Monday, September 10, 2012

McCaskill: Akin should explain opposition to veterans' funding

(From the Claire McCaskill Senate campaign)

As the Senate prepares to vote tomorrow on legislation to increase job training programs for veterans, Todd Akin’s past opposition to resources that provide job training to our veterans shows once again that Akin is far outside Missouri’s mainstream and he would not be a Senator on the side of Missouri’s military families.

“Todd Akin should explain to our veterans and military families why he’s opposed to providing our returning heroes with the job training assistance they’ve earned and deserve,” said Erik Dorey, McCaskill for Missouri spokesman. “Missourians agree that we need to reduce our federal spending, but helping our veterans transition successfully in civilian life should always be a top priority. While Claire’s worked across the aisle to fully-fund programs that equip our veterans for success in the workplace, Todd Akin’s rigid policies once again go too far, and would hurt Missouri’s military families.”

The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow on the Veterans Jobs Corps Act, which helps service members transition from military to civilian life by increasing job training assistance and employment opportunities. The legislation, which is fully paid for by cracking down on law-breaking Medicare providers, would make it easier for veterans to start careers as police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians. The bill would also improve existing transitional services for veterans, such as access to career guidance specialists.

In 2005, at the height of America’s involvement in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Akin voted against providing additional jobs training assistance for veterans returning from conflicts overseas. That same year he also voted against increased funding for military health care and transitional job training programs.

As a founding member of the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus, Claire led the charge to pass the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which was designed to boost the number of jobs available to our veterans. She also helped pass the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which was modeled after the GI Bill that helped her father attend college. Together, these bills helped veterans get back into the workforce by awarding tax breaks to employers who hire veterans, provided easier access to job training programs and gave financial assistance to those veterans who wish to further their education.


Akin Opposed Additional Job Training Assistance for Veterans Returning from Overseas. In March 2005, Akin voted against a motion to a job training reauthorization bill to provide extra assistance to veterans who are returning from conflicts overseas. Many veterans returning from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq may need skills and training to obtain or retain their jobs while Reservists who have spent a year or more overseas have put their careers on hold to serve our country. Four out of 10 members of the Guard and Reserve forces lose income when they leave their civilian jobs for active duty. Many left for the war thinking they would be deployed for 6 months and have ended up staying for a year or even longer and may be shipped out again. Additionally, many Guard and Reservists are self-employed or run small businesses and face the daunting task of reestablishing their businesses after their release from active duties. The 2 years after they return from service are the most difficult. The motion failed 197-228. [Statements by Rep. Kildee, 109th Congressional Record, pg. H915, 3/2/05; Statement by Rep. Schakowsky, 109th Congressional Record, pg. H2074, 4/14/05; Vote 47, 3/02/05]

Akin Opposed $50 Million Increase for Military Transitional Job Training. In March 2005, Akin voted against a proposal to the budget to increase funding for military health care by $100 million and transitional job training for military personnel by $50 million. The proposed increase failed 200-229.  [Vote 76, 3/16/05]

No comments: