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Majority Leader Reid Expected to Push Expanded Veteran WOTC Credit Through Senate

One of the proposals in President Obama’s “American Jobs Act” was an expanded WOTC credit for returning military veterans. While the Jobs Act as a whole is not being pursued in Congress, various pieces of it are. According to The Hill, Senator Reid is forcing the issue of the veterans tax credit:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) challenged Republicans on Monday to join Democrats in supporting their latest jobs proposal, a bill that would create tax incentives for businesses to hire veterans.

Before laying down the challenge, Reid listed the jobs packages that Republicans have blocked so far this year, which he said has cost the economy hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“Now we will see if Republican lawmakers are willing to put jobs for veterans at risk as well,” said Reid. “I certainly hope they are not. I hope they will join us.”

So far Reid has been unable to lure a single Republican to cross party lines in a series of votes on elements of the “bipartisan” jobs bill President Obama presented to Congress in the summer.

The veterans bill, like the Democratic proposals that came before it, is designed to lure at least nominal Republican support. In particular this bill would provide businesses with a “Returning Heroes” tax credit for 2012-2013 of about $2,400 for hiring an unemployed veteran. The legislation also includes a two-year extension of the “Wounded Warriors” tax credit, which gives companies that hire disabled veterans a $4,800 credit.

Reid plans to attach that veterans plan to a piece of Republican legislation that will see a vote later today that would repeal the 3 percent withholding provision on contracts made with governments.

An editorial in the Sacramento Bee is promoting the passage of the tax credit.

The credit uses the infrastructure of the existing WOTC program, but expands the credit to several tiers worth up to $9,600 (in contrast to the basic WOTC credit worth up to $2,400).

The specific language Reid is proposing is not yet available, but it seems that it would put the credit in place from the time of passage through 2012. The existing WOTC program is currently set to expire at the end of 2011 which could create some complications for the new veterans credit if the legislation does not include an extension of the underlying program.

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