congress is considering other ways to build on this progress, but we can’t wait to do more to help make our health care system more affordable.
In that spirit, the Obama Administration recently launched the Health Care Innovation Challenge. Made possible by the Affordable Care Act, this initiative will invest up to $1 billion in the best projects that doctors, hospitals, and other innovators propose to deliver high-quality medical care and save money. Projects that win this competition will use health care dollars more wisely, help create jobs, and help professionals improve the work they do for patients.
Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum and usually doesn’t start in Washington — we need the vision and experience of people who are already proving that our health care providers can and do provide better care and better health at lower cost. So we want to hear from you. Send us your innovative ideas and solutions, and submit a proposal outlining your vision for helping us transform the health care system. We’ll sort through these proposals and help put the best ones into practice.
If your proposal has strong evidence that it can start quickly, reduce costs, and improve health care, you can qualify for approximately $1 million to $30 million in an upfront investment. Priority is given to proposals that retrain workers and support job creation. You can find a fact sheet and the Funding Opportunity Announcement on our Healthcare Innovation Challenge Web page.
We’ll work with a wide variety of public and private organizations, including providers, payers, local governments, community and faith-based organizations, and other innovators whose compelling ideas can improve health care for patients. We are also looking for projects that help patients with the greatest health care needs, projects that can be up and running soon, and projects that rapidly hire, train, and deploy health care workers.
For example, the Health Care Innovation Challenge could support the use of personal and home care aides to help the elderly stay in their homes or expanding the use of community-based paramedics to provide basic services to individuals in rural communities.
Different communities have different needs and circumstances—some require unique, locally driven innovations. With the Health Care Innovation Challenge, we hope to give providers even more opportunities to make our health care system even stronger.
Megan SlackNovember 14, 2011
12:10 PM EDT
Earlier this year, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to hear the case against the Affordable Care Act in order to put the challenges to rest and continue moving forward with implementing the law, which will lower the cost of health care for all Americans while ensuring more people are able to access the care they need.
The Affordable Care Act will:
- Reduce the deficit by more than a trillion dollars over the next decade due to decreased spending on health care
- Expand health care coverage to 32 million people who didn’t have it before
- Allow more than 1 million young people to stay on their parent’s health care plans until their 26th birthday
- End abusive insurance practices such as denying treatment for pre-existing conditions, dropping people from plans when they get sick, and implementing annual and lifetime limits on care
- Strengthen Medicare to help better protect our seniors
“We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and are confident the Supreme Court will agree,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said.
Valerie JarrettNovember 14, 2011
11:12 AM EDT
Ed note: This Op-ed was featured in the Huffington Post on Friday, November 11, 2011.
On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, President Obama addressed a dinner hosted by the National Women’s Law Center, and delivered a powerful speech on the importance of continuing the fight for equality for women and girls. The dinner honored women Freedom Riders, who put their own lives in jeopardy in order to fight for the end of segregation in the South.
It was an honor to spend an evening with these courageous women, and it was a moment when our nation’s past and present were truly woven together. One Freedom Rider whispered to the President Obama that on the day he was born, August 4, 1961, she was in jail in Mississippi.
The Freedom Riders’ stories should remind us all that change is hard. Very hard. It takes time. But with conviction, determination, and sacrifice, change is always possible. And when it comes to securing equal rights and opportunities for America’s women and girls, our country has made great progress in just a few short years.
Change is the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the very first bill President Obama signed into law, which strengthens a woman’s right to equal pay.
Change is health care reform that makes it illegal to deny coverage for women with pre-existing conditions such as breast cancer or being a victim of domestic violence, and requires insurance companies to cover preventive care, including mammograms and contraception.
Change is investing in STEM education for girls, so that America’s women can be equally represented in the next generation of scientists, researchers, and engineers.
Change is nominating two women to the Supreme Court, so that for the first time in American history, three of the nine justices are women.
Change is creating the White House Council on Women and Girls, which focuses every federal department and agency on working together to improve the lives of women and girls, recognizing that the issues that primarily affect women are not just women’s issues. When a woman is paid equally for equal work, her family is better off, her community is healthier, and our economy grows. When women succeed, America succeeds.
Erin LindsayNovember 13, 2011
12:41 PM EDT
Yesterday, President Obama kicked off the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers and Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. In the morning, the President met with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) leaders, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
President Obama announced in November 2009 the United States’ intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to conclude an ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that reflects U.S. priorities and values. This agreement will boost U.S. economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality jobs at home by increasing American exports to a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents more than 40 percent of global trade.
As the President noted yesterday:
We just had an excellent meeting, and I’m very pleased to announce that our nine nations have reached the broad outlines of an agreement. There are still plenty of details to work out, but we are confident that we can do so. So we've directed our teams to finalize this agreement in the coming year. It is an ambitious goal, but we are optimistic that we can get it done.
