Bustos, Fitzpatrick Team Up To Make Bipartisan Push To Put Veterans Back To Work

New Bustos/Fitzpatrick Bill Would Help Put Veterans Back To Work Rebuilding Our Roads, Bridges, Tunnels & Rail Lines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 5, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) joined together to introduce a new bipartisan bill that would help put veterans back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, tunnels and rail lines.  The Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act [H.R. 2906] continues Bustos’ fight on behalf of our veterans by helping to ensure that they play a critical role in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure by providing them with access to existing contracting preferences authorized for transportation projects.

“Rebuilding our nation’s transportation infrastructure is one of my top priorities and is essential to growing our economy and creating jobs,” said Congresswoman Bustos, “The brave veterans who served us so honorably deserve our full support and that starts with making sure they have good-paying jobs here at home.  With the unemployment rate for returning veterans remaining far too high, it is common sense that they should have access to the contracting preferences available for transportation projects.”

“This new bipartisan bill is a win-win.  Not only will it help get veterans back to work, but it will also help rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, tunnels, and rails lines,” Bustos continued.

“Our fighting men and women are the most highly skilled workforce in history,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick, “We must leverage their unprecedented skills to get our economy moving once again.  This is a bipartisan policy which has already enjoyed the bipartisan support of Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate.  It is time to make this policy the law.”

“The American Legion emphatically supports Congressman Fitzpatrick’s Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act.  This legislation would offer some redress by helping to ensure equal opportunity for veterans by expanding their participation in Department of Transportation contracting opportunities.  Our gratitude also goes out to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos for agreeing to introduce this important legislation jointly,” said American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz.  “Veterans have already achieved significant small business success, and many have taken advantage of the Legion’s small business workshops.  But barriers remain and not all veterans receive the same opportunities to prosper as other small business owners do.”

Specifically, this bill would apply to the re-authorization of the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” known as MAP-21, which provides over one hundred billion dollars of federal funding for highway and transit projects across the country.  The text of the Bustos/Fitzpatrick bill can be found HERE.

More than 250,000 service members are transitioning each year from the military to civilian life.  1 in 4 veterans say they want to start a business, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), while 2.4 million veterans own a business according to the most recent Census.

During her short time in office, Bustos has focused on fighting for our nation’s veterans.  She has supported legislation that would help jumpstart job creation for veterans, went after predatory lending practices that target veterans, and fought to cut down on the growing VA claims backlog.  She also spent a week traveling around the region on a veterans listening tour and continues to meet with veterans from the district who come to Washington on Honor Flights.

Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman Fitzpatrick are both No Labels Problem Solvers.  This is a group of 81 House and Senate Democrats and Republicans who meet on a regular basis to build trust across the aisle and to develop solutions for the American people.  For additional information on the No Labels group, visit www.NoLabels.org.

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