Wednesday, September 19, 2012

40 Republican Senators Avert American Veterans and Fiscal Responsibility


S 3457; The Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012, would result in a  deficit DECREASE annually through 2022. 40 Republican Senators voted against this bill today. It failed in the Senate by 2 votes. 



There is NO excuse for this. We need a Congress that works with President Obama for Veterans, all Americans and fiscal responsibility.

Map; http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/112/senate/2/193


S.3457

Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012'.

SEC. 2. VETERANS JOBS CORPS.

    (a) Establishment- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in cooperation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, establish a veterans jobs corps to employ veterans--
      (1) in conservation, resource management, and historic preservation projects on public lands and maintenance and improvement projects for cemeteries under the jurisdiction of the National Cemetery Administration; and
      (2) as firefighters and law enforcement officers.
    (b) Conservation, Resource Management, Historic Preservation, and Cemetery Maintenance and Improvement Projects-
      (1) IN GENERAL- As part of the veterans jobs corps, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers shall--
      (A) employ veterans to carry out projects described in subsection (a)(1); or
      (B) award grants to, or enter into contracts with, State governments, local governments, or nongovernmental entities to employ veterans to carry out projects described in subsection (a)(1).
      (2) PRIORITY- In employing or awarding grants or contracts to employ veterans under this subsection, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers shall give priority towards the employment of veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001.
      (3) COORDINATION- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall coordinate the activities of the Attorney General, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers to employ veterans as part of the veterans job corps.
      (4) OVERSIGHT OF PROJECTS- The secretaries referred to in paragraph (1) and the Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers shall each provide oversight of the projects for which they employ veterans under subparagraph (A) of such paragraph or award grants or enter into contracts under subparagraph (B) of such paragraph.
    (c) First Responders-
      (1) FIREFIGHTERS- As part of the veterans jobs corps, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall award grants under section 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2229a) to hire veterans as firefighters.
      (2) LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS- As part of the veterans jobs corps, the Attorney General shall award grants under part Q of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796dd et seq.) to hire veterans as law enforcement officers.
      (3) PRIORITY- In awarding grants under this subsection to hire veterans, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General shall give priority to the hiring of veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001.
    (d) Assistance-
      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may provide assistance to the secretaries described in subsection (a), the Attorney General, and the Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers to carry out the veterans jobs corps. Such assistance may take the form of a transfer under paragraph (2).
      (2) TRANSFERS- Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out this section, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may transfer such amounts as the Secretary considers appropriate to carry out the veterans jobs corps to the following:
      (A) The Attorney General.
      (B) The Secretary of Agriculture.
      (C) The Secretary of Commerce.
      (D) The Secretary of Homeland Security.
      (E) The Secretary of the Interior.
      (F) The Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
      (3) ASSISTANCE FOR CONSERVATION, RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, HISTORIC PRESERVATION, AND CEMETERY MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS-
      (A) APPLICATION- If a secretary referred to in subsection (b)(1) or the Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers seeks assistance under paragraph (1) to employ a veteran to carry out a project under subparagraph (A) of subsection (b)(1) or to award a grant or contract to carry out a project under subparagraph (B) of such subsection, such secretary or the Commanding General shall submit to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs an application therefor at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may require.
      (B) SELECTION- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in consultation with the steering committee established under subparagraph (C), award assistance under this paragraph in accordance with such criteria as the steering committee establishes.
      (C) STEERING COMMITTEE-
      (i) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish a steering committee--
      (I) to establish selection criteria for the awarding of assistance under paragraph (1) to employ a veteran to carry out a project under subparagraph (A) of subsection (b)(1) or to award a grant or contract to carry out a project under subparagraph (B) of such subsection; and
      (II) to provide the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with advice on awarding assistance under this subsection with respect to projects described in subsection (a)(1) and carrying out the veterans jobs corps under subsection (b).
      (ii) COMPOSITION- The steering committee shall be composed of the following:
      (I) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
      (II) The Secretary of Agriculture.
      (III) The Secretary of Commerce.
      (IV) The Secretary of the Interior.
      (V) The Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
      (iii) CHAIRPERSON- The chairperson of the steering committee shall be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
      (iv) ADVISORY INPUT- The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Labor may provide advice to the steering committee.
      (4) ASSISTANCE FOR FIRST RESPONDERS- Not more than 10 percent of amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out this section may be transferred to the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security to employ veterans under subsection (c).
    (e) Reporting Framework- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish a reporting framework to regularly monitor and evaluate the veterans jobs corps to ensure proper oversight and accountability of the veterans jobs corps.
    (f) Outreach- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that veterans employed under the veterans jobs corps are aware of benefits and assistance available to them under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
    (g) Authorization of Appropriations-
      (1) IN GENERAL- There is available without further appropriation to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out this section, $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2012 through 2017.
      (2) LIMITATION- Of amounts made appropriated or otherwise made available to carry out this section, not more than five percent may be spent to administer the veterans jobs corps.
    (h) Veteran Defined- In this section, the term `veteran' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 3. PILOT PROGRAM ON PROVIDING VETERANS WITH ACCESS AT ONE-STOP CENTERS TO INTERNET WEBSITES TO FACILITATE ONLINE JOB SEARCHES.