The TPP will boost our economies, lowering barriers to trade and investment, increasing exports, and creating more jobs for our people, which is my number-one priority. Along with our trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, the TPP will also help achieve my goal of doubling U.S. exports, which support millions of American jobs.
Later in the day, President Obama participated in an APEC CEO Business summit, including a question and answer session with Boeing CEO, Jim McNerney.
Matt ComptonNovember 12, 2011
12:00 PM EDT
President Obama and the First Lady ended Veterans Day aboard the USS Carl Vinson where they watched the University of North Carolina men's basketball team defeat Michigan State University in the first-ever Carrier Classic.
More than 8,000 people were in the stands on the flight deck of the 95,000-ton, Nimitz-class ship -- most of them uniformed military personnel. As much as the President loves a good game of basketball, he made a point to say that the real reason for the event was to celebrate the members of the U.S. armed forces and their families and ensure that our nation does right by its heroes:
This week, throughout the week, we've been celebrating our veterans, but we have to turn our words into action. And so what we've done is make sure that Congress passed legislation that makes it a little bit easier for businesses to hire our veterans. We've put in place a series of reforms to help veterans, make sure they get the counseling and the job placement that they need.
The First Lady along with Dr. Jill Biden have put together something called Joining Forces that has now gotten commitments -- 100,000 jobs for veterans and military spouses all across the country. And we are grateful for them for that effort.
But every American citizen can make a solemn pledge today that they will find some opportunity to provide support to our troops, to those who are still active duty, to our National Guard, to our Reservists, and to our veterans.
Read the President's full remarks from the game here.
Update: Check out a slideshow of photos from Veterans Day events with the President, First Lady, and Vice President.
Matt ComptonNovember 12, 2011
05:30 AM EDT
Colleen CurtisNovember 11, 2011
06:30 PM EDT
John Kamin enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005, and was deployed to Iraq at the onset of the surge in 2007. He received an honorable discharge after 15 months, but returned to Iraq when he was recalled in 2009. Today Kamin is studying at American University, where he is president of the school’s student veteran group.
In that role, he sees a lot of his fellow veterans struggling to adjust to civilian life, a problem he thinks will grow as we return to a peacetime force. “We are going to be seeing a lot of people get out of the military with a vast array of skill sets and a vast amount of knowledge that, at surface value, does not translate into civilian skills. There is no way to tangibly associate one with the other.”
He says veterans face unique difficulties in transitioning to the civilian job market. “It falls on them to pretty much exploit a skill that the military does not teach you, which is looking out for number one, learning how to self-promote and put yourself out there for events and experiences you hold dear and don’t feel the need to advertise.”
Kamin believes the new initiatives around job training and job search support President Obama announced this week can make a big difference, and he also hopes attention to the challenges transitioning veterans face will help bridge the gap in understanding and set up our returning veterans for success.
Read the story of Navy veteran Eric Smith, who has more than five years experience as a military medic, but works today as a hospital janitor.
Megan SlackNovember 11, 2011
06:00 PM EDT
Watch Army Veteran Nicolas Terrazas, here.
Nicolas Terrazas joined the Army Reserves in 2002, and was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan during his eight years in the Reserves. He’s currently pursuing a bachelor of science in information technology with the help of the Post 9/11 GI Bill while working as a systems administrator for a government contractor.
Terrazas said that the skills he gained in the military enabled him to be a better employee on the civilian side because he’s able to determine and deliver what his customers want. He supports President Obama’s initiatives to help connect veterans with jobs and career services because while his personal support network helped him find a job after leaving the military, he said that the process for veterans starting from scratch is much more daunting.
“These individuals have served their country and still look to serve in other capacities, even if it’s not in the military, if they’re coming back and making the straight transition to civilian to the civilian world, they’re still looking to support the economy…and give back,” he said. “The same way they’ve provided their services, risking their lives in service to this country, the same effort should be put back.”
Despite the fact that our veterans have unique skills and experiences that make them excellent hires for any civilian business, their unemployment rate tops 12 percent. Read the stories of veterans like Nicolas who have struggled to transition their skills into new careers and find out why fighting for these heroes is a priority for the Obama Administration.
Megan SlackNovember 11, 2011
05:15 PM EDT
Ninety-four Senators did the right thing by voting to pass tax credits that will help encourage businesses to hire America’s veterans. Both credits are pieces of the American Jobs Act, President Obama’s plan to put people back to work and grow the economy.
Millions of Americans are looking for work right now, but veterans are particularly vulnerable. More than 850,000 veterans were unemployed in October. The unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans is 12.1 percent, compared to 9.0 percent nationally.
President Obama believes that no veteran should have to fight for a job after fighting for our nation overseas. That’s why he introduced the Returning Heroes Tax Credit, which provides firms that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran. He also introduced the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, which offers firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities with a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran.
Today we honor the service and sacrifice of all the veterans who have served in our nation’s military. But we must continue to do right by these heroes who have given so much by helping them find jobs so that they can take full advantage of the opportunity they fought to defend.
A unique view of 2012