WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – co-chair of the Senate Army Caucus and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (SVAC) – cosponsored the Military Spouse Hiring Act, legislation to amend the tax code to incentivize businesses to hire military spouses. This legislation was introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) John Boozman (R-Ark.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). This legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Don Beyer (D-Va.).
“Military service is family service, and our servicemembers are made stronger by the family members who support them,” said Sen. Moran. “The spouses of our men and women in uniform deserve the opportunity to pursue successful careers that aren’t inhibited by the service of their loved ones. This legislation is an important step to make certain our military families who sacrifice much in service to their country are able to overcome barriers to pursuing their dream careers.”
According to a survey by Blue Star Families, military spouse employment is the top issue impacting active-duty families and the top contributor to financial stress among military families. Military spouses consistently experience unemployment rates substantially higher than the national rate, and two thirds of employed active duty military spouses report underemployment. Frequent moves often stall military spouses’ upward career progression and force them to find new jobs. This hurts military families and military readiness.
This legislation would address the issue by expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program – which incentivizes employers to hire individuals who experience unique employment barriers – to include military spouses.
The Military Spouse Hiring Act is supported by: Air & Space Forces Association, Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA), American Veterans, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Blue Star Families, Commissioned Officers Association of the US Public Health Service (COA), Chief Warrant Officers Association of the US Coast Guard (CWOA), Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), Fleet Reserve Association, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV), Marine Corps League (MCL), Military Chaplains Association of the United States of America (MCA), Military Family Advisory Network, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Military Spouse Advocacy Network, National Military Family Association (NMFA), National Military Spouse Network, Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA), Reserve Organization of America (ROA), Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), The American Legion, The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), United States Army Warrant Officers Association (USA WOA), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coalition and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).
“The military spouse unemployment rate has remained too high for too long. When military spouses can’t find work, it’s a problem for their family’s financial stability and wellbeing,” said Besa Pinchotti, Executive Director and CEO of the National Military Family Association. “The Military Spouse Hiring Act will encourage more employers to hire military spouses, investing in our military spouses, our military families, and our military as a whole.”
“The Military Coalition (TMC), a consortium of organizations representing 5.5 million servicemembers, veterans, their families and survivors, believes expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to include a military spouse target group is an effective tool in addressing the stagnantly high unemployment rate among military spouses,” said Jack Du Teil, President of The Military Coalition. “TMC supports efforts that contribute to maintaining a strong national defense. In order to recruit and retain skilled and highly capable personnel, it is essential that we address military spouse unemployment in a way that brings all sectors together as parts of the solution.”
This legislation is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Mark Warner (D-Va..).