Cohen: Vets deserve exemption from federal hiring freeze
President Trump has said he loves our veterans. One way he can show his commitment to our heroes is by encouraging Republican members of Congress to pass U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch’s legislation exempting vets from the federal hiring freeze.
One can surely argue that the last thing we need is another bureaucrat on the bloated government payroll. Conservatives get why Trump has enacted a federal hiring freeze, but given the stark reality that approximately 20 veterans are committing suicide daily, we need to provide hope, opportunity and a job to returning servicemen and servicewomen who need support transitioning to civilian life.
One way we can do that is Trump’s pro-jobs agenda, which is creating work in the private sector. Another way the president can support our vets is to not block them from getting a good government job.
Just listen to Lynch: “Veterans in my district are being frozen out of federal government jobs due to President Trump’s government-wide hiring freeze. This is no way to treat our returning service men and women, who proudly served our nation and fought to protect our democracy,” the Southie Democrat told me in a statement.
He said vets “are being denied the opportunity to make a transition to civilian life by going to work for the VA or other agencies of the federal government. Putting veterans to work should not be a partisan issue. By coming together and passing the Veterans Federal Hiring Protection Act, we can ensure our veterans, who have critical skills needed by federal agencies, can continue their important public service to our country in the federal workforce.”
Veterans make up over 30 percent of the entire federal workforce. In 2015, approximately 71,000 veterans landed a job in the federal government. The Office of Personnel Management reports that “31,616 of veteran new hires for Fiscal Year 2015 were disabled veterans, including 21,215 veterans with a disability rating of 30 (percent) or more.”
Republican lawmakers and the president should show bipartisanship and the ability to compromise by supporting Lynch’s bill.
After all, if Trump and GOP members of Congress want Democrats to support their agenda, they also should applaud common sense, pro-military measures presented by their liberal colleagues.
We should be rolling out the red carpet to our returning troops. Our heroes deserve nothing less.
Adriana Cohen is host of “The Adriana Cohen Show” heard Wednesdays at noon on Boston Herald Radio. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.