Van Drew Bill Urging Congress to Use Osama Bin Laden Reward Money to Establish Fund for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Clears Senate

Senator Jeff Van Drew listens to testimony during the Senate Environment Committee.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew urging Congress to use the reward money that was planned to be paid to the person who delivered information about the whereabouts and led to the capture of Osama bin Laden to benefit returning war veterans was approved today by the Senate.

“The extraordinary sacrifice and courage of our veterans, and their bravery to defend the values ​​of the American people, cannot be understated,” said Senator Van Drew. “Veterans make tremendous contributions to our country and it is critical that we provide them the support they need. We are urging Congress to do that by using the reward money offered for the capture of Osama Bin Laden to benefit those who have risked life and limb in service to our country.”

According to the United States Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for all veterans was 5.3 percent in 2014, a decrease from 6.6 percent in 2013. About 9% of the 2.3 million American workers who served on active military duty at some point since September 2001 were unemployed in 2013. That was down from 9.9% in 2012. The national average unemployment rate of for all in 2013 was 7.4%. Also is estimate that in 2013 approximately 50,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans lost their homes.

Beginning in 2001, the federal Department of State offered a $25 million reward for any information about Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts who was an Al Qaeda leader who posed a grave threat to the United States by orchestrating numerous terror attacks targeting the United States also declared a Holy War against the United States in 1996. These terror attacks include: the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the 1996 bombing of an American military base in Saudi Arabia, a series of United States Embassy bombings in Africa, the October 10, 2000 attacks on the Navy ship USS Cole, and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

On May 1, 2011, 79 American commandos in four helicopters descended on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group carried out an operation that resulted in the death of Bin Laden.

Copies of the (SR-36) resolution would be sent to the President of the United States, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority and Minority Leader of the United States Senate and to each member of Congress from the New Jersey Congressional delegation.