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Opposition Grows to Proposal on GI Bill

April 26, 2017
 
 

The House Veterans Affairs Committee this week postponed a planned hearing on potential updates to the GI Bill amid growing opposition to a proposal that would require new service members to pay into the GI Bill for future benefits.

The proposal -- reported last week in military and veterans' news outlets -- was being crafted by the office of Tennessee Republican Phil Roe, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. News of the proposal led to backlash from veterans' organizations even as one group backed the idea.

The proposed buy-in requirement would deduct $100 from new enlistees' pay each month for two years to receive education benefits. Late last week, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican, sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling the proposal a "tax on veterans." And Democratic members of the veterans affairs committee said the buy-in would essentially be a reduction in pay.

“We commend Chairman Roe for postponing the legislative hearing where this legislation was scheduled to be debated," the statement read. "There are important decisions to be made as we work together to update and improve the GI Bill to best serve America’s future heroes. However, with American men and women in uniform stationed and engaged around the world, we should be having a robust debate in Congress about how we can best honor their sacrifice, not asking them to sacrifice more.”

(Correction: This post originally misidentified the party of Brian Fitzpatrick. It has been updated.) 

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