Measure expands veterans preference for Reserve, National Guard, and retired service members applying for federal positions
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) today introduced the bipartisan Veterans Preference Parity Act, H.R. 2433, which would allow more Reserve, National Guard, and retired service members to receive preference when competing for federal jobs.
“Whether in the Reserves, National Guard or on active duty, our service members have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation’s safety and security,” said Congresswoman Hartzler. “However, outdated federal hiring rules prevent many of these patriots from being recognized when competing for federal positions. The Veterans’ Preference Parity Act rights this wrong by modernizing the archaic federal hiring process and recognizing those who have served our nation,” added Hartzler, who represents over 65,000 veterans in her Missouri congressional district.
The purpose of veterans’ preference is to provide eligible veterans with an advantage when they compete for federal employment. These longstanding guidelines acknowledge the economic loss suffered by citizens who served their country in uniform, restores veterans to a favorable competitive position for government employment and recognizes the larger obligation America owes to disabled veterans. Currently, federal hiring preference rules require “more than 180 consecutive days” of active duty time for service members to qualify for this preference. The Veterans’ Preference Parity Act modifies the current guidelines from a consecutive day requirement to a non-consecutive total day threshold. This change will allow Reserve and National Guard members to have an equal opportunity to qualify for veterans’ preference when competing for federal positions.
Additionally, existing federal hiring preference rules ban many retired service members from receiving veterans’ preference points. Current guidelines exclude those who retire in the rank of Major, its equivalent, or higher. The Veterans’ Preference Parity Act will remove this restriction.
“The exclusion of so many retired service members from veterans’ preference is outdated, unnecessary, and unfair,” said Hartzler. “Service members of all ranks, including higher ones, enter the civilian workforce after their military service concludes. There is no reason to penalize them. The Veterans’ Preference Parity Act addresses this issue and, in doing so, will open up eligibility to over 130,000 of our working-age retired heroes.”
The Reserve Officer Association (ROA) is among numerous Veterans’ Service Organizations who have voiced their support for Hartzler’s bill: “ROA applauds Rep. Hartzler and those who join in reforms that help members of the Reserve and Guard participate in a federal workforce that needs the nation’s best, to serve the nation. Gainful employment is also a key in the fight against homelessness and suicide among our citizen-warriors and veterans.”
Congresswoman Hartzler’s legislation is also endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Enlisted Association of the National Guard, National Guard Association, Fleet Reserve Association, Jewish War Veterans, American Veterans, and Association of the United States Navy.
Representatives Paul Cook (R-CA), Michael Turner (R-OH), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Don Bacon (R-NE), Jim Baird (R-IN), Don Young (R-AK), Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Rob Wittman (R-VA), and Tom Cole (R-OK) have signed onto this measure as original cosponsors.