Here is something you don't see a lot in Washington - agreement. But the hearings yesterday to make changes to the GI Bill went well and Senator Akaka is going to move it forward. That doesn't mean it is a done deal or that it will be he same bill in the end. But it is a great sign!!
AKAKA TO MOVE FORWARD WITH POST-9/11 GI BILL IMPROVEMENT ACT
Chairman holds hearing on strengthening new education program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a favorable hearing on improving the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) is preparing to move forward with legislation to improve the new program.
“The original GI Bill changed my life and our country,” said Akaka, one of three current U.S. Senators who went to college on the original GI Bill. “I am committed to strengthening the new program for post-9/11 troops and veterans, and I look forward to moving this improvement bill to a vote.”
Akaka is the author of a S. 3447, the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, a bill to enhance the new education benefit for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is scheduled to hold a markup of pending legislation on August 5, 2010, at which point Akaka intends to bring the bill up for a vote.
At the hearing yesterday, witnesses testified in support of the legislation and offered suggestions.
Eric Hilleman of the Veterans of Foreign Wars stated that Senator Akaka’s legislation “addresses every area of concern the VFW has with improving the Post-9/11 GI Bill.”
Tim Embree from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America offered ideas for the draft bill as well as IAVA’s endorsement. Embree said the “discussion draft of S. 3447 will improve the New GI Bill and ensure that all student veterans have access to the most generous investment in veterans’ education since World War II.”
Akaka, a World War II veteran, attended the University of Hawaii-Manoa on the original GI Bill. He cosponsored the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and worked with Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) to revise and negotiate the legislation. More information about the hearing, including statements, testimony and the webcast is available here: veterans.senate.gov