Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has commended the Internal Revenue Service for hiring more than 1,000 veterans last year.

He noted that the IRS is also on track to meet the same target this year. Grassley (pictured) urged the IRS and its parent, the Treasury Department, early last year to make the hiring of 1,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a goal. He even raised the issue during the confirmation hearings of IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, and secured Shulman’s commitment before he won confirmation.

“The IRS recognized that veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have a lot to offer the agency,” said Grassley, who is ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. “It’s very good to see a verbal commitment from the IRS commissioner followed through with action. That helps to reverse some public cynicism about government.”

In January 2008, Grassley realized that the Treasury Department, including the IRS, lagged behind other federal agencies in hiring newly returned veterans, even though the department had significant vacancies. Grassley urged the IRS commissioner nominee, Shulman, and then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to hire 1,000 veterans in one year to fill vacant positions. Shulman, since confirmed as commissioner, recently wrote Grassley to say that the IRS had hired 1,203 veterans in fiscal year 2008 and hired 700 more in the first five months of fiscal year 2009.

“You have my commitment that the IRS will continue to go the extra mile to try to match the fine men and women returning from service with opportunities at the IRS where they can continue to serve,” Shulman wrote in his letter.

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