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Gillibrand Announces Opposition to New GI Bill Cuts

IAVA applauds New York Senator for standing with veterans as bipartisan opposition grows in House and Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 5, 2016) — Today Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing over 425,000 post-9/11 veterans and their families, applauded the announcement by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) that she will stand with IAVA members in New York and nationwide to oppose outrageous proposed Congressional cuts to the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“Today, Senator Gillibrand stepped up for our veterans and their families in a huge way. The post-9/11 generation of veterans issued a call to the Senate for action and Senator Gillibrand has answered,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “As a New York veteran myself, I was pleased to speak to Senator Gillibrand last week by phone to hear her passion for this issue. She always listens to the needs of IAVA members and her leadership on this fight will be applauded by thousands of IAVA student veterans all across the great state of New York. As a leader in the fight to pass the Zadroga 9/11 First Responders Reauthorization Act, the Military Justice Improvement Act and so many other important fights for new veterans, Senator Gillibrand understands our community better than most and has been a committed partner for IAVA.”

IAVA, which led the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2008, has focused national attention on short-sighted, dangerous attempts by Congress to cut the groundbreaking earned veteran education benefit. Since IAVA launched the #DefendTheGIBill campaign in February 2016, IAVA members have led numerous press events, taken dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill and in home states and have sent more than 30,000 letters to Congress demanding they take a stand and oppose any cuts to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Dozens of members of the House and Secretary Hillary Clinton have also joined IAVA. Yet in the Senate only Gillibrand, Senator Ayotte (R-NH) and Senator Sanders (I-VT) have so far shown the courage to stand with IAVA to Defend The GI Bill. President Obama, VA Secretary McDonald and Mr. Donald Trump also still remain silent. The complete list of leaders who stand with IAVA can be found at www.DefendTheGIBill.org.

Rieckhoff added, “Now, the spotlight is on fellow New York Senator Schumer and the 97 other members of the Senate who have yet to join IAVA to follow Senator Gillibrand’s lead. It’s long past time for you to stand and be counted on this issue. Our veterans are also still waiting to hear from President Obama and Mr. Trump. As post-9/11 veterans, we have stood up for you. Now, the week after Independence Day, it’s time for you to stand up for us and defend the GI Bill.”

The Post-9/11 (“New”) GI Bill has been used by nearly one million veterans and their family members to accomplish educational goals and chart new career paths. For more information about IAVA’s campaign to defend the GI Bill, visit www.DefendTheGIBill.org

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.