House passes 6 bills aimed at helping veterans


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WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved a series of bills Monday aimed at helping veterans win government-paid jobs, get small business loans or obtain other assistance.

The House passed six bills aimed at veterans. One bill would give preference to government contractors who employ veterans on a full-time basis. Another bill would allow all veterans to receive official identification cards through the VA.

A third would require that written reprimands and admonishments received by VA employees be kept on file for as long as the person works for the VA. Under current policy, an admonishment only remains in an employee's file for two years and a reprimand for three years. Lawmakers said this hurts the VA's ability to get a true picture of an employee's performance history.

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., said the bill on ID cards responds to veterans who have expressed frustration over their inability to document their service without carrying around official military records.

Under current law, veterans who do not qualify for a VA-issued ID card must carry other documents to prove their veteran status. Some of the documents contain sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers and service details that put veterans at risk for identity theft, Buchanan said.

The bills now go to the Senate.

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