    (a) In General- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall commence a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing veterans seeking employment with access to computing facilities to facilitate the access of such veterans to Internet websites that--
      (1) match such veterans with available jobs based on the skills the veterans acquired as members of the Armed Forces; and
      (2) allow employers to post information about available jobs.
    (b) Duration- The pilot program required by subsection (a) shall be carried out during the one-year period beginning on the date on which the Secretary commences the pilot program.
    (c) Locations- The pilot program shall be carried out at such one-stop centers and such other locations as the Secretary of Labor considers appropriate for purposes of the pilot program.
    (d) Assistance With Use of Internet Websites-
      (1) IN GENERAL- Under the pilot program, the Secretary of Labor shall provide each veteran using computing facilities made available under the pilot program with assistance in using such facilities to find employment via Internet websites described in subsection (a).
      (2) DISABLED VETERANS' OUTREACH PROGRAM SPECIALISTS AND LOCAL VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT REPRESENTATIVES- Each State that employs a disabled veterans' outreach program specialist under section 4103A of title 38, United States Code, or a local veterans' employment representative under section 4104 of such title shall make such employees available to the Secretary of Labor for purposes of providing assistance under paragraph (1).
    (e) Report- Not later than 455 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on Heath, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives a report on the pilot program that includes the findings of the Secretary with respect to the feasibility and advisability of providing computing facilities as described in subsection (a) with assistance as described in subsection (d) at all one-stop centers.
    (f) Funding- Amounts made available to the Secretary of Labor to make grants or contracts under section 4102A(b)(5) of title 38, United States Code, shall be available to the Secretary to carry out the pilot program required by subsection (a).
    (g) One-Stop Center Defined- In this section, the term `one-stop center' means a center described in section 134(c) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2864(c)).

SEC. 4. STATE CONSIDERATION OF MILITARY TRAINING IN GRANTING CERTAIN STATE CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES AS A CONDITION ON THE RECEIPT OF FUNDS FOR VETERANS EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING.

