McSally's 'Border Jobs for Vets' signed into law
A bill sponsored by freshman U.S. Rep. Martha McSally has become one of a handful to pass through a stalemated Congress and be signed into law. The "Border Jobs for Veterans Act" received President Barack Obama's signature on Friday.
"This is how Washington is supposed to work," McSally said in a press release Monday. "We identified a problem, put together a bipartisan solution, and worked together to get it across the finish line and signed into law."
The bill was first introduced in the Senate by Arizona Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake, along with U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on June 17, then by McSally and co-sponsors in the House the next day.
The legislation requires cooperation between the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to make those leaving active duty with the military aware of employment opportunities with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at border crossings.
The law "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," McSally said.
Just 68 bills have been passed by Congress and been signed by the president this year, McSally noted. 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 for former Gov. Raul Castro, the congresswoman's bill is the first introduced by an Arizona House member this year to be signed into law.
The bill was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of representatives that included Democrats Ruben Gallego and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Republican Paul Gosar. No members of Congress voted against the measure as it passed the House 410-0. U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick did not cast a vote on the bill, while McSally's Democratic counterpart in Southern Arizona, Rep. Raul Grijalva, voted "aye."
The measure passed the Senate with unanimous consent.