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Defend The GI Bill

IAVA Members and supporters have sent over 33,000 messages to Capitol Hill to #DefendTheGIBill. Join us now and TAKE ACTION. 

Congress is breaking its sacred promise to our veterans as some look at the Post-9/11 GI Bill as a piggy bank to fund other programs. IAVA has pledged to all veterans that we will fight this effort—and we’ve made good on that promise. Congress originally planned to complete their raid on the Post-9/11 GI Bill by Memorial Day. They failed. Then they moved their goal post to July 4th. They failed. Then before it left for its summer and fall recesses. Again, they failed. Each time IAVA’s relentless advocacy stood in their way.

This fight is far from over though. The end of the year is fast approaching and there are very few days left in the 114th Congress. Given that the legislation that includes the GI Bill cuts are a top priority this year for Veterans Committee leaders, we fully expect an all-out push to ram these cuts through in the final days of this Congress.

THE SITUATION:

For months Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) opposed the so-called “Veterans First Act.” This legislation includes $3.4 billion in cuts over the next five years to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, robbing veterans and their families of benefits that they were promised. The Senate developments follow the passage of a similar House legislative package, which includes a 50 percent cut to the housing allowance provided to children who will have their parent’s Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits transferred to them.  

During the course of IAVA’s #DefendTheGIBill campaign, IAVA members have sent over 33,000 letters to Capitol Hill and we’ve held over 250 meetings with Members of Congress. We’ve also taken our fight to the press and social media. On July 14, 2016, a day before Congress left for its summer recess, IAVA secured a major victory when Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) stood up for veterans by blocking the Veterans First Act from going forward with the cuts.

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Now that Congress has left Washington, the fight to defend the GI Bill has shifted to the campaign trail. Earlier in the year, IAVA was happy to secure the support of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In a recent speech Clinton stated, “I will protect, preserve and defend the post-9/11 GI bill. …Unfortunately, there are some…in Congress chipping away at it. That’s not just wrong, its is shortsighted.”

But while Secretary Clinton continues to support IAVA in defending the Post-9/11 GI Bill, many have not joined her. As stated in a Washington Post article,”…the Veterans First Act is supported by both Republicans and Democrats and has more Democratic co-sponsors than Republican. Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice-presidential pick, supported the legislation.”

Real American Military Family.

Donald Trump and many of his fellow Republicans have also been noticeably absent in opposing GI Bill cuts. While Sen. Ayotte has been a great champion of Post-9/11 Veterans in the Senate, others have yet to follow her example. IAVA finds this inaction unacceptable and calls on the leaders of both political parties to take a stand and pledge to #DefendTheGIBill and oppose any cuts to critical veterans benefits like the landmark education law.

Make no mistake, while the Veterans First Act has been stalled in the Senate, it will continue to be a threat when Congress reconvenes in November. Unless the Post-9/11 GI Bill cuts are removed from the Veterans First Act, IAVA will continue to vigorously oppose the bill and will call on the President to veto it if passed.

ClqjKn5WIAA0-AV Time is of the essence – as Congress seeks to pass the veterans omnibus before Election Day – and we are fighting on two fronts. We must oppose:

  • The 50 percent cut to veteran children’s housing in the House bill
  • The $3.4 billion cut to all Post-9/11 GI Bill users in the Senate bill

#DEFENDTHEGIBILL TESTIMONY:


On September 14, 2016, Lauren Augustine, Army Veteran and IAVA Senior Legislative Associate testified before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC), the Senators with the power to stop the cuts to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Near the end of the hours-long hearing aimed at discussing the future of the VA, SVAC Chair, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) asks Lauren pointedly what IAVA’s position is on the so-called Veterans First Act. We’ve been clear with Congress for months that we oppose the proposed cuts to hard earned education benefits in Veterans First so his question left most of us here at IAVA scratching our heads. But not Lauren. Watch her response in the video above.

