MacArthur Secures Win for Veterans in Defense Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Tom MacArthur announced that his request to establish a joint council on job training at the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans' Affairs was included in the Subcommittee on Military Personnel markup of the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
"Veteran unemployment in our state is among the highest in the country, and the unemployment rate among veterans who served following 9/11 is consistently several points higher than the national average," MacArthur said. "But in spite of this, there is no coordinated effort at the Department of Defense and VA to tackle that problem."
"Last week, I called on Armed Services Chairman Thornberry to include language in this year's defense authorization bill that would create a joint committee at the VA and DoD to tackle veterans' unemployment issues," MacArthur continued. "It’s just common sense that these departments should work together to care for our service members as they return home and transition into civilian life. I fought to have my initiative included in the bill, and am pleased that it's now on the way to becoming a real solution for our veterans."
The DoD and VA currently have a Joint Executive Committee established to address veterans' health concerns. MacArthur's language will create a subcommittee on Job Training and Transition Assistance as a branch of that joint committee.
MacArthur's letter to Chairman Thornberry can be read here.
The National Defense Authorization Act is currently moving through the House Armed Services Committee before coming to a vote in the full House of Representatives.