    (a) In General- Section 4102A(c) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(9)(A) As a condition of a grant or contract under which funds are made available to a State in order to carry out section 4103A or 4104 of this title for any program year, the Secretary shall require the State--
      `(i) to demonstrate that when the State approves or denies a certification or license described in subparagraph (B) for a veteran the State takes into consideration any training received or experience gained by the veteran while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces; and
      `(ii) to disclose to the Secretary in writing the following:
      `(I) Criteria applicants must satisfy to receive a certification or license described in subparagraph (B) by the State.
      `(II) A description of the standard practices of the State for evaluating training received by veterans while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces and evaluating the documented work experience of such veterans during such service for purposes of approving or denying a certification or license described in subparagraph (B).
      `(III) Identification of areas in which training and experience described in subclause (II) fails to meet criteria described in subclause (I).'
    `(B) A certification or license described in this subparagraph is any of the following:
      `(i) A license to be a State tested nursing assistant or a certified nursing assistant.
      `(ii) A commercial driver's license.
      `(iii) An emergency medical technician license EMT-B or EMT-I.
      `(iv) An emergency medical technician-paramedic license.
    `(C) The Secretary shall share the information the Secretary receives under subparagraph (A)(ii) with the Secretary of Defense to help the Secretary of Defense improve training for military occupational specialties so that individuals who receive such training are able to receive a certification or license described in subparagraph (B) from a State.'.
    (b) Effective Date- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to a program year beginning on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. MINIMUM FUNDING LEVELS FOR DISABLED VETERANS' OUTREACH PROGRAM SPECIALISTS AND LOCAL VETERANS' EMPLOYMENT REPRESENTATIVES.

    (a) In General- Clause (iii) of section 4102A(c)(2)(B) of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
    `(i)(I) In carrying out this paragraph, the Secretary shall establish minimum funding levels and may establish hold-harmless criteria for States.
    `(II) Except as provided in subclause (III), at a minimum, the minimum funding levels establish under subclause (I) shall ensure that each State receives sufficient funding to support at least one disabled veterans' outreach program specialist appointed under section 4103A(a)(1) of this title and one local veterans' employment representative assigned under section 4104(b) of this title per 5,000 square miles of service delivery area within the State.
    `(III) In determining minimum funding levels under subclause (II), the Secretary may exclude consideration of counties with a population density of less than one person per square mile.'.
    (b) Report-
      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall submit to Congress a report on the effect of the amendment made by subsection (a) on veterans who reside in highly rural areas.
      (2) ELEMENTS- The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:
      (A) A description of the effect of the amendment made by subsection (a) on veterans who reside in highly rural areas.
      (B) Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate to improve the provision of contracts and grants under section 4102A(b)(5) of such title to meet the needs of veterans who reside in highly rural areas and are eligible for services furnished under chapter 41 of such title.
      (3) HIGHLY RURAL DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `highly rural', in the case of an area, means that the area consists of a county or counties having a population of less than seven persons per square mile.

SEC. 6. OFF-BASE TRANSITION TRAINING.

    (a) Provision of Off-base Transition Training- During the one-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall provide the Transition Assistance Program under section 1144 of title 10, United States Code, to eligible individuals at locations other than military installations to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing such program to eligible individuals at locations other than military installations.
    (b) Eligible Individuals- For purposes of this section, an eligible individual is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran.
    (c) Locations-
      (1) NUMBER OF STATES- The Secretary shall carry out the training under subsection (a) in not less than three and not more than five States selected by the Secretary for purposes of this section.
      (2) SELECTION OF STATES WITH HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT- Of the States selected by the Secretary under paragraph (1), at least two shall be States with high rates of unemployment among veterans.
      (3) NUMBER OF LOCATIONS IN EACH STATE- The Secretary shall provide training under subsection (a) to eligible individuals at a sufficient number of locations within each State selected under this subsection to meet the needs of eligible individuals in such State.
      (4) SELECTION OF LOCATIONS- The Secretary shall select locations for the provision of training under subsection (a) to facilitate access by participants and may not select any location on a military installation other than a National Guard or reserve facility that is not located on an active duty military installation.
    (d) Inclusion of Information About Veterans Benefits- The Secretary shall ensure that the training provided under subsection (a) generally follows the content of the Transition Assistance Program under section 1144 of title 10, United States Code.
    (e) Annual Report- Not later than March 1 of any year during which the Secretary provides training under subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the provision of such training.
    (f) Comptroller General Report- Not later than 180 days after the termination of the one-year period described in subsection (a), the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report on the training provided under such subsection. The report shall include the evaluation of the Comptroller General regarding the feasibility and advisability of carrying out off-base transition training at locations nationwide.

