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Beyer Assumes Sponsorship Of Bipartisan Military Spouse Hiring Act

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) yesterday assumed sponsorship of the bipartisan Military Spouse Hiring Act. The bill would amend the Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit to provide tax incentives to employers that hire the spouses of members of the United States Armed Forces, who face a much higher unemployment rate than the general population.

The bill was originally introduced in the 117th Congress by Rep. Antonio Delgado, who was sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor of New York last month. An original co-lead on the bill, Beyer last night requested and received unanimous consent of the House to replace Rep. Delgado as the bill’s primary sponsor.

“My mother was a military spouse, and I am keenly aware of challenges facing partners of active-duty servicemembers who often have to relocate their families long distances,” said Beyer. “This bipartisan legislation would use the tax code to help overcome hurdles to employment that disproportionately affect military spouses, and show military families that their service to our country is valued. I am thankful to Lt. Gov. Delgado for his previous leadership on the Military Spouse Hiring Act, and wish him all the best as Lieutenant Governor, which is a pretty cool job if you’re going to be something other than a Congressman.”

“We’re so grateful to Congressman Delgado who has shown a tireless drive to effect change on behalf of our community, including championing the Military Spouse Employment Act (H.R. 2974) and the expansion of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). We wish him great success as Lt. Gov. of New York and are very much looking forward to working more directly with Congressman Beyer and his team who will be picking up the baton without missing a beat. Both congressmen have been vocal champions of common-sense change that would incentivize employers to hire military spouses, and for that we are extremely appreciative,” said Sue Hoppin, President of the National Military Spouse Network.

Research from the Department of Defense and the Hiring Our Heroes Foundation has found that unemployment rates for military spouses far exceed that of the national average. This bill would help close the gap by expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to include the hiring of qualified military spouses, allowing employers to claim a tax credit equal to a portion of the wages paid to those spouses.

The Military Spouse Hiring Act is co-led in the House by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Don Bacon (R-NE), with a total of 125 cosponsors; Senate companion legislation is sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).

Text of the bill is available here.

Beyer represents the Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital, which includes the Pentagon, Joint Base Myer-Henderson-Hall, and Ft. Belvoir. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has sole jurisdiction over tax policy.