Walz, Moulton Defend Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits
Washington, DC [4/14/16] – Today, Representatives Tim Walz and Seth Moulton were joined by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and other House members in the House Triangle to defend the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits that are at risk of being reduced following the House passage of H.R. 3016 – Veterans Employment, Education and Healthcare Improvement Act.
Under the legislation, housing stipends for military dependent children who pursue a college education would be cut by 50 percent, leaving them to seek financial assistance elsewhere even after their parents served and defended our country. These are service members who were promised this benefit when they entered the military.
“Every day we have active members of the military protecting our country and sacrificing their lives for us and their families, and we owe to them to keep our promise,” said Congressman Walz (D-MN). “We cannot blindside our service members and reduce a critical part of the post-9/11 GI Bill. I agree with my Republican colleagues that this bill offers some wonderful programs, many I support and some I introduced, but we need to find a different way to pay for those programs.”
“We have a responsibility to uphold the promises we made to the men and women who signed up to put their lives on the line for our country,” said Congressman Moulton (D-MA). “The attempts to re-purpose the Post-9/11 GI Bill for other government programs directly contradicts those promises. This is just wrong, and I’m proud to stand with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in pledging to preserve the benefits promised to all new veterans and their families. We owe it to our service members and their families to provide the benefits and respect that they have earned."
"The fact that we even have to fight to protect this critical earned benefit that has empowered so many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families is beyond disappointing," said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. "The Post-9/11 GI Bill has created unparalleled educational and career opportunities for the nearly one million veterans who took advantage of it after service to our country. Veterans will not sit idly by while some Members of Congress use the benefits we’ve earned as a piggybank for other programs. IAVA's 425,000 members are proud to join Reps. Walz and Moulton in urging their colleagues in Congress to defend the Post-9/11 GI Bill."
Walz and Moulton were joined by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Rep. Brad Ashford (D-Neb.), Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-New York), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Rep. Gwen Graham (D-Florida), Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO, IAVA, Air Force Sergeants Association, Association of the United States Navy, Vietnam Veterans Association, and the Commissioned Officers Association.
Since H.R. 3016 was considered on the House Floor under Suspension of the Rules, a parliamentary procedure that is regularly used to quickly pass non-controversial bills, no member could offer an amendment or add a grandfather clause to the bill.