House Passes REMOTE Act to Continue Supporting Student Veterans during COVID-19 Pandemic
Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684)
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5545, as amended, the Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions Act or REMOTE Act introduced by Rep. David Trone (D-Mary.), Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.), and Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.). This legislation extends vital protections for student veterans secured by Chairman Takano’s Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act last year by extending remote learning waivers and ensuring that full housing benefits are given to student veterans as schools continue to conduct virtual classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it will increase the number of Equal Employment Opportunity counselors available at VA facilities to assist VA employees as proposed by Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) in his VA Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor Modernization Act. The REMOTE Act is endorsed by 14 Veterans Service Organizations including the American Council on Education, the American Legion, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Disabled American Veterans, Student Veterans of America, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, National Association of College and University Business Officers, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, National Association of State Approving Agencies, National Association of Veterans Program Administrators, Tragedy Assistance for Survivors, Veterans Education Success, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“When schools rightly shifted their classes online due to the pandemic, many student veterans saw a major reduction in housing benefits,” said Chairman Takano. “Last year, we passed my emergency Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act to ensure these veterans could access their full benefits, but as it is set to expire this month, it is clear that more relief is needed. That is why I am so pleased the House of Representatives passed Rep. Trone’s REMOTE Act today to ensure that our students veterans don’t lose the critical housing benefits they have earned. Additionally, I’m glad we could include a vital provision from Rep. Lamb to equip VA with more Equal Opportunity Employment counselors to ensure VA is welcoming and safe for all of its employees. I want to thank Reps. Trone and Lamb for leading this effort to safeguard student veterans’ benefits during this pandemic and support VA employees.”
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