Stabenow Announces Bipartisan Bill to Improve Post-9/11 G.I. Bill for Veterans

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today announced bipartisan legislation to improve veterans’ education benefits and enhance the post 9/11 G.I. Bill.  The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (S.1598), named for the architect of the original G.I. Bill, eliminates an arbitrary 15-year period within which veterans are required to use the benefits they have earned.  This bill would allow service-members who enlist after January 1, 2018 to use their benefits at any point after their military service.   


“After bravely serving our country, no veteran should have to worry about whether his or her G.I. benefits will expire,” said Senator Stabenow.  “So many veterans in Michigan have used the G.I. Bill to continue their education and this bill ensures that even more will have that opportunity.”   


The bill expands G.I. Bill eligibility for certain active-duty reservists and Purple Heart recipients who have not completed the full term of their military contract.  The bill also restores tuition costs and housing stipends for student veterans whose schools have closed – such as those impacted by the recent closure of for-profit schools like ITT Technical Institute. 


A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here.


The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 has broad bipartisan support in the Senate and was introduced by U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  Senators Stabenow and Peters cosponsored the legislation, along with U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Boozman, R-Ark., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Shelley Moore-Capito, R-W.V., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Susan Collins, R-Maine, John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Al Franken, D-Minn., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.,  Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Dean Heller, R-Nev., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Tom Udall, D-N.M.