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Weekly Defend the GI Bill Update – July 15

Congress left Capitol Hill today for their 7-week summer break. They left the Post-9/11 GI Bill funding intact thanks to our months long campaign to #DefendTheGIBill. The New GI Bill was threatened to the very end and we kept watch until the last hour. Important developments in the last three days of this week:

  •  On Wednesday, SVAC Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA) tried again to quickly pass the Veterans First Act with no recorded vote, but we quickly rallied our allies in the Senate.
  • The same day, we opened up a new front in our campaign. Too many Senators have remained silent about the proposed GI Bill cuts, so we turned up the volume by placing ads in Georgia and Connecticut newspapers calling out Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for their shameful attempt to raid the GI Bill. Hitting them where it hurts.
  • Finally, we locked in a commitment from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to block the Veterans First Act with Post-9/11 GI Bill cuts. She stood up to her party leadership in what is our strongest act of support yet.

Veterans and service members were promised the Post-9/11 GI Bill when they signed up to serve, and we pledge to continue the fight to defend the GI Bill on their behalf. This week in #DefendTheGIBill:

Advocacy Team: 

  • Met with the offices of House Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Tom Carper (D-DE). Our #DefendTheGIBIl Senate office meeting total now stands at 81, having effectively lobbied over 80% of the Senate.

Media: 

  • Placed ads in the Hartford Courant and Marietta Daily Journal, the hometown newspapers of Sens. Isakson and Blumenthal calling them out for pushing for the first significant cut to the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
  • The ad was covered in the Atlanta Journal Courier political wire, Sen. Isakson was forced to comment…ouch

Member Advocacy:

  • 592 grassroots member messages sent to Capitol Hill since last Friday.
  • Defend the GI Bill campaign grassroots IAVA member message total grew to 31,846.

We help transitioning veterans receive their benefits.

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