April 16, 2021

Duckworth, Moran Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Reserve Servicemembers and Small Businesses


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and is Chair of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Airland Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced bipartisan legislation to support Reserve Component Forces and small businesses. The Reserve Employers Comprehensive Relief and Uniform Incentives on Taxes (RECRUIT ACT) would provide tax credits for small businesses that hire Reserve and National Guard members, helping incentivize the hiring and retention of these citizen-warriors. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) and Steven Palazzo (R-MS-04).

“We ask so much from our Reserve Components, including overseas deployments and responding to short-notice requirements such as civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic, which results in increased absences from their civilian workplaces,” Duckworth said. “The RECRUIT Act incentivizes the hiring of theses servicemembers and supports small businesses by providing a scalable benefit for employers who experience extended absences of military service employees.”

“The men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve can have their daily lives disrupted at a moment’s notice,” said Moran. “Small businesses that hire members of the National Guard and Reserve should not be penalized or impacted by this call to duty. This legislation would help support these businesses if their employees are called to serve and reward them for hiring those who choose to serve our country.”

“When our National Guard and Reserve members are called to active duty service, their employers unfortunately often take on economic and productivity losses,” said Ryan. “In a year when the National Guard and Reserve have been called upon to do more for our nation than at almost any other time since World War II, this legislation makes common sense. Employers shouldn’t be penalized when one of their employees answers the call to serve – it’s not just unfair, its unpatriotic.”

“We’ve seen clearly over the course of the last year how the National Guard and Reserves are always ready to spring into action,” said Palazzo. “Oftentimes, these men and women must pause their primary job in order to leave and fulfill orders. This legislation helps small businesses by offering tax credits proportional to the length of duty obligations per employee and incentivizes employers to hire and retain members of the National Guard and Reserves. No one should be penalized for serving our great nation. The RECRUIT Act ensures servicemembers, their families, and employers are supported during these calls to serve.”

“When small businesses face staffing disruptions, it can be a particular challenge because they typically do not have the resources to seamlessly shift work to other employees,” said Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer. “The RECRUIT Act would be a victory for small businesses that are already struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering them a scalable benefit that would help them address their workforce needs while their valued employees are serving our country.”

Activation and deployment are now common occurrences for Reserve Components, and our Servicemembers and their families often rely on the support of their civilian employers when they answer the nation’s call.  The RECRUIT Act helps these employers by providing a tax incentive to offset costs associated with activations and deployments. The bill also incentivizes the hiring of Reserve and National Guard servicemembers, helping connect small businesses in need of candidates with applicable experience and leadership skills with servicemembers who are looking for a job.

Senator Duckworth was a leader in the effort to make sure that the federal government fully reimbursed states for costs associated with the deployment of National Guard troops in their efforts to combat the pandemic. Duckworth sent multiple letters to the previous administration urging them to fully cover the costs of these deployments and extend Title 32 authorization for National Guard servicemembers. In May of last year, she introduced the National Guard COVID-19 Response Stability Act to ensure that all National Guard troops activated in response to the pandemic receive additional benefits and provide states with greater certainty.

This legislation was also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).