August 04, 2017

Manchin Applauds Senate Passage of Comprehensive "Forever G.I. Bill"

Senate unanimously passes bipartisan measure to improve post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits

Washington, D.C. — Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the unanimous passage of the bipartisan bill to modernize and strengthen G.I. Bill education benefits for West Virginia veterans, Reservists and their families. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act amends the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill by striking down the arbitrary 15-year window for veterans to use their G.I. Bill education benefits.

“I’m proud of my colleagues in the Senate for giving our veterans the tools to achieve success after their service in the military,” said Senator Manchin. “One of our nation’s great challenges today is making sure the new generation of veterans is able to effectively reenter the workforce and re-acclimate to civilian life. The post-9/11 Generation of veterans includes some of the best and brightest in the world. This bill is an opportunity to give back to these brave men and women, many from West Virginia, and make good on our obligation to serve those who have sacrificed for us and for this great nation of ours. I highly encourage President Trump to sign this legislation as quickly as possible.”

The passage follows last week’s unanimous approval from the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act does the following:

  • Allows veterans who are studying science, technology, engineering or math additional benefits if their degree program requires additional credits.
  • Permits members of the National Guard and Reserve who are training, deployed, or undergoing certain medical treatment related to their service to accrue benefits like active duty service members.
  • Allows veterans to use education benefits to pay for education through area career and technical schools and postsecondary vocational institutions.
  • Extends the Yellow Ribbon Enhancement Program, which provides education benefits to survivors of those who died in the line of duty. 
  • Transfers benefits to a dependent if a service member dies before being able to use them.
  • Restores benefits to student veterans who received credits or training from certain educational institutions that subsequently close.
  • Reinstates the Reserve Educational Assistance Program for Reservists.
  • Prorates licensing and certification benefits, rather than charging veterans a month's worth of benefits.
  • Extends full education benefits to recipients of the Purple Heart.
  • Provides more on-campus educational and vocational counseling services for veterans.