Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 | 5:04 p.m.
Nevada’s only active-duty Army Reserve congressman will deliver the national Republican address on Saturday, and his subject will be in keeping with the Veterans’ Day holiday.
Rep. Joe Heck will speak about veterans’ unemployment, and recent bipartisan efforts to combat it in Congress, according to a press release from House Speaker John Boehner’s office.
“The men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedoms hold a special place in our nation’s heart,” Heck said in a statement. “As our veterans transition to civilian life, they face a new challenge: finding a good-paying job. The 12.1 percent unemployment rate among veterans who have served since 9/11 is above the average unemployment rate in every state except my home state of Nevada, which is 13.4 percent. Both are unacceptable.”
The Senate passed legislation today that would advance a veteran-specific piece of President Barack Obama’s jobs plan: a tax incentive that would give employers up to $5,600 for hiring post-9/11 veterans and $9,600 for hiring disabled post-9/11 veterans that had been unemployed for at least six months. Both Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller voted in favor of the bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 94 to 1 -- only Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina voted against it.
The bill now goes back to the House, which passed a veterans job-training measure last month, but has not yet considered the tax credits.
Heck address will air live Saturday on the House Republican Conference’s YouTube channel at 6 a.m. EST.
Heck has the rank of colonel in the Army Reserve; his most recent deployment as an army physician was in 2008, to Iraq. He also serves on the House Armed Services committee.