Congressman Walsh Stands Up for America’s Youngest Veterans

Walsh Amendment Adopted by House

Rep. Walsh Stands Up for America’s Youngest Veterans
Rep. Walsh Stands Up for America’s Youngest Veterans

Today Congressman Joe Walsh (IL-8) took another step to solve high unemployment among America’s youngest veterans by offering an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  The amendment passed the House of Representatives unanimously.    

“My amendment will provide more opportunities for returning servicemen and women to find good-paying careers that reward their skill-level and experience,” said Walsh.  “As the 28 Founding Principles remind us, a free people will not survive unless they stay strong.  Taking care of returning veterans will keep America strong.”

The Walsh Amendment offered to H.R. 4310 authorizes the Department to include industry-recognized certifications in its civilian credentialing program for members of the armed forces.  These types of certifications are as important as licensing and are widely used by the manufacturing industry.  The Walsh Amendment was supported by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the National Association of Manufacturing. 

The unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans of all ages is staggeringly high.  As of January, it was 15.5% for males and 17.3% for females.  Among the nation’s youngest vets, it is even worse—young men between the ages of 18 and 24 have an unemployment rate of nearly 27%. 

H.R. 4310, the National Defense Reauthorization Act for fiscal year 2013, passed the House by a vote of 299-120. The Act authorizes funding and specifies a budget for the United States Department of Defense.  It also included bi-partisan language from Walsh’s Small Business Protection Act to ensure that small businesses are not driven out of competition for government contracts.

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