SEC. 7. 100 PERCENT CONTINUOUS LEVY ON PAYMENT TO MEDICARE PROVIDERS AND SUPPLIERS.

    Paragraph (3) of section 6331(h) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting `, or, with respect to payments made during the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012, to a Medicare provider or supplier under title XVIII of the Social Security Act.'.

SEC. 8. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR ULTRA-DEEPWATER AND UNCONVENTIONAL NATURAL GAS AND OTHER PETROLEUM RESOURCES.

    (a) Repeal- Subtitle J of title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C.


















Thursday, September 13, 2012

Remembering Ambassador Chris Stevens

Friday, August 17, 2012

OBAMA SONG

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is It the Lack of Simple Math Skills That Grows America's Debt?

Congress has been refusing to act on paying down the debt. A year ago I was not terribly concerned about this because even in my wildest imagination did I think they would let it continue to grow.
The housing crisis and bad economy did not just happen, they were created. In 2003 I began warning people about the outrageous mortgages that banks were manipulating people into. I spent 6 years getting those that would listen out of them. I worked with a financial company in an attempt to prevent the hous
ing bubble and economic collapse. We made a heck of a difference and the company still does but too many people believe political rhetoric and the media.
The reason the temporary (Bush) tax cuts went into effect in 2001 and 2003 was because the government was trying to prevent what was about to come from being catastrophic.
The cuts of 2001 were put into play with the "Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001" and in 2003 with the "Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003". Because they knew we were headed for a recession, they attempted to stimulate the economy by temporarily putting more money into the hands of middle-Americans yet created the debt by decreasing revenue from those that could afford to pay and creating loopholes and credits for already profitable corporations. To make up the difference, they borrowed. The country jumped for joy because taxes were cut but neglected to view the whole picture.
Everyone has been aware that baby boomers, our largest generation, are aging becoming a high cost to Medicare and Social Security. Both of which they are entitled to after paying in throughout their careers.
9/11 happened in 2001, war was on the horizon and we went into Iraq in 2003. We launched military operations in Afghanistan in October of 2001.
Knowing that government spending would be extremely high to fund these 2 wars and and we would now have to pay back the baby boomers for their contributions, taxes were cut 2 times for all - including America's wealthiest citizens Tax payer dollars were directed to subsidize America's already profitable corporations. This increased already high profits of those making billions of net dollars. What sense did that make?
When you increase your costs would you decrease your income? Of course not! Yet this is what our Federal Government did and some current Members of Congress force it to stay this way.

Mortgages were not sold to people that could not afford them. The terms were set so that the mortgages would implode making them unaffordable in time. The banks are insured from losses on these. Salt in the wounds; consumers pay the insurance premium to protect the banks (MIP, PMI). The banks temporarily lose funds during the period that people are in the homes, not paying and continue through the foreclosure process. After re-selling the home and showing their over-all profit loss, banks collect their insurance payout. The payout is based on the homes value at the time of the original mortgage - when house values were high. The bank still owns the property and enters into a new mortgage contract with buyers making new profit at today's lower values.
During the time that banks had knowingly temporary losses, the bailout was created. This was necessary at the time for the good of the people dependent on banks. Originally it was going to be a gift to banks from the American people that banks had taken advantage of but Senator Obama convinced Congress to make it a loan benefiting tax payers in the long run.
The banks and the government (who repealed protective laws to make it possible) worked together in taking our homes, crashing our economy and giving our hard earned money to corporations including oil companies and purposely putting the federal government into deep debt.
Next steps, get the country angry about the high debt and blame the middle-class, the poor and the millions of Americans that stand together for employee protection; Labor Unions.



