It’s Time to Start Hiring our Heroes
By: U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa /Guest Columnist
Members in the House did just that last week, acting immediately to focus on bipartisan, common-sense solutions. The very first action we took was to advance the Hire More Heroes Act, a bill passed with unanimous support that makes it easier for businesses to employ our nation’s hard-working veterans.Right now, we have an estimated 21 million veterans in the United States. Many of these men and women have some of the best training available and possess skills that would render them ideal candidates for countless private employers, yet too many of our veterans remain out of the workforce. In fact, the unemployment rate among those who have served post-9/11 remains at 9 percent, a number much higher than that of the rest of the country.
Our veterans deserve better than to return home from bravely serving this nation only to face an economic climate unable and unready to include them.
Meanwhile, a growing number of employers are struggling to expand their businesses while facing the punitive regulatory burdens of President Barack Obama’s health-care takeover. The law’s onerous employer mandate, requiring all businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to offer costly insurance or face steep fines, has caused many businesses to reduce hours, stop hiring, and even reduce personnel to avoid exorbitant penalties. These are the real-word implications of the devastating impacts Obamacare is having on small businesses across the country.
The Hire More Heroes Act alone will not completely solve these two major issues facing our country. Fundamentally, Obamacare is a fatally flawed law that cannot be fixed, and the challenges our veterans are facing right now demand a systematic change from the bottom up. However, we do have the tools to provide Americans the relief they need right now.
By simply allowing the millions of veterans already receiving care through the VA or Tricare to be exempt from the arbitrary 50-full-time threshold, we can prevent small businesses from being saddled with duplicative, unnecessary health-care costs while also encouraging them to hire the thousands of our nation’s heroes who are capable, well-trained, and eager to join the workforce.
Meaningful, common-sense solutions can be elusive in Washington sometimes, but this is exactly the type of responsible legislating you can expect from this Congress. Our men and women in the armed services have served our nation honorably and valiantly, and it is time our work honors them.
U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa represents California’s 1st District, which includes Placer County. He may be contacted via email through his website, lamalfa.house.gov, or through his Auburn district office at (530) 878-5035.