The legislation, which combines 18 bills into one, passed in the House by a 405-0 vote July 24.
“It’s time for our senators to guarantee this benefit for those who serve our country today and in the future, and get this done,” Jared Lyon, President of Student Veterans of America, said in a statement. “We look forward to the Senate scheduling this vote to achieve a ‘Forever’ GI Bill now, and not wait until after the August recess.”
Out of 100 Senators, 60 have signed on as co-sponsors to the bill, which would be the largest expansion of GI Bill benefits in nearly a decade. The legislation would remove the 15-year time limit for veterans to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits, and expands tuition payments to Purple Heart recipients. It would also provide additional funding for veterans who specialize in field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Justin Brown, executive director of Hill Vets, is confident the Senate will pass this popular bill. “At the end of the day, the Senate will realize they don’t want to go home during this recess and see a situation whereby there was agreement on both sides, and they couldn’t get it done,” said Brown.
White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that it is official White House policy that nothing should be voted on in Congress before healthcare.
VA Secretary David Shulkin weighed in on the measure tweeting “The Forever GI Bill has bipartisan support in the House and Senate. I urge swift passage by the Senate before they leave on recess.”
Currently, no vote is scheduled for the widely supported bipartisan legislation. Connecting Vets has reached out to the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-KY., for when a vote on the ‘Forever’ GI Bill can be expected. The Senate has delayed their August recess by two weeks.