RHINEBECK, NY – Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19), along with Reps. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Don Beyer (VA-08), Mike Kelly (PA-16), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), and Don Bacon (NE-02) reintroduced the Military Spouse Hiring Act, bipartisan legislation that incentivizes employers to hire spouses of members of the United States Armed Forces. Research from the Department of Defense and the Hiring Our Heroes Foundation has found that unemployment rates for military spouses far exceed that of the national average. This bill would help close the gap by expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to include the hiring of qualified military spouses, allowing employers to claim a tax credit equal to a portion of the wages paid to those spouses.
“Military families make immense sacrifices for our country, yet military spouses experience an unemployment rate of nearly 30%,” said Rep. Delgado. “I’m proud to reintroduce bipartisan legislation to address the military spouse unemployment crisis and empower thousands of families in upstate New York and across the country. As we recover from COVID-19 and rebuild, we must invest in our military families. I thank my co-leads on both sides of the aisle for joining me to reintroduce the Military Spouse Hiring Act today.”
“We are so grateful to Congressman Antonio Delgado and the other congressional members for their continued support of military spouses as well as their work to remove obstacles preventing spouses from finding gainful employment and building meaningful careers while supporting their active-duty partners,” said Sue Hoppin, founder, and president, National Military Spouse Network. “Unemployment in the military spouse community has remained stubbornly high and has been further aggravated by the pandemic, making now the perfect time to reintroduce legislation expanding the much-needed Work Opportunity Tax Credit.”
“Military families make enormous sacrifices for their country, yet sadly unemployment is much too high for the spouses of servicemembers,” said Rep. Beyer. “The bipartisan Military Spouse Hiring Act would help fix this disparity and show military families that their service and sacrifice is valued.”
“Unfortunately, military spouses have high rates of unemployment due to their spouses’ service to our country,” said Rep. Kelly. “By making small changes to the tax code, we can make it easier for them to find jobs. That’s why I’m proud to sponsor the Military Spouse Hiring Act, which would offer incentives to employers to hire these men and women who sacrifice so much for our nation. It’s simple, it makes sense, and it’s the right thing to do for those who serve America and their families, both overseas and here at home.”
“When someone joins the military, it’s not just a job—it’s a family commitment to our country,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “Military families face a unique set of challenges, one of which is spousal employment. As co-chair of the Congressional Military Family Caucus, it’s my goal to make sure they have the support they need, and this bipartisan legislation will help bridge the employment gap by expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to include military spouses.”
“Frequent military moves make it very challenging for military spouses to find work and use the licenses they’ve earned in other states,” said Rep. Bacon. “As a nearly 30-year Air Force veteran who has deployed and moved multiple times, I understand the many sacrifices made by military families and spouses and supporting them is a top priority of mine. This legislation addresses the military spouse’s unemployment and underemployment crisis, ensuring spouses can find work and encouraging employers to hire them. This is the right thing to do, and I thank my co-leads for helping carry out this mission.”
Existing law already extends the Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit to employers that hire qualified military veterans, among other targeted groups. The Military Spouse Hiring Act would amend existing law to provide this tax incentive to employers that hire the spouses of members of the United States Armed Forces.