Both parties are using a brief pre-election session of Congress to make campaign appeals to returning veterans.
Senate Democrats are pushing President Barack Obama's proposed $1 billion Veterans Jobs Corps to relieve high unemployment among servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. House Republicans are pushing a bill making it a crime to benefit from lying about military services or awards.
Lawmakers in both parties agreed this week to come up with more money to help the Veterans Administration reduce a disability claims backlog.
Obama proposed a job corps for veterans last February that would put place them in jobs restoring public lands and beefing up local police and fire departments. It cleared a preliminary test vote yesterday, as was expected, but aides said progress could easily unravel as lawmakers negotiate what amendments and how many of them will be allowed.
Although the legislation is not expected to become law this session, it gives lawmakers a chance to display their support for the nation's 21 million-plus veterans before Congress adjourns for the campaign season.
The unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan has been trending lower in recent months, but hit a bump last month. Joblessness among them was nearly 11 per cent in August compared, compared with an 8.1 per cent jobless rate nationwide.
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said the problem is likely to grow as troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan.