Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Saturday it was an "American responsibility" to improve the dismal jobs landscape facing veterans when they return from duty.
"Today, more than 850,000 veterans remain unemployed. And too many are struggling to find a job worthy of their talents and experience," the president said in his weekly address, delivered from the Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, currently at port in San Diego. "As part of the American Jobs Act, I called on Congress to pass a Returning Heroes Tax Credit, which would give businesses a tax break for each unemployed veteran they hire."
The Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, another facet of the administration's jobs bill, "would give businesses a tax break for hiring an unemployed veteran with a disability related to their service in uniform," Obama continued.
The president attended a special college basketball game on the Navy aircraft carrier Friday to thank members of the military and give them "a chance to unwind a little bit" on Veterans Day.
Obama said he was pleased to see "the Senate put partisanship aside and come together to pass these tax credits."
He encouraged businesses to provide job opportunities in the next several years, referring to the growing number of veterans expected to return home as U.S. military engagements wind down.
"In the next five years, over a million service members will transition back into civilian life, joining the 3 million who have already done so over the last decade."
Nevada Rep. Joe Heck, in the GOP weekly address, echoed those sentiments, saying, "we owe it to our veterans to ensure they come home to a strong economy, so they can transition into civilian life and support their family with a good-paying job."
Heck highlighted veteran jobs legislation that received approval from the House.
"Last month, the House of Representatives passed the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, which would provide training and assistance to unemployed veterans, and break down bureaucratic barriers preventing them from finding work," Heck said. "It's smart legislation that members of both parties support, and I'm pleased the Senate passed it."
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I am one Soldier who loves this President, My Commander In Chief.
I thank President Obama standing up for veterans. It is a welcome change from the previous occupant of the white house.
Bravo! Washington can accomplish great things when Dems and Republicans work together.
Have a fun with basketball and golf. I understood that both games are too important to Obama than job on act.
Wow! The President looks cute in that jacket!
Notice he of course had to promote his class warfare message in what should have been a national unity moment. That is part of that old SEIU training this corrupt, inept, incompetent, union toady received. What an absolute jerk.
The GOP is only taking this stand because this month elections scared them. They think if they throw the poor, old or vets a bone before next years election we will forget. Well we won't!
I applaud the soldiers.
I tip my hat and thank them for their service to our country.
I am amazed at the sacrifices they make for us.
But I do want to say this - there are a lot of people out of work, not just veterans coming home or those who came home and still don't have a job. Job relief should be for everyone. Corporations need to have jobs for us by not outsourcing. Insurance companies need to come down on premiums (they're overpriced as it is). CEOs and boards need to cut their pay by at least 75% in order to have money for people who need jobs. It's not brain surgery, folks. It's pretty simple.
I'm not saying that soldiers shouldn't be given consideration, but I am saying that consideration should be there for all.
How nice of Obama to use Veterans Day and our military to push a failed political agenda. Does he ever stop campaigning? Haven't seen him stop since he was elected. I guess he didn't realize after winning in 2008 that he was expected to be a leader for all Americans, not just his party.
The president is showing his true colors. He says helping vets is a bi-partisan effort but has never mentioned that "bi-partisan" term when speaking about any other bill. He's for ever chastising the GOP for not going along with his plans which is not bipartisan. Even Reid is following Obama's lead. He has initiated a no cloture rule if a Senate bill is initiated in the Senate, gets 60 votes before sending it to the lower House. Those sixty senate votes means there is no discussion on the bill in either house and the lower house can't change one word. So sixty people get to decide for the remaining 475 elected officials – that doesn't sound bi-partisan, now does it?