Rep. Melancon Supports Louisiana Veterans with Jobs, Housing Bills

Bills Will Support Job Training and Security, Also Help Homeless and Disabled Vets

WASHINTON D.C. – March 25, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Charlie Melancon (LA-03) voted this week in support of a series of bills to provide more opportunity to U.S. veterans, particularly those who are looking for jobs or are homeless. The measures would increase on-the-job training opportunities for returning veterans, prevent mortgage lenders from foreclosing on a veteran’s home after their service, and make sure payments for disabled veterans keep pace with the cost of living. Also included in the series was legislation to strengthen the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ work to fight and end homelessness.  An estimated 131,000 U.S. veterans are homeless nationwide.

“After World War II, a grateful nation honored the sacrifice of our troops by passing the GI Bill, enabling millions of veterans to continue their education and find stable, good-paying jobs after their service ended,” said Rep. Melancon.  “Today, far too many of our brave servicemen and women come home to a tough job market and fewer opportunities.  The New GI Bill we passed in 2008 was a major step forward in honoring our commitment to our nation’s veterans, and these five bills continue that progress.

“The legislation I supported this week will help those who have defended our country find work when they enter civilian life, either by returning to their old jobs or by receiving training for new energy-related jobs. These measures will safeguard veterans from losing their homes to foreclosure when they return from an overseas deployment, and will help those most in need to find permanent housing.  And veterans who struggle with a service-related disability will see an increase in their compensation, to keep pace with the cost of living.

“Our veterans have protected the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and passing these measures are one way we can give back to them.  I am proud to support Louisiana’s veterans by voting for them in Congress.”

Monday, Tuesday, and today, Congressman Melancon voted for the following bills:

  • National Guard Employment Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 1879) Extends key reemployment rights to all of those called up for full-time National Guard duty, including those assigned to a homeland security mission.
  • Energy Jobs for Veterans Act (H.R. 4592) Increases job opportunities for veterans by reimbursing employers for the cost of providing on-the-job training for veterans in the energy sector through a new “Veterans Energy Related Employment Program” of competitive grants.
  • Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act of 2009 (H.R. 3976) Extends expiring protections that safeguard veteran homeowners from foreclosure immediately following deployment.
  • The End Veteran Homelessness Act of 2010 (H.R. 4810) Strengthens successful comprehensive programs for homeless veterans.  The bill requires VA housing counselors to provide more housing opportunities for veterans at VA medical centers and strengthens permanent housing programs.  The VA programs supported by this bill will pay special attention to the needs of homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children.
  • The Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2010 (H.R. 4667) Increases the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans.

Congressman Melancon has a strong record in Congress of supporting veterans, servicemembers, and their families.  He supported the New GI Bill, passed in 2008, which restored the promise of a full, four-year college education for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.  Congressman Melancon also supported provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “Recovery Act”) that provided a tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans and helped disabled veterans weather the economic downturn with a one-time tax credit of $250.

Congressman Melancon has consistently voted for veterans and defense funding bills, including the largest increase in Veterans Affairs funding in the agency’s history, to ensure that troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan receive the best health care available.  Congressman Melancon has also supported reform legislation that will guarantee timely and reliable veterans funding, and voted to give U.S. troops a pay raise in both 2008 and 2009.

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