07.24.17

Rep. Takano: House Passage of “Forever GI Bill” is a Victory for America’s Veterans

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), vice ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the House passed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, commonly known as the “Forever GI Bill.” 

“Today the House voted to secure the GI Bill for future generations of American veterans and protect every veteran’s right to a rewarding, purposeful, and prosperous civilian life. This is a victory for America’s veterans and an example of what happens when we put politics aside to do what is best for the country. I applaud the leadership of Chairman Roe, Ranking Member Walz, and the many members of the Committee who contributed to the strength of this legislation.

“I am particularly proud that this legislation includes my proposal with Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) to restore GI Bill benefits for students defrauded by ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges. When these schools abruptly closed, thousands of student veterans in my district and across the country were left with non-transferable credits, depleted benefits, and none of the job opportunities they were promised. By restoring their tuition and housing benefits, we are restoring a measure of justice for these veterans, and restoring their opportunity to get the education they deserve.

“I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly to put this bipartisan bill on the president’s desk.”

The legislative package includes four pieces of legislation championed by Rep. Takano:

  • The Veterans Education Relief and Restoration Act (introduced by Rep. Takano) restores GI Bill benefits lost by student veterans when their school abruptly closes dud to financial trouble, federal investigations and lawsuits, or other factors. It applies retroactively to former students of Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute, and includes housing benefits as well as tuition support.
  • The GI Bill Fairness Act (introduced by Rep. Takano) ends the unequal treatment of Guardsmen and Reservists by ensuring they can accrue GI Bill benefits when ordered to active duty for their recovery, treatment, and rehabilitation.
  • The Work-Study for Student Veterans Act (introduced by Rep. Takano) makes permanent the VA’s Student Work-Study Allowance Program, which allows qualifying student veterans to get paid for work that assists fellow veterans, whether it’s on campus, at VA facilities, or at other veteran-centered organizations.
  • The Veterans Education Equity Act (co-led by Rep. Takano) makes local community colleges and universities more competitive by correcting the formula for calculating student veterans’ housing allowance.

Press Contact

Josh Weisz, 202-225-2305