NAICU Washington Update

President Expected to Sign Veterans Bill

December 17, 2020

As the 2020 year-end legislative scramble heads into its final weeks, Congress passed the Johnny Isakson and David P. Rowe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, which includes provisions from the “Protect the GI Bill” legislation and provides extensions of COVID-19 relief measures. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. 

The final bill also expands the current in-state tuition provisions for veterans using their GI Benefits at public colleges to include all veterans regardless of how long ago they served.  Additionally, the legislation expands the use of the “Yellow Ribbon Program” to international institutions of higher education and codifies the “Principles of Excellence” from the Obama Executive Order requiring postsecondary information for veteran students. 

Finally, the bill provides broad flexibility to the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure veterans have access to housing and educational benefits during the pandemic, including for veterans attending institutions whose semester calendars may be adjusted because of the pandemic. 

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