Congress looks to court vets ahead of election

A Democratic-backed jobs program for veterans has easily cleared its first procedural hurdle, but still faces a long road to becoming law.

The Senate, by a vote of 95-1 Tuesday, cleared the way to consider the legislation. Lawmakers will now try to hash out what amendments and how many of them will be considered in taking up the bill. Several more hurdles could surface in those negotiations.

The Veterans Jobs Corps would help train and hire veterans to restore and protect federal lands. Money would also be used to help veterans find work as police officers and firefighters. The programs would cost about $1 billion over five years.

Lawmakers are making concerted efforts to reach out to the nation's 21 million-plus veterans before heading home to campaign.