Obama continues conversation with veterans
July 24th, 2012
04:08 PM ET

Obama continues conversation with veterans

PORTLAND, Oregon (CNN) – One day after delivering remarks to thousands of veterans at the VFW convention in Reno, Nevada, President Obama sat down with a smaller group of veterans for breakfast.

Three veterans from the Portland area sat down at the Gateway Breakfast House to discuss issues such as care for disabled veterans, services in rural areas, and PTSD.

Most of the meeting was out of the view of cameras but pool reporters heard several references to his remarks yesterday in Reno. FULL POST


Topics: 2012 Election • President Obama • Veterans
Obama campaign hails Iraq record ahead of VFW speech
July 23rd, 2012
12:13 PM ET

Obama campaign hails Iraq record ahead of VFW speech

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's presidential campaign touted the candidate's achievement of ending U.S. involvement in Iraq in a web video Monday, hours ahead of Obama's address at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada.

The video also came the same day attacks across Iraq killed at least 44 people and wounded dozens more. While overall attacks have dropped off in Iraq since the height of violence in 2006, insurgents have routinely targeted Iraqi security forces and civilians since the United States withdrew its troops in December.

The video from Obama's campaign centers on a parade held in St. Louis in January, the first major "welcome home" ceremony to be held by a major U.S. city.

FULL STORY


Topics: 2012 Election • President Obama • Veterans
POTUS on the road pressing for jobs and raising more $$$ Friday
May 31st, 2012
12:47 PM ET

POTUS on the road pressing for jobs and raising more $$$ Friday

(CNN) - President Obama will focus on jobs Friday continuing to press Congress on his so-called "to do" list. Friday’s item: pushing for the establishment of a Veterans Job Corps. At a Honeywell International plant in a Minneapolis suburb, he will make his case that the country needs to "honor our commitment to returning veterans," according to a White House release.

Friday’s event coincides with the release of the May unemployment numbers. Economists will be closely watching the jobs numbers after two months of slowdown in the sputtering U.S. economy.

Mr. Obama announced his plan to establish a jobs program for veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars earlier this year. Currently the unemployment rate for veterans is 9.2%, more than a full percentage point higher than the overall unemployment rate which stands at 8.1% for April. The so-called Veterans Jobs Corps would be similar to a 1930's government program, the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is designed to put veterans to work building infrastructure like roads and bridges. FULL POST


Topics: 2012 Election • Economy • jobs • President Obama • Veterans
Courting the veteran vote
May 25th, 2012
12:53 PM ET

Courting the veteran vote

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama rarely misses an opportunity to talk about the help his administration is offering to military veterans and their families. “We will care and serve our veterans the way they've served us,” Mr. Obama said at a recent campaign event out west.

His message may be grounded in policy but in this election season it’s also about the politics.

His re-election campaign is actively courting veterans who have traditionally supported Republicans.

"It's door-to-door, person-to-person, grocery store-to-grocery store. Letting people know the president's record on his policies to veterans," said Beau Biden, an Iraq veteran and the vice president’s son, who is part of the campaign’s grassroots effort “Veterans and Military Families for Obama.”
FULL POST

Obama unveils veteran's jobs proposal with hefty price tag
President Obama speaks at an Arlington, VA fire station Friday. Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images
February 3rd, 2012
12:56 PM ET

Obama unveils veteran's jobs proposal with hefty price tag

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama unveiled a new jobs initiative geared toward veterans Friday that the administration says will put thousands of former men and women in uniform back to work.

The new so-called Veterans Jobs Corps initiative, first mentioned in the president's State of the Union address the first week in February, involves partnerships with the Veterans Administration and the Interior Department, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies.

“When these men and women come home, they bring unparalleled skills and experiences.  They’ve saved lives in some of the toughest conditions imaginable,” Obama said during a speech at anArlington,Virginiafirehouse. “These are Americans that every business should be competing to attract.”

But with a price tag of at least $5 billion, it's likely the new initiative will be met with stiff opposition in Congress.

Specifically, Obama said his administration will preference awards of $166 million in grant money to communities that hire post-9/11 veterans for new law-enforcement positions. Simultaneously, $320 million in grant money will be preferenced to various fire departments that pledge to hire and train new veterans. FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The News • Veterans
Obama unveils veterans jobs proposal with hefty price tag
February 3rd, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Obama unveils veterans jobs proposal with hefty price tag

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama is unveiling a new jobs initiative geared toward veterans Friday that the administration says will put thousands of former men and women in uniform back to work.