#DEFENDTHEGIBILL ADS:

Published on July 13, 2016 in the Hartford Courant and the Marietta Daily Journal, the hometown newspapers of Senators Veterans’ Affairs Committee leaders, Senator Johnny Isakson (GA) and Richard Blumenthal (CT), calling them out for pushing for the first cut to the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

CALL TO ACTION:

IAVA’s members — and all those ready to stand with America’s New Greatest Generation — call on all members of Congress, the President and the Presidential candidates to commit to never using the Post-9/11 GI Bill as a piggy bank. IAVA’s membership have already sent over 33,000 messages to Capitol Hill asking their representatives to defend the promise and we are leaning the full resources of IAVA’s Communications, Policy, and Outreach Teams into the campaign.

To join this fight, ask your Members of Congress to commit to #DefendTheGIBill and oppose the cuts in the House and Senate. You can also support IAVA’s advocacy efforts at IAVA.org/donate.

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Print out your own #DefendTheGIBill sign here, post a picture to social media using the hashtag #DefendTheGIBill, and tag @IAVA.

Who Stands with IAVA to #DefendTheGIBill?

 As Of: July 8, 2016

Senators

Read statement of support here: Ayotte | Sanders | Gillibrand

Members of the House of Representatives


Don’t see your elected official here? Ask your Senators and Representative to #DefendTheGIBill.

★ = Veteran of the Armed Forces

  Read statements of support here: Ashford | Brownley | Duckworth★ | Gabbard★    Graham | KirkpatrickMoulton★ | O’Rourke | PelosiRice | Walz★ | Rangel | Hinojosa

2016 Presidential Candidates

Read statements of support here: Clinton

New York City Government

Read statement of support here: New York City Council

Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)

#DefendTheGIBill Press

Who Has NOT Stood with IAVA Yet?

Current Administration

Pres. Barack Obama (D) Vice Pres. Joe Biden (D) VA Secretary Bob McDonald

Presidential Candidates

Donald J. Trump (R)

Vice Presidential Candidates

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN)

Senators

Alexander (R-TN)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Capito (R-WV)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Franken (D-MN)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (D-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Lankford (R-OK)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McCain (R-AZ)
Mccaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Peters (D-MI)
Portman (R-OH)
Reed (D-RI)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Scott (R- SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)

