President Obama and the first lady, together for the last leg of his latest bus tour, announced on Wednesday a commitment by the American Logistics Association to hire 25,000 veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013.
The association represents 270 companies, including Coca Cola, Tyson Foods, and ConAgra, with the primary focus of placing veterans at those companies. The group was a logical first step for Michelle Obama and second lady Jill Biden’s “Joining Forces” initiative to hire 100,000 veterans in the private sector by the same deadline.
It remains unclear which of ALA’s affiliates will hire what proportion of the slated 25,000 veterans and spouses.
The first and second ladies initiative props up a portion of Obama’s jobs bill, which has so far failed to gain traction in Congress. The president’s American Jobs Act proposes a tax cut to companies who hire veterans and an additional incentive to those hiring disabled veterans. It’s a section of the bill, Obama said, that has bipartisan support, which may propel Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to take it up for a vote soon.
“When I first proposed this idea in a joint session of Congress, people stood up and applauded on both sides of the aisle,” Obama said. “So when it comes for a vote in the senate, I expect to get votes from both sides of the aisle. Don't just applaud about it. Vote for it!”
The president concludes this three-day bus tour in Chesterfield, Va., with a return to focus on the piece of his jobs bill that would provide states and local agencies with federal money to rehire public workers.