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Minnesota National Guard
Kline's legislation to improve Yellow Ribbon program

Washington, DC  – Second District Congressman John Kline’s bills to improve the Yellow Ribbon reintegration program, and help veterans compete for jobs received bipartisan support and were included in the national defense bill that passed Friday, Dec 17 in the US House of Representatives

Kline’s legislation made changes to the annual defense bill that will improve the law he championed nearly four years ago to make the Minnesota National Guard’s “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” reintegration program available nationwide Kline’s provisions improve the Yellow Ribbon program by:

•  Encouraging cooperation among members of the Armed Forces to take further steps to ensure no veteran falls through the cracks;

• Increasing awareness among communities and local organizations to improve relationships between veterans and their communities; and

• Promoting a greater emphasis on families and encouraging their participation in reintegration programs

Kline, a 25-year veteran of the Marine Corps, also championed a provision in the national defense bill that will help veterans returning from deployment compete for well-paying jobs His legislation will require the Secretary of Defense to establish procedure to expedite the processing of security clearances for combat-wounded veterans, which will enable them to qualify for employment dealing with sensitive duties critical to national security

“I have closely monitored the implementation of the Yellow Ribbon program in Minnesota, and I am pleased to have been able to make the Yellow Ribbon program even better,” said Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee whose son is serving in Afghanistan “During these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to pull together as a community to ensure all of our troops receive the support and assistance they need when they return home to their families, their communities, and their jobs”

The national defense bill serves as the budgetary blueprint for the Departments of Defense and Energy Some provisions in the bill Kline supported included initiatives to prohibit the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees into the US and restrict transfers to foreign countries; expand TRICARE health coverage to children up to 26 years old; and provide $7 billion for our National Guard and Reserve

In his fourth term in Congress, Kline is also the Senior Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee

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