Members of the House of Representatives

Ralph Abraham (R-LA)
Alma Adams (D-NC)
Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
Pete Aguilar (D-CA)
Rick Allen (R-GA)
Justin Amash (R-MI)
Mark Amodei (R-NV)
Brian Babin (R-TX)
Lou Barletta (R-PA)
Andy Barr (R-KY)
Joe Barton (R-TX)
Karen Bass (D-CA)
Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Dan Benishek (R-MI)
Ami Bera (D-CA)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Don Beyer (D-VA)
Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL)
Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Mike Bishop (R-MI)
Diane Black (R-TN)
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Rod Blum (R-IA)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-D)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR-D)
Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU)
Mike Bost (R-IL)
Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
Robert Brady (D-PA)
Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Dave Brat (R-VA)
Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
Mo Brooks (R-AL)
Susan Brooks (IN-R)
Corrine Brown (D-FL)
Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Ken Buck (R-CO)
Larry Bucshon (IN-R)
Michael Burgess (TX-R)
Cheri Bustos (D-IL)
G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)
Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Lois Capps (D-CA)
Micahel Capuano (D-MA)
Tony Cardenas (D-CA)
John Carney (D-DE)
Andre Carson (D-IN)
Buddy Carter (R-GA)
John Carter (R-TX)
Matthew Cartwright (D-PA)
Kathy Castor (D-FL)
Joaquin Castro (D-TX)
Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Judy Chu (D-CA)
David Cicillne (D-RI)
Katherine Clark (D-MA)
Curt Clawson (R-FL)
Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
James Clyburn (D-SC)
Mike Coffman (R-CO)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Tom Cole (R-OK)
Chris Collins (R-NY)
Doug Collins (R-GA)
Barbara Comstock (R-VA)
Michael Conaway (R-TX
Gerald Connolly (D-VA)
John Conyers (D-MI)
Paul Cook (R-CA)
Jim Cooper (D-TN)
Jim Costa (D-CA)
Ryan Costello (R-PA)
Joe Courtney (D-CT)
Kevin Cramer (D-CT)
Rick Crawford (R-AK)
Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
Henry Culberson (R-TX)
Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-GA)
Susan Davis (D-CA)
Danny Davis (D-IL)
Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Diana DeGette (D-CO)
John Delaney (D-MD)
Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Suzan DelBene (D-WA)
Jeff Denham (R-CA)
Charles Dent (R-PA)
Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)
Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)
Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Bob Dold (R-IL)
Daniel Donovan (R-NY)
Mike Doyle (D-PA)
Sean Duffy (R-WI)
John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)
Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Keith Ellison (D-MI)
Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
Tom Emmer (R-MN)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
Elizabeth Esty (D-CT)
Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Stephen Fincher (R-TN)
Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)
John Fleming (R-LA)
Bill Flores (R-TX)
Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Jeff Fortenberry (R-VA)
Bill Foster (D-IL)
Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Lois Frankel (D-FL)
Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)
John Garamendi (D-CA)
Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
Chris Gibson (R-NY) Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
Kay Granger (R-TX)
Sam Graves (R-MO)
Garret Graves (R-LA)
Tom Graves (R-GA)Alan Grayson (D-FL)
Al Green (D-TX)
Gene Green (D-TX)
Morgan Griffith (R-VA)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Glenn Grothman (R-WI)
Frank Guinta (R-NH)
Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Janice Hahn (D-CA)
Richard Hanna (R-NY)
Cresent Hardy (R-NV)
Gregg Harper (R-MS)
Andy Harris (R-MD)
Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Joe Heck (R-NV)
Denny Heck (D-WA)Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
Jody Hice (R-GA)
Brian Higgins (D-NY)
French Hill (R-AR)
Jim Himes (D-CT)
George Holding (R-NC)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (Del-DC)
Mike Honda (D-CA)
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Richard Hudson (R-NC)
Tim Huelskamp (R-KS)
Jared Huffman (D-CA)
Bill Huizenga (R-MI)
Randy Hultgren (R-IL)
Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Will Hurd (R-TX)
Robert Hurt (R-VA)
Steve Israel (D-NY)
Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Evan Jenkins (R-WV)
Lynn Jenkins (R-KA)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Bill Johnson (R-OH)
Sam Johnson (R-TX)
Henry Johnson, Jr. (D-GA)
David Jolly (R-FL)
Walter Jones (R-NC)
Jim Jordan (R-OH)
David Joyce (R-OH)
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
John Katko (R-NY)
Mike Kelly (R-PA)
Robin Kelly (D-IL)
Trent Kelly (R-MS)
Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA)
Daniel Kidee (D-MI)
Derek Kilmer (D-WA)
Ron Kind (D-WI)
Pete King (R-NY)
Steve King (R-IA)
Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
John Kline (R-MN)
Stephen Knight (R-CA)
Raul Labrador (R-ID)
William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-MO)
Darin LaHood (R-IL)
Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
