Date: April 9, 1997

Contact: Christopher Battle

Congressman Asa Hutchinson Votes to Strengthen Veterans' Employment Opportunities

WASHINGTON Congressman Asa Hutchinson, a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, joined his House colleagues today in passing legislation that strengthens job opportunities for veterans. The Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act makes it easier for veterans to obtain federal government jobs and to retain those jobs during periods of government layoffs.

Under the 1944 Veterans' Preference Act, veterans are given preference for civilian employment with the federal government. However, this law applies only to jobs in the executive branch agencies. The Veterans Employment Opportunity Act expands the policy of veterans' preference to most non-political jobs in the federal government. The bill also establishes an effective redress system for veterans who feel their rights have been violated.

"This bill gives something back to the many veterans who have served our country," Hutchinson said. "Not only does it significantly increase the number of jobs for which veterans can compete, but it makes sure that federal employers are not able to ignore the commitment we have pledged to veterans. During hearings in the Veterans' Affairs Committee, it came to light that many employers circumvented the old law. This bill changes that."