By frightening citizens with America's debt, giving the false impression that the millions of Americans that stand together for employee protections are "thugs" and pushing other false fears, the rich will continue to get richer and wages for most Americans may decline after years of being stagnant.

Historically, Americans have united to establish laws and Government Departments to prevent the greed of a few from destroying our great country. Millions of Americans, (citizens are our Nations true Government as long as we insist on it) created the Department of Labor, OSHA, minimum wage laws, and many, many others. These are frequently under attack by certain politicians and are always fought for by many citizens organized together as a labor force.
If big money can convince enough Americans that the areas that protect the middle class have created an unnecessary "big government", the people will lose all control and big money wins. The fight of our ancestors will be lost and we begin again. I joined that fight before it's too late. We are making progress and I am confident but it is an uphill battle.

Click here for information from Americans that ending the temporary tax cuts for millionaires would directly affect



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Open Letter to MN Senator Ortman Regarding Right to Work





Dear Senator Ortman,
     My name is Leann Bosquez I reside in Maple Grove, MN. I am in Senator Limmer’s district but because of the redistricting, my next vote cast will be in your district.

I am writing to ask you to oppose the misnomer “Right to Work” that carries the even more misleading title, “Freedom of Employment Act”.   What I have heard from many on both sides of the political aisle is that we stand together in opposing this amendment. There has been a terrible division in our state and country. I commend Senator Ingebrigtsen for the valid points he made at the hearing. I implore you to consider the safety concerns that he pointed out and refuse to allow this to be a party war rather than the serious issue that it is.

Current structures in Labor Unions are similar to the electoral process we have in our American Governments.
All employees have the legal right to choose to unite as one voice to discuss and reach agreements with their employer. When the majority of employees vote to form a Union; they decide to pool their money and elect people to represent them. Meetings are held and votes are taken within this pool of employees as to who represents them and what arrangements they would like to make with the employers. Just as citizens can choose to attend their Caucus or not and to vote or not, so do Union members have the choice to attend their Union meetings or not and to vote on Union representatives and issues, or not.
There is no mandate requiring membership in a Union. Where employers and employees have made the mutual agreement to provide the benefits of having a Labor Union; there are, as with many other benefits and work rules; costs involved. Employees choosing to be members and have full benefits pay dues. Federal Law dictates that non-members have access to the Union should they have an employer dispute or want other supports. Non-Union members share in the benefits of bargaining. I see no reason for the expense of these non-members to be placed on the Union, which is in essence their unionized co-workers.

I was employed as an employer at a non-Union company that required uniforms for customer service employees. As a non-negotiable work rule, we decided to change the uniform design, however we asked interested employees to vote on which design they preferred. The votes were not unanimous. We used the votes of the majority to put in place which uniforms were required. Each employee purchased their own uniform. Not one employee asked for a State Constitutional Amendment requiring that they not pay because they did not get the design of their choice.

“Right to Work” is Government over-reach that forces a cost burden on employees that choose to Unionize. I am shocked that some Legislators think that non-Union members are entitled to have Union benefits without having to pay the cost of them. “Fair share” payments are not “dues”. “Fair Share” only pays the cost burden of non-members. When deciding whether to accept a position of employment, people normally consider wage, benefit packages, and how these combinations will affect their personal wants and needs. People can choose to work in a Union shop or a non-Union shop just as they can consider other options existing within potential places of employment.

Companies that offer employees to purchase life insurance do not require the purchase. However, life insurance companies are not required to pay benefits to those who do not buy coverage. If law dictated that every company offering life insurance to employees had to provide coverage to those purchasing it as well as those who don’t, would you support freeloaders getting this for free at the expense of others? I hope not.

I ask you Senator; please openly oppose amending our Constitution to mandate decisions made between employers and employees be paid solely by some rather than all who benefit. Please vote no and stop this from moving to the Senate Floor.

Sincerely,
Leann Bosquez

“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.” —Martin Luther King, speaking about right-to-work laws in 1961





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