Obama Signs Tax Incentives Bill to Hire Veterans

By Fred Lucas | November 21, 2011 | 5:00 PM EST

President Barack Obama waves as he walks off stage after signing legislation that will provide tax credits to help put veterans back to work, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, during a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. talks with first lady Michelle Obama behind the president, Vice President Joe Biden is at right. (AP Photo/Pablo Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) – Businesses will receive special tax credits for hiring veterans, under a new law signed by President Barack Obama on Monday, the single carve-out measure of his jobs proposal.

Under the law, the “Returning Heroes Tax Credit,” businesses that hire veterans will receive a $2,400 per veteran tax credit for veterans unemployed for four weeks or longer and a $5,600 per veteran credit for hiring veterans unemployed for more than six months.

Under the “Wounded Warriors Tax Credit,” businesses could get up to $9,600 per disabled veteran hired if the veteran was unemployed longer than six months and has a service-related injury.

Obama said that 850,000 veterans are unemployed in American.

“Unemployment for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan continued to rise, and that isn’t right,” Obama said, flanked by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. “These men and women are the best that America has to offer. They are some of the most highly trained, highly educated, highly skilled workers that we have.

“If they can save lives on the battlefield, then they can save a life in an ambulance. If they can manage convoys moving tons of equipment over dangerous terrain, they can manage a company’s supply chain. If they can track millions of dollars of assets in Iraq, they can balance the books of any company here in the United States,” he added.

“Today, because Democrats and Republicans came together, I’m proud to sign those proposals into law, and I urge every business owner out there who’s hiring to hire a veteran right away,” Obama said.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised the president for signing the legislation, but called on him to work with Republicans on other legislation the GOP House has passed this year.

“America owes it to our men and women in uniform to ensure they come home to a strong economy,” Boehner said. “By preventing the IRS from imposing a job-crushing withholding tax on job creators and breaking down the bureaucratic barriers that are keeping veterans from finding work, we’re creating a better economic environment for families, small businesses, and service members alike.

“I hope President Obama will build on the common ground that led to today’s victory, work with Republicans, and urge Senate Democrats to take action on the rest of the still-delayed bipartisan House-passed jobs bills so we can get our economy back to creating new jobs,” he added.

The massive $447 billion jobs package Obama proposed died in the Senate, failing to overcome bipartisan opposition. Obama’s next strategy was to divide the initiative up into smaller bills. He is going to New Hampshire on Tuesday to tout extending the payroll tax break.

“Democrats and Republicans have traditionally supported these kinds of tax cuts,” Obama said. “Independent economists from across the political spectrum have said this proposal is one of the best ways to boost our economy and spur hiring. It's going to be easier for us to hire our vets if the overall economy is going strong.

“So there's no reason not to vote for these tax cuts. And if Congress doesn’t act by the end of the year, then the typical family’s taxes is going to go up by roughly $1,000. That’s the last thing our middle class and our economy needs right now. It is the last thing that our veterans need right now,” he added.