Cook & Gabbard Reintroduce
Hire Veterans Bill
Washington D.C. ____ Representative Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) and Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D- HI), introduced HR 244, the HIRE Vets Act OF 2017. This bipartisan Bill, which was
previously introduced last Congress, passed the House with unanimous support,
but was not able to pass the Senate before the end of the year.
important legislation would promote private sector recruiting, hiring, and
retaining of men and women who served honorably in the U.S. military through a
voluntary and effective program. Specifically, it would create an awards
program recognizing the meaningful, verifiable efforts undertaken by employers
– both large and small – to hire and retain Veterans. Both Representatives Cook
and Gabbard, designed the program to be self-funded.
the U.S. Department of Labor, the HIRE Vets Act would allow businesses to display HIRE Vets Medallions on products and marketing materials.
These medallions would be awarded as part of a two-tiered system –Gold and
Platinum – associated with specific hiring and retention goals each year.
program also establishes similar tiered awards for small and mid-sized
businesses with less than 500 employees. To ensure proper oversight, the Secretary of Labor would be required to provide Congress with
annual reports on the success of the program with regard to Veteran employment
and retention results.
Representative Cook said, “The
HIRE Vets Act is an opportunity for Americans to see which companies truly live
up to the employment promises they make to Veterans. Veterans who serve this
country honorably shouldn’t struggle to find employment, and this bill creates
an innovative system to encourage and recognize employers who make veterans a
priority in their hiring practices.”
Representative Gabbard said,
“Roughly 500 veterans return to civilian life every single day, joining the
more than 2.9 million veterans that have returned home since 9/11. While we’ve
taken some important steps to encourage employers to hire more veterans, more
than 400,000 veterans across the country are still unemployed today. Through
their service, veterans develop unique skills, experiences, and leadership
training that make them especially valuable to employers. The HIRE Vets Act incentivizes employers to
hire veterans, and recognizes employers that provide a supportive work
environment to retain veteran employees. I encourage our colleagues to join us
in passing this bill unanimously again to move this support for our veterans
and employers forward.”
Representative Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley, California), a member of the
House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook
served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the
U.S. Marine Corps. During Paul Cook’s time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze
Star and two Purple Hearts.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D- Hawaii), is a twice-deployed combat veteran
and member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. She
continues to serve as a Major in the Hawaii Army