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Weekly Defend the GI Bill Update – June 24

This week marks the 72nd anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing into law the original GI Bill. Since then millions of service members and their families have been able to obtain an education through the landmark benefit, transforming lives and boosting our economy.

Astonishingly, Senators have chosen this week to push the so called “Veterans First” Act, with its Post-9/11 GI Bill cuts still in place. Senators backing the Veterans First Act took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to push for quick approval of the bill. This move would push the Veterans First Act through the Senate with no recorded vote.

In response we asked our members to step up to #DefendTheGIBill. From phone calls to the offices of Senators Isakson and Blumenthal, grassroots email messages, and social media advocacy, our members responded with the same “get it done” attitude they have always responded with. This fight isn’t over yet. This week in #DefendTheGIBill:

Advocacy Team: 

  • Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY-13) gave us his commitment to support our campaign.
  • Met with the offices of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Cresent Hardy (R-NV).
  • Conducted a Senate press conference with Senators Carper (D-DE) and Blumenthal (D-CT) focused on curbing abuse of the GI Bill by for-profit schools, but IAVA also took the opportunity to call for Congress to oppose cuts to the GI Bill.

Member Advocacy:

  • 52 Voter Voice member messages sent to Capitol Hill since last Friday.
  • Defend the GI Bill campaign grassroots IAVA member message total grew to 30,800.

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