Peterson Co-Sponsors Bill to Correct and Streamline New GI Bill

Sep 20, 2010 Issues: Education, Veterans

(Washington, DC) – Congressman Collin Peterson announced his support and co-sponsorship for Congressman Walt Minnick’s Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (H.R. 5933).

“Our servicemen and women have honorably served our country and we should honor them for their dedication to our freedom,” said Rep. Peterson. “This bill does just that. By honoring those who serve, we are investing in our future as a free nation. This is just the right thing to do. Without passage of this bill, veterans from Minnesota could lose benefits. This is a must-pass bill.”

In 1944, Congress passed the first GI Bill supporting our young soldiers who served our nation with the promise of a free four-year college education. Within a year, it wasn’t being used by as many as experts had predicted. A year later, Congress passed a bill to fix the problems with enrollment and other issues - thousands went on to use the services of the GI Bill. The original GI bill of 1944 returned $7 to the economy for every $1 spent thereby growing and strengthening America’s strong middle class.

In 2008, Congress passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill to restore the promise made a generation ago to offer full, four-year college scholarships for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans – on par with the benefits available after World War II. Many of the issues that were resolved with the first GI bill have presented themselves again. Tuition and fees at public colleges and universities are completely taken care of for servicemen and women. However, those who choose to attend private institutions do not earn the same benefits even though the 2008 GI Bill makes that promise. Under the newly published 2010/2011 Veterans Affairs tuition/fees chart, students attending certain private schools in Minnesota may receive $7000 less in benefits than they did last year.

Rep. Peterson will co-sponsor The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 to correct and streamline the services offered in the 2008 bill so all service members receive the benefits they deserve. This bill not only offers tuition assistance but provides valuable job training, expands and simplifies the Yellow Ribbon program, and grants tuition credit to deserving National Guardsmen.