NAICU Washington Update

Post-9/11 GI Bill "Hold-harmless" Passed by Congress; Moves to President

July 28, 2011

The House of Representatives voted unanimously on July 26 to approve the "Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011" (H.R. 1383).  The legislation provides a "hold-harmless" for veterans who would otherwise see their Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition-and-fee benefits reduced under legislation enacted last December. 

The legislation had been approved by the House in May (see Washington Update, 5/24/11), then was amended and approved by the Senate last week, then was returned to the House.  Signature by the President is expected prior to the August 1 effective date of the changes made last year. 

Among those changes (See Washington Update, 12/20/10) was the establishment of a $17,500 annual cap on the tuition-and-fee benefits provided to veterans attending private postsecondary institutions, replacing state-by-state calculations.  The cap will mean veterans in many states will receive higher benefits.  However, without the protections provided in H.R. 1383, some veterans in seven states would have seen their benefits drop on August 1.

Speaking on behalf of the legislation, House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) noted, "We are keeping our promise to America's student veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill through this new legislation, enabling them to stay in the school of their choice."  The seven states affected by the legislation are Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.

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