Obama Takes Executive Action to Help Veterans Find Work

A day after unveiling his “ we can’t wait” campaign, President Obama has announced another executive action intended to spur job growth, this one aimed at getting veterans back on the job.

The White House today announced new initiatives urging Community Health Centers to hire 8,000 veterans, approximately one veteran per health center, in the next three years and expand opportunities for veterans to become physician assistants.

“I think all Americans can agree that veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve come home from the fight overseas,” Matt Flavin, director of the Veterans, Military Families and Wounded Warrior Task Force, told reporters today. “But we’ve seen from the unemployment numbers, especially for post-9/11 veterans, that the case is too many of our veterans are having to have that fight.”

White House officials said they could not estimate how many jobs will be created through these programs.

The new orders are yet another step in the president’s plan to take executive action on his own to boost the economy without the need for congressional approval. Obama announced Monday a new housing plan to help homeowners refinance their mortgages and avoid foreclosure and is expected Wednesday to outline new rules for repaying student loans.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, however, said Republicans have already taken action to help veterans. Earlier this month, the House passed the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, which would provide education and training benefits for service members. The legislation, which was passed with bipartisan support in the House, is pending in the Senate.

“With this important legislation waiting for Senate action, the White House cannot credibly say they are waiting on Republicans to help veterans,” a Boehner spokesman said. “In fact, here is a great example where ‘we can’t wait’ for the Senate to take up one of the many House-passed jobs bills. And it’s another reminder that there is common ground to be found between us. We just need Senate Democrats to do something.”