Rep. Antonio Delgado wants to expand a tax credit to encourage businesses to hire spouses of members of the armed forces, addressing an ongoing gap in employment for military families. 

The proposal would expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to include the hiring of qualified spouses. It would allow employers to claim a tax credit that is equal to a portion of the wages paid to those spouses. 

The bill addresses unemployment concerns among military spouses, which Department of Defense research has found exceeds the national average. 

“Military families make immense sacrifices for our country, yet military spouses experience an unemployment rate of nearly 30%,” said Delgado, a Democrat from the Hudson Valley. “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.”

Backed by Republicans as well as Democrats, the proposal also has the support of military family organizations who have raised concerns over unemployment for armed services families.

“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, the founder, and president of the 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.”