[Vision2020] There's a plan in Congress to start charging troops for their GI Bill benefits

Janesta janesta at gmail.com
Tue Apr 18 15:41:21 PDT 2017

Is this for real? Wow. And the rich keep getting richer, while our Vets
keep giving ALL.

On Apr 18, 2017 5:31 PM, "Tom Hansen" <thansen at moscow.com> wrote:

> Courtesy of the *Military Times* at:
> http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/gi-bill-benefits-new-
> fees-future-enlistees-house-lawmakers?utm_source=Sailthru&
> utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Army%20Times%20DNR%204/18/17&
> utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Army%20-%20Daily%20News%20Roundup
> ---------------------------------
> There's a plan in Congress to start charging troops for their GI Bill
> benefits
> WASHINGTON — A congressional proposal to make service members buy into
> their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits surprised veterans groups on Tuesday, with
> advocates divided over whether it amounts to a long-term fix for the
> benefit or an unfair bill for veterans.
> “This new tax on troops is absurd,” said Veterans of Foreign Wars National
> Commander Brian Duffy in a statement. “Ensuring veterans are able to
> successfully transition back to civilian life after military service is a
> cost of war, and not a fee that Congress can just pass along to our troops.
> “Congress must stop nickeling and diming America’s service members and
> veterans.”
> The plan — draft legislation from House Veterans Affairs Committee
> Chairman Phil Roe, R-Tenn. — would deduct $2,400 from future service
> members’ paychecks to establish eligibility for revamped post-military
> education benefits. This was first reported Tuesday by Task & Purpose.
> Currently, the post-9/11 GI Bill offers full tuition to a four-year state
> college (or the equivalent tuition payout for a private school) plus a
> monthly housing stipend to any service member who spends at least three
> years on active duty, and to reservists who are mobilized to active-duty
> for extended periods. Troops wounded while serving are also eligible.
> Unlike the older Montgomery GI Bill benefit, the post-9/11 GI Bill does
> not require any fees or pay reductions for eligibility. The new proposal
> would change that, taking up to $100 a month from new enlistees’ paychecks
> for the right to access the benefit after they leave the ranks.
> The money collected would amount to a fraction of the overall cost of the
> veterans education benefit. Congressional staff estimate the move would
> bring in about $3.1 billion over the next 10 years, while total GI Bill
> spending is expected to total more than $100 billion over the same decade.
> Supporters of the plan say having service members “buy in” to the benefit
> would strengthen it against periodic attempts by budget planners to trim
> veterans education benefits. Last year, veterans advocates sparred over
> proposed cuts to GI Bill benefits given to the children of troops, and a
> plan to cap some housing stipends connected to the program.
> “It’s infinitely more difficult to get rid of or cut the GI Bill if troops
> have paid into that benefit,” said Will Hubbard, vice president of
> government affairs for Student Veterans of America. “This is about how we
> can make the GI Bill protected and buffered against budget fights for years
> to come.”
> SVA is one of several groups expected to testify before Congress on April
> 26 on Roe’s bill, known unofficially as the “Lifetime GI Bill Act,” and a
> host of other changes to current Veterans Affairs education benefits.
> They include expanding eligibility for wounded troops, families of
> deceased service members, and some reservists currently excluded from the
> program. Most of those changes have broad support in the veterans
> community, although how to pay for them has been a point of contention.
> The new buy-in would create enough money for that expansion, although
> veterans groups in the past have opposed similar ideas.
> Hubbard said SVA officials believe the GI Bill program needs changes to
> survive and transform from a wartime benefit to an enduring contract with
> future military volunteers.
> VFW officials have gone further, vowing to fight the plan. They argue the
> Post-9/11 GI Bill “is earned through honorable service, not through
> out-of-pocket fees” and accused lawmakers of moving “to claw back this
> critical educational benefit” even while troops are still serving in wars
> overseas.
> Paul Rieckhoff, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, offered
> similar frustration with the proposal. He said his group will fight any
> "tax" on troops to pay for education benefits, and that he doubts there is
> much support in the public for such a plan.
> "Pushing this GI Bill tax proposal on troops in a time of war is political
> cowardice," he said.
> "Some politicians would rather make backroom deals than raise taxes or
> find other ways to support our troops as bombs continue to fall overseas."
> Roe’s staff said the proposal is part of a larger effort in recent months
> to “address long-sought improvements to educational assistance benefits for
> veterans.” The chairman also promised an “open, transparent and inclusive”
> debate on the issue, and said none of the ideas under consideration is
> guaranteed to advance through the committee.
> Democrats on the committee have already voiced concerns behind the scenes
> about the proposal, saying they want to make sure that all voices are heard
> on any drastic education benefits changes. That could include not just
> veterans groups and VA officials but also Defense Department
> representatives, since the GI Bill is a major recruiting tool for the
> services.
> No similar legislation has yet been introduced in the Senate, although
> advocates have been discussing the plan with lawmakers in both chambers for
> several months. Hubbard said the cuts proposed by Congress to the benefit
> last year played a role in drafting the new legislation.
> As written, the draft bill would cover only new enlistees, and would not
> charge the $2,400 eligibility fee to troops already in the ranks.
> ---------------------------------
> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
> http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> =======================================================
>  List services made available by First Step Internet,
>  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
>                http://www.fsr.net
>           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
> =======================================================
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20170418/69250b68/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list