Press Releases

Press Releases

House Approves Sweeping Improvements to Veteran GI Benefits

Press Release
Jul 25, 2017

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) released the following statement after the House of Representatives approved the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act (H.R. 3218) which expands, extends, and modernizes the GI Bill benefits granted to veterans and their families. 

“After giving it all to serve and defend our country, we have a responsibility to ensure veterans are prepared for the jobs not just of today, but also for the jobs of future. Employers are increasingly seeking candidates with a wide variety of skill sets. So why limit our veterans to only one type educational opportunity or stop them from using their benefits just because of their age?  These reforms will widen the opportunities available to veterans, help equip our veterans for jobs in our modern economy and ensure they have the tools they need to build a successful future in their chosen field."

The legislation passed in the House of Representatives includes a major overhaul and update to the GI Bill, known as The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (H.R. 3218) which:

  • Removes the requirement that veterans use their educational benefits within 15 years of the end of their service. Under the approved legislation, servicemembers would be able to use the GI Bill’s education benefits throughout their lifetimes.
  • Allows all post-9/11 Purple Heart recipients to receive full GI bill benefits. Under current law, post-9/11 Purple Heart recipients would need to serve three years to receive benefits.
  • Helps veterans obtain jobs in high-demand fields like technology and sciences. The bill authorizes a pilot program that allows veterans to use benefits for non-traditional education programs in coding and computer software. It would also extend benefits to veterans in STEM five-year degree programs to cover the fifth year of education. 
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