National

Nov 16, 2011 6:04 PM by Kirsten Bennett

Congress easily OKs bill for vets, contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress has overwhelmingly approved a bill helping government contractors and unemployed veterans, finally giving President Barack Obama the chance to sign the first, tiny shred of his $447 billion jobs bill into law.

The House consented to the popular legislation Wednesday 422-0 as Democrats and Republicans rallied on a rare patch of common ground. The Senate passed the measure 95-0 last week.

The bill creates tax breaks for companies hiring jobless veterans and beefs up vets' job-training and counseling programs.

It also repeals a law that would require the government to withhold 3 percent of its payments to contractors to compel them to pay their taxes.

Obama proposed the veterans tax credits in his jobs bill. It is worth $95 million - a tiny fraction of his overall jobs plan.

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