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Courtney Touts Update To The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill As Win For Veterans

July 25, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee made the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, a significant improvement to the post 9/11 G.I. Bill. This legislation extends G.I. Bill benefits to all qualified veterans and service members who were serving as of January 1, 2013, for their entire lifetimes. Additionally, it ensures these benefits are granted to future veterans, their surviving spouses, and dependents, as well as all recipients of the Purple Heart. Courtney was an original cosponsor of the bill that passed the House last night by a vote of 405-0.

“I am very pleased that members from both sides of the aisle came together to pass this historic update to the G.I. bill that will benefit generations of service members for years to come,” said Courtney. “Eastern Connecticut is the proud home to more veterans than any other congressional district in the state. In 2010, I was a cosponsor of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill - the most important update to the benefit since the end of World War II - that boosted the amount of tuition assistance and for the first time allowed the benefit to be transferred to a spouse of a dependent of a qualified service member. Now, this new bill will ensure that G.I. Bill benefits will be available throughout the lifetime of all veterans who enlisted after 2013, as well as all Purple Heart recipients regardless of their length of service. This bill also ensures fairness for Connecticut National Guard members who have deployed overseas under authorities that were previously not eligible for G.I. Bill benefits by closing this egregious loophole.

“Since the original G.I. Bill was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1944, it has been one of the most successful investments in American society. It uplifted millions of veterans into the middle-class and above, while honoring their service with a tangible educational benefit that lasts a lifetime. The bipartisan bill we passed will continue this legacy. I would also like to recognize Rep. Esty who serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee for co-leading this bill and working to get it across the finish line.” 

More information on the bill is available here.