James Langevin (D-RI)
Rick Larsen (D-WA)
John Larson (D-CT)
Robert Latta (R-OH)
Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Sander Levin (D-MI)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
David Loebsack (D-IA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Billy Long (R-MS)
Barry Loudermilk (R-GA)
Mia Love (R-UT)
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MS)
Ben Lujan (D-NM)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
Thomas MacArthur (R-NJ)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
Tom Marino (R-PA)
Thomas Massie (R-KY)
Doris Matsui (D-CA)
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Tom McClintock (R-CA)
Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)
James McGovern (D-MA)
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
David McKinley (R-WV)
Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Jerry McNerney (D-CA)
Martha McSally (R-AZ)
Mark Meadows (R-NC)
Pat Meehan (R-PA)
Grace Meng (D-NY)
Luke Messer (R-IN)
John Mica (R-FL)
Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Candice Miller (R-MI)
John Moolenaar (R-MI)
Alex Mooney (R-WV)
Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Markwayne Mullin (R-OK)
Mick Mulvaney (R-SC)
Partick Murphy (D-FL)
Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
Richard Neal (D-MA)
Randy Neugbauer (R-TX)
Dan Newhouse (D-WA)
Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Richard Nolan (D-MN)
Donald Norcross (D-NJ)
Rich Nugent (R-FL)
Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Pete Olson (R-TX)
David P. Roe (R-TN)
Steven Palazzo (R-MS)Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Gary Palmer (R-AL)
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)
Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Stevan Pearce (R-NM)
Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
Scott Perry (R-PA)
Scott Peters (D-CA)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Pedro Pierluisi (PR)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Robert Pittenger (R-NC)
Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
Stacey Plaskett (Del-VI)
Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Ted Poe (R-TX)
Bruce Poliquin (R-ME)
Jared Polis (D-CO)
Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
Bill Posey (R-FL)
David Price (D-NC)
Tom Price (R-GA)
Mike Quigley (D-IL)
Amata Radewagen (R-AS)
Aumua Radewagen (Del-AS)
John Ratcliffe (R-TX)
Tom Reed (R-NY)
David Reichert (R-WA)
James Renacci (R-OH)
Reid Ribble (R-WI)
Tom Rice (R-SC)
Cedric Richmond (D-LA)
Scott Rigell (R-VA)
Martha Roby (R-AL)
Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Harold Rogers (R-KY)
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Todd Rokita (R-IN)
Thomas Rooney (R-FL)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Dennis Ross (R-FL)
Keith Rothfus (R-PA)
David Rouzer (R-NC)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Edward Royce (R-CA)
Raul Ruiz (D-CA)
Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Steve Russell (R-OK)
Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Gregorio Sablan (Del-MP)
Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
Mark Sanford (R-SC)
John Sarbanes (D-MD)
Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
David Schweikert (R-AZ)
Austin Scott (R-GA)
David Scott (D-GA)
Robert Scott (D-VA)
James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Terri Sewell (D-AL)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
John Shimkus (R-IL)
Michael Simpson (R-ID)
Krysten Sinema (D-AZ)
Albio Sires (D-WA)
Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
Adam Smith (D-WA)
Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Christopher Smith (R-NJ)
Jason Smith (R-MO)
Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Jackie Speier (D-CA)
Elise Stefanik (R-NY
Chris Stewart (R-UT)
Steve Stivers (R-OH)
Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)
Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Mark Takai (D-HI)
Mark Takano (D-CA)
Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Mike Thompson (D-CA)
Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)
Scott Tipton (R-CO)
Dina Titus (D-NV)
Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Norma Torres (D-CA)
David Trott (R-MI)
Niki Tsongas (D-MA)
Michael Turner (R-OH)
Fred Upton (R-MI)
David Valadao (R-CA)
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Juan Vargas (D-CA)
Marc Veasey (D-TX)
Filemon Vela (D-TX)
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
Peter Visclosky (D-IN)
Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
Ann Wagner (R-MO)
Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Greg Walden (R-OR)
Mark Walker (R-NC)
Jackie Walorski (R-IN)
Mimi Walters (R-CA)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)
Randy Weber (R-TX)
Daniel Webster (R-FL)
Peter Welch (D-VT)
Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)
Bruce Westerman (R-AR)
Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
Roger Williams (R-TX)
Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
Rob Wittman (R-VA)
Steve Womack (R-AR)
Rob Woodall (R-GA)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Kevin Yoder (R-KS)
Ted Yoho (D-FL)
David Young (R-IA)
Don Young (R-AK)
Todd Young (R-IN)
Clarke, Yvette (D-NY)
Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Ryan Zinke (R-MT)