HUGE news out of Washington. The historic GI Bill expansion bill we've
been supporting this year has passed in the Senate! This is a truly
historic win for veterans--and for all Americans. Check out our full
press release on the news below.
And if you're now thinking about going back to school, click
here to calculate the GI Bill benefits you qualify for and learn more about how the new expansion will affect you
from IAVA's experts. And be sure to share this with any vets you know
who might qualify. It's another way IAVA's connecting, uniting and
empowering the next generation of veterans.
Veterans are not a charity, we're an
investment. And today, that investment has expanded ways that could
change your life forever.
Iraq War Veteran
Founder and CEO, IAVA
Historic GI Bill Expansion's Passage in Senate Applauded by IAVA, Veterans
"The most important investment Washington has made this year"
NEW YORK, NY
(August 2, 2017) - Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America,
the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, applauded
the historic and uniquely bi-partisan passage of a strengthened and
expanded GI Bill in the Senate. The bill passed in the House last week.
"This bill expands America's best investment and creates a brighter future for millions of veterans and their families," said IAVA Founder and CEO, Paul Rieckhoff.
"It shows what Washington can do when everyone puts country ahead
of politics. A powerful and diverse coalition of veterans groups showed
the way, and we are pleased to see politicians from both sides of the
aisle follow. This rare showing of true bi-partisanship and swift action
is a model for what American can do when we all work together. It also
shows the popularity and power of the veterans community and our
civilian allies nationwide."
IAVA has long supported overdue improvements to the GI Bill, many of which are outlined in our Policy Agenda
This new bill will: extend the Yellow Ribbon Program to recipients of
the Fry Scholarship; award Purple Heart recipients GI Bill eligibility
regardless of active duty time served; ensure National Guard and Reserve
Members get the same benefits as those they served on active duty with;
and more. And it is a major improvement over earlier versions because
it isn't paid for through any new fees or taxes passed on to troops or
veterans. IAVA will continue to advocate for more improvements,
including closing the 90/10 loophole.
"This is very good news for veterans and our military," Rieckhoff continued.
"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."
"We look forward to getting the bill signed
by the President's quickly. We're proud to stand shoulder to shoulder
with Student Veterans of America, the American Legion, the VFW, and
countless other VSO leaders. 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.
IAVA led the passage of the Post-9/11 GI
Bill in 2008 and in championing upgrades in 2010 and 2014. These
upgrades simplified and improved tuition benefits, expanded eligibility
to the National Guard, included vocational programs, and made nationwide
in-state tuition rates a possibility for new veterans.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill has been used at
least 1.5 million veterans and their family members to accomplish
educational goals and chart new career paths. In 2016, IAVA's year-long
campaign to #DefendTheGIBill effectively killed over $4 billion in
attempted cuts to the Post-9/11 GI Bill by the 114th Congress.
IAVA member service programs have also served hundreds of thousands of veterans with one-on-one GI Bill support.