Washington, D.C. - Today, Chairman Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of President Trump signing the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017, or Forever GI Bill, into law:
“As students around the country head back to school, we are reminded how important a quality education is. As chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I’ve worked in a bipartisan way to deliver major reforms to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) better serve our nation’s heroes. One of the achievements I’m most proud of is the Forever GI Bill. The Forever GI Bill reinforces our commitment to provide veterans with the benefits they have earned and provides one of the largest expansion of education benefits for student veterans since the original GI Bill was signed in 1944.
“The Forever GI Bill does a number of things to ensure student veterans are able to take full advantage of their benefits in the way that best suits their needs. Most notably, the law removes the previous time restriction of 15 years after discharge so eligible veterans can carry their education benefits with them throughout their lives. Additionally, the law increases funding for Reservists and Guardsmen, dependents, surviving spouses and surviving dependents, and provides a 100 percent GI Bill eligibility to Post 9/11 Purple Heart recipients. If a man or woman is injured in service to our nation, they should have full access to education benefits. The Forever GI Bill also restores eligibility for servicemembers whose school closes mid-semester and creates a pilot program to pay for veterans to take accelerated learning programs in technology courses, ensuring student veterans have the skills needed to compete in a 21st Century workforce.
“Of course, as this law is implemented we will continue to provide aggressive and necessary oversight of VA. I remain concerned that VA’s IT system is still not fully ready to implement some of the law’s changes, but I’m encouraged by the work being done to ensure student veterans have access to the benefits they have earned.”
The bill was signed into law by President Trump on August 16, 2017. More information on the law can be found here.