Veterans Jobs Bill: Roller-Coaster Week

September 14, 2012 |

US Senate

When does a measure to create a veteran job program (which we can all agree is a good thing) get controversial? When you’re dealing with the U.S. government, that’s when. to recap what happened this week: as reported by Businessweek, the U.S. Senate advanced for discussion a Democratic measure to create a job program for military veterans. The legislation authorizes $1 billion in spending through 2017 to help veterans find work as police officers and firefighters, and in conservation, historic preservation and national park projects.

The logical next step would be to debate the bill on the Senate floor and potentially push it through to the House of Representatives for a vote. But now the bill has stalled on the Senate floor due to a procedural vote, alongside complaints that the proposed legislation is only creating “temporary jobs.” In the words of one senator:

“What we’re really doing is passing a bill for political reasons that’s not going anywhere in the (U.S.) House so that we can say we’re doing things,” The Hill quoted Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., as saying on the Senate floor.

“We already have six veterans’ job programs. Not one of them has a metric on it to see if it is working. There has not been one hearing to see what the jobs program that we are running now are doing.

“Is this about veterans or is this about politicians?” Coburn said. “I suspect it is about politicians. I suspect it is about elections, not veterans.”

On that note, it’s been suggested that the bill is being passed “to help Florida Democrat Bill Nelson tout his efforts for the state’s 1.7 million veterans as he seeks a third term,” as reported by Bloomberg. And round and round we go, as you can also see from this article.

There’s still a long way to go, but what’s your take on the proposed bill? Sound off in our comments section below. And if you want to get in touch with your local elected officials on the issue, you can visit the Legislative Center.

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. Mike says:

    It's the GOP sitting on the bill, by the way.

  2. Rob says:

    Would the money, if spent by the original taxpayer, also create jobs?

  3. MLMG says:

    As a Veteran, the creation of a Veteran's job program is an excellent concept, however, as stated above, if there is no oversight to ensure the program is working, why throw billions of dollars at it? All of our Veterans deserve better.

  4. Theresa J. Trahan says:

    I am a veteran and would like to see a job's program worthy of our time as well as the years of reserve time. Surely, WE have the will and passion to see this program correctly implemented.

  5. j Fesler says:

    I am a Viet Nam Vet and we wouldhave loved to had this possibility awaiting us when we returned. We are now starting to get it Right in this country for our Vets.
    Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. why don't you and your fellow DC Members stay in Washington and do what you said? You are taking yet another 7 weeks off to go home again and not doing the job that we asked of you….Do The Right Thing For Once Washington!

  6. Jon says:

    To "Mike", why doe it matter which party is sitting on the bill? What should matter more to every citizen in the case of stalled legislation is WHY the bill is not moving forward. Then again, I may be wrong. I'm the crazy guy that believes every Congressman who voted on the Affordable Care Act (or who does the same with any legislation) without fully reading and understanding it deserves to be fired. Their job is to protect and defend the Constitution and to write legislation that is in the best interest of the country as a whole. If they cannot do these things, then they do not deserve their position. It does not matter at all whether an (R) or a (D) follows their title and name.