IAVA Welcomes Stronger GI Bill Following Defeat of Troop Tax
New York, NY (July 13, 2017) — Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, welcomes a new bill that will strengthen and expand the GI Bill to benefit more veterans, servicemembers and their unique education needs.
“This is very good news for veterans and our military,” said IAVA Founder and CEO, Paul Rieckhoff. “It looks like forcing Congress to do their job and IAVA’s campaign to #DefendTheGIBill earlier this year worked. We now finally have a bi-partisan plan to appropriately expand the post-9/11 GI Bill–that doesn’t do it on the backs of veterans and servicemembers, or by cutting other vital programs.”
IAVA has led the fight against cuts to promised GI Bill benefits and attempts to tax new recruits in wartime for their Post-9/11 GI Bill, while vigorously calling for improvements in the bill itself and to fighting bad actors in the for-profit education industry. Many of the provisions of today’s bill, which IAVA supports, can be found outlined in IAVA’s Policy Agenda here.
“This new bill builds on our critical GI Bill victories over the last decade, expands America’s best investment and creates a brighter future for millions of veterans and their families,” Rieckhoff continued. “IAVA has long supported overdue improvements to the GI Bill, many of which are outlined in our Policy Agenda. But what we don’t condone is politicians pitting members of our community against each other to avoid doing their job of finding the money. We go to war, Congress finds a way to pay for it. This new bill isn’t paid for through any new fees or taxes passed on to troops or veterans. This is a plan we can support, especially with the vast improvements to veterans education gained in the end.
“The hard work now will be getting this bill passed, but we hope members of Congress will achieve bipartisan success as they have been uniquely able to do on veterans issues over the past few months. We look forward to working with the leaders of the Veterans Committees in both the House and Senate and our allies in the VSO community to get this critical bill through Congress and on the President’s desk swiftly. We’re proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Student Veterans of America, the American Legion, the VFW, and countless other VSO leaders. Congress should do all they can to get this done before the new school year starts in the fall.
“This is an important step for veterans, but every inch of ground we gain must also be defended. With budget cuts and waning attention for veterans affairs possible in years ahead, IAVA and our allies will continue to remain vigilant in holding the line to #DefendtheGIBill,” continued Rieckhoff.