During remarks in the Rose Garden today, President Obama announced three new initiatives that are designed to put veterans back to work, and said, “Our veterans did their jobs, it’s time for Congress to do theirs.”
Obama said, “We can’t simply wait for Congress to do its job. As Commander In Chief, I won’t wait, nor will I let politics get in the way of making sure that veterans share in the opportunity they defend. If Congress won’t act, I will. And that’s why two weeks ago I announced a new initiative to help trained veterans get jobs in the medical community, and today we are announcing three new initiatives to help America’s returning heroes get jobs that meet their talents.”
(Read the details of the three initiatives here).
Later, President Obama said Congress will have a chance to do the right thing this week, “And this week Congress will have another chance to get to do the right thing, and they’ll get to vote on those tax breaks that I proposed back in September for businesses to hire veterans. Members of Congress will get to say whether or not they think it is a good idea to give companies an incentive, an additional incentive, to hire the men and women who have risked their lives for our country.”
The president continued, “And when I first proposed this idea, some of you remember it was a joint session of Congress, people stood and applauded on both sides of the aisle when announced this bill. That was one of the few times both sides stood up, so when these ideas come up for a vote this week, when the TV cameras aren’t necessarily on each of them, I expect both sides of the aisle to stand up for our veterans and vote in the affirmative. There’s no good reason to oppose this bill, not one. Our veterans did their jobs. It’s time for Congress to do theirs.”
After stating that taking care of veterans is an American responsibility, Obama told veterans, “As Commander in Chief, I want all our veterans to know that we are forever grateful for your service and for your sacrifice, and just as you fought for us, we’re going to keep on fighting for you. For more jobs, for more security, for the opportunity to keep your families strong, and to keep America competitive in the 21st Century, in other words, we are going to keep on fighting just as you did to show the world why the United State of America is still the greatest nation on Earth.”
Helping returning veterans get jobs is the right thing to do. It is part of our commitment to those who serve, and Obama is challenging Republicans to choose between their desire to defeat him in 2012, and their obligation to the nation’s veterans. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans, Independents, and moderates believe that Republicans are deliberately sabotaging Obama’s jobs policies.
If the Republicans kill a proposal that would help veterans find employment this week, it will all but confirm the suspicions of a majority of the people in this country. Ironically, the Republican strategy to defeat Obama might end up backfiring and create a backlash against the GOP next November. Republicans are committing a colossal blunder by not offer anything that would create jobs. Most Americans aren’t buying the idea that more trickle down tax cuts and less regulations will create jobs.
Supporting initiatives for veterans used to be the one sure thing that both sides of the aisle would agree on, but Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to blocking anything that would create jobs. It would shock absolutely no one if part of their master plan to defeat Obama was also to deny veterans a chance at getting a job.
By not doing their jobs, Congressional Republicans are making it impossible for Obama to do his. If the GOP decides to betray America’s veterans this week, it will be another nail in their 2012 coffin. Obama’s message seems to be getting through. He is trying to create jobs, but the GOP keeps saying no.
If Republicans keep saying no to jobs, voters are going to respond with a no of their own on Election Day in 2012.