The new so-called Veterans Jobs Corps initiative, first mentioned in the president's State of the Union address last week, involves partnerships with the Veterans Administration and the Interior Department, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies.

The president is scheduled to announce the new proposals during a speech at an Arlington, Virginia, firehouse.

But with a price tag of at least $5 billion, it's likely the new initiative will be met with stiff opposition in Congress.

Specifically, the administration will preference awards of $166 million in grant money to communities that hire post-9/11 veterans for new law-enforcement positions. Meanwhile, $320 million in grant money will be preferenced to various fire departments who pledge to hire and train new veterans.

The money for those grants has already been appropriated by Congress as part of programs that are broadly targeted at retaining and hiring law enforcement personnel and firefighters. But the president will seek an additional $4 billion in his upcoming budget to expand both programs with an eye toward especially awarding those communities who fill their ranks with veterans. Congress rejected a similar proposal last fall that was part of the president's broader jobs initiative.

The president also will announce that his upcoming budget will include a $1 billion proposal to create as many as 20,000 new jobs for veterans relating to conservation efforts of America's federal and state public lands.

That initiative, to be overseen by the Department of Interior, would put veterans to work in visitor and tourism-related jobs as well as positions that will assist in general upkeep and maintenance roles throughout the country's public parks and nature preserves.

"These are common-sense initiatives to serve our 9/11 veterans who are coming home," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told reporters on a conference call with reporters. "We hope Congress does its job (in approving the funding)."

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki also announced the president will propose expanding training programs for entrepreneurially focused veterans seeking to start their own businesses. This program would include online training seminars conducted by the Small Business Administration lasting as long as eight weeks and could service as many as 10,000 veterans annually, according to administration estimates.

"Our country owes them a debt of gratitude and we must ensure that veterans who come home from Afghanistan and Iraq get the opportunities they deserve," Shinseki said.
FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The News • Veterans
Obama tells vets jobs must be created "faster"
August 30th, 2011
02:28 PM ET

Obama tells vets jobs must be created "faster"

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (CNN) – Speaking to vets at the American Legion convention in Minneapolis President Obama again touted his jobs plan set to be unveiled "next week."

"A plan to create jobs and reduce our deficit – a plan I want to see passed in Congress. We need to get this done," the president said.

The president's plan, that will be a mix of old and new ideas is "not fully baked," a senior administration official told CNN. The official explained that there was "still work to be done on the policy."

While it was the president himself who first announced yesterday that the speech would be next week, the White House is still guarding the exact time and date.

"No additional guidance on which day yet," the senior official told CNN.
FULL POST


Topics: jobs • President Obama • Veterans
Vets get presidential-hopefuls attention this week
August 29th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

Vets get presidential-hopefuls attention this week

 WASHINGTON (CNN) –Just days after returning from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation President Obama will hit the road again Tuesday, this time he’ll travel to Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota.

The White House said he’ll deliver remarks at the 93rd American Legion National Convention.

Mostly veterans are expected to be in attendance at the Minneapolis Convention Center event.

As the president continues to push his economic recovery message, a senior administration official told CNN “I am sure a good chunk of it [speech] will be about how service members and their families have been impacted by the economy.”

This week veteran’s groups will be getting the attention of not only the president but also two presidential hopefuls. Shortly before Mr. Obama delivers his remarks in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Republican Mitt Romney will speak at the VFW convention in San Antonio,Texas. It’s the same convention that Republican Governor Rick Perry addressed on Monday.


Topics: The News • Veterans
White House Focus on Jobs: Veterans
August 5th, 2011
07:39 AM ET

White House Focus on Jobs: Veterans

(CNN) – President Obama is focusing his renewed job creation effort on unemployed veterans Friday, set to outline a new initiative that aims to help former members of the military find private sector jobs.

 In a speech at the Washington Navy Yard scheduled for Friday morning, the president is expected to lay out a series of reforms that the Obama administration is pledging will both better prepare service members for the civilian workforce and encourage employers to hire recent veterans.

 Among the president’s proposals Friday will be a “Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credit,” which would provide businesses that hire veterans a tax break, varying in size depending on how long the newly-hired veteran has been unemployed and whether he or she has a disability. 
FULL POST


Topics: Economy • Military Families • President Obama • The News • Veterans