Obama plans moves to spur jobs for veterans: White House

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 25, 2011 1:43 PM
Obama plans moves to spur jobs for veterans: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday that President Barack Obama will take executive action to help military veterans find work, bypassing congressional Republicans to show voters he is serious about creating jobs.

"Today, we are announcing two new initiatives that will help create jobs for veterans at community health centers and expand opportunities for veterans to become physician assistants," a White House official said.

The White House will lay out more details later on Tuesday. It did not provide an estimate for how many jobs would be created by these moves, part of a broader series of executive actions Obama is taking after lawmakers failed to advance a $447 billion jobs bill that he put forward earlier this month.

More veterans may be entering the workforce after Obama decided last week to pull the remaining 40,000 U.S. troops home from Iraq by the end of the year. Jobs may be difficult to find because the U.S. unemployment rate is stuck above 9 percent due to tepid job growth during a slow-growth economy.

Government surveys show military veterans tend to have a higher unemployment rate than the national average.

Obama, brandishing the slogan "We can't wait," is on a tour of western states seen as vital to his re-election hopes in 2012, and is trying to raise public support for his plans.

Republicans complain this is naked election campaigning that shows that the Democratic president is not serious about working with them to lift economic growth and hiring.

On Monday in Las Vegas, where the housing market collapse hit hardest, Obama took steps to help homeowners who owe more on their homes than they are worth. On Wednesday, in the swing state of Colorado, he will highlight measures to help students better manage their student loan debt when they graduate.

"While we will continue to work with Congress to bring up the American Jobs Act piece by piece, we will increase our focus on taking executive actions that fight for the middle class because the American people simply can't wait for the Republican Congress to act," the White House official said.

(Reporting by Alister Bull; editing by Philip Barbara)