A Florida congressman wants to expand how veterans can use their GI Bill benefits.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., unveiled the “Modern GI Bill Act” which “allows veterans who are entitled to Post-9/11 educational assistance through the GI Bill to use eligible funds to repay federal student loans.”
In bringing out the bill, the congressman referenced his personal experience with student loans and serving in the Army.
“When I joined the Army after the attacks on September 11, 2001, I had significant student loan debt from law school, which took me over 15 years to pay off. During my time in the military, I served with many others who had previously received an education and took out loans to pay for it,” said Steube.
“For generations, the GI Bill has offered a pathway to education for our nation’s veterans, but as a new generation of men and women answer the call to service, this bill needs to be modernized to meet their educational and financial needs, which often include student loans,” he added “Servicemembers, like myself, who joined after they obtained their education, cannot take advantage of the GI Bill, so we should give those veterans the same amount of credit toward the student loans they incurred prior to their military service.”
According to the congressman’s office, the bill “includes limitations to control costs, including prohibiting the transfer of benefits, setting a maximum amount to be spent per veteran per year, and setting a time limit on the entitlement.” Steube insisted many veterans would benefit if his bill becomes law.
“Passing this bill will help ease the financial burden facing many of our nation’s veterans. It will also create an incentive for those considering service who have previously incurred student loan debt,” said Steube. “As our nation’s forces modernize, we must modernize the GI Bill to ensure we are keeping up our end of the bargain and giving our veterans the tools, they need to succeed.”
Steube reeled in the support of two Democrats–U.S. Reps. TJ Cox of California and Max Rose of New York–to cosponsor the bill which was sent to the House Veterans Affairs Committee. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. Senate.
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