Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jon Tester (D- Mont.) today introduced the Responsible Education Mitigating Option and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act to ensure student veterans can access their full housing allowances while pursuing education remotely during the pandemic. These housing benefits are set to be cut by almost half in December 2021, which will create extreme uncertainty for veterans who could be forced to abandon their education in order to make up the cost of rent or a mortgage.
The REMOTE Act will also extend remote learning waivers, simplify the verification process for tuition reimbursement to minimize unneeded paperwork for student veterans, and fix an error in current law to ensure U.S. universities can continue to recruit foreign students. These changes will help hundreds of Nevada students and student veterans.
“Our veterans have devoted their lives in service to our country, and providing them with the housing resources they need to complete their education is vital to facilitating their transition from active duty service back to the workforce,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “That is why I am proud to introduce this important legislation that will ensure our veterans don’t have to worry about funding for housing when deciding on their academic future.”
“Now more than ever, we need to ensure student veterans have uninterrupted access to the assistance they’ve earned as our nation works to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror,” said Chairman Tester of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “I’m thankful for Senator Cortez Masto’s leadership, and I’m proud to join this effort to extend housing and other critical benefits for the men and women who have served our nation in uniform and now seek a quality education.”
The REMOTE Act is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and has been endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
“Time is running out for the student veterans who may not receive the full housing allowance they financially rely on to support themselves and their families,” said the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. “The VFW believes these students should not have to choose between their educational goals and paying their bills. We thank Senator Cortez Masto for introducing this legislation and the VFW will work to help ensure these protections are passed and student veterans see solutions as quickly as possible.”
Senator Cortez Masto is a champion in the Senate advocating for our veterans and their families. She recently introduced bipartisan legislation to make it easier for veterans who have a service-related medical condition to get the benefits they are entitled to and has held listening sessions with military spouses about the challenges they face. She has passed legislation through the annual National Defense Reauthorization Acts to help veterans exposed to Agent Orange get the treatment they need and improve the management of privatized military housing to prioritize the needs of families. As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2021, Senator Cortez Masto secured measures to improve mental health services for members of the National Guard and Reserves, support Navy members in getting the retirement benefits owed to them, and increase the transparency and efficiency of the Department of Defense’s TRICARE medical billing practices.