U.S. Rep. McSally Bill to Promote Border Jobs to Vets Becomes Law
Bill Signing Represents Rare Accomplishment in 114th Congress
TUCSON – U.S. Representative Martha McSally’s legislation, the Border Jobs for Veterans Act, was signed by President Obama late Friday, making it Rep. McSally’s first legislation to become public law. The legislation requires cooperation between the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure separating service members are aware of hiring opportunities for Customs and Border Protection positions. The law represents a significant accomplishment, especially for a freshman lawmaker, as just the 68th piece of legislation to pass both chambers of Congress and become law this year.
“This is how Washington is supposed to work,” said Rep. McSally. “We identified a problem, put together a bipartisan solution, and worked together to get it across the finish line and signed into law. This new policy will help fill the vacancies at our ports of entry with qualified, trained service members, helping them transition to civilian life while addressing the staffing shortages at our ports. I’m proud to be part of this bipartisan effort to get results on a local problem, and will continue to work to advance commonsense, achievable solutions on the issues important to Southern Arizonans.”
Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“The Border Jobs for Veterans Act exemplifies the good that can be accomplished when Congress works in a bipartisan fashion to solve a problem,” said Senator Flake. “When so many commonsense solutions are lost to partisan gridlock, I’m proud to have signed into law a bill that will help to put veterans to work, improve national security, increase cross-border trade and grow Arizona’s economy – all at no additional cost to the taxpayer.”
“I’m pleased to see this bill be signed into law so that we can begin to help veterans find much-needed jobs, meet urgent staffing needs at U.S. ports of entry, and improve the security of our border communities,” said Senator McCain. “I commend Senator Flake and Congresswoman McSally for their leadership, and thank Senators Johnson and Schumer for their support of this important effort, which will create new opportunities for our veterans to continue serving and protecting the nation.”
The signing into law of Rep. McSally’s bill represents a rare accomplishment this Congress, especially for a freshman lawmaker. Since the start of the 114th Congress, only 68 bills, including Rep. McSally’s, have passed both chambers of Congress and were signed into law. Only 53 of those bills took actions other than renaming a landmark or federal building. Other than a bill passed to rename the Douglas Port of Entry, Rep. McSally’s bill is the first introduced by an Arizona House member this year to be signed into law.
Rep. McSally is one of four freshman lawmakers currently to advance legislation through both chambers of Congress and into law. She spoke in support of the bill on the House floor on Septemeber 28, 2015 when it pased the House.