Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: News on the GI Bill - from IAVA

Friday, June 20, 2008

News on the GI Bill - from IAVA

The "transferability" amendment Senator Ted Stevens supported did make it into the bill, but NOTHING was cut to be more in line with the wimpy Sen. Bill Graham (McCain) offering. There were also no changes made to appease the bogus "retention" argument...one frequently made by Stevens:
The GI Bill included in the war supplemental funding bill voted on today includes the entire World War II-style GI Bill that IAVA has been championing for over a year. The final bill will also allow service members who stay in the military to transfer their education benefits to their spouses and children. The next steps in the GI Bill fight will be for the Senate to sign off on this version of the supplemental and get this hard-fought legislation to the President's desk.
Per my email:

We just received some great news from Washington, DC and I wanted to share it with you right away.

The White House and Congress have reached an agreement on the new GI Bill. The bill will now be included in the Emergency Supplemental Funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House of Representatives gave their overwhelming stamp of approval to the plan on Thursday afternoon with a vote of 416-12. Once the Senate passes the updated version of the bill, it will go to the President's desk for his signature.

Last week, Paul told you about the final hurdles facing the new GI Bill. The President was threatening to veto it, and a small group of representatives in the House was planning to stall the bill on a technicality. But people like you have shown extraordinary support for this bill over the past several weeks. By keeping the pressure on the President, you truly made a difference.

In fact, on the Senate floor yesterday, Vietnam veteran and Senator Jim Webb mentioned your impact when he said, "I would like to again express my appreciation to the veterans' service organizations, many of whom communicated their support of this bill directly to a skeptical White House."

Our hard work in fighting for the new GI Bill continues to pay off. The White House and members of Congress put aside their differences to come together and show real support for our troops. This fight will be remembered as a great example of Washington choosing patriotism over partisanship.

This development comes at an especially fitting time, since we're only a few days away from the 64th anniversary of the original GI Bill being signed into law.

We are about to make history ourselves. While we wait for the President's signature, I'd like you to know how inspiring your support has been throughout this fight.

Thank you for standing with us.


Patrick Campbell
Iraq Veteran
Legislative Director
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America


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