December 15, 2021

Cortez Masto, Tester Pass Legislation to Protect VA Benefits for Student Veterans

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jon Tester (D- Mont.) announced that their Responsible Education Mitigating Option and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act has passed both the House and the Senate and is on its way to President Biden’s desk for signature into law. This vital piece of legislation will ensure that eligible student veterans can access their full VA housing allowances while pursuing education remotely during the pandemic. These housing benefits were set to be cut by almost half this month, which would have created extreme uncertainty for veterans who could have been forced to abandon their education in order to make up the cost of rent or a mortgage. 

“This bill will give student veterans and their families the peace of mind that their housing benefits won’t be cut just because they are still learning remotely” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I am proud to have introduced this important legislation that will help veterans in Nevada and across the country continue to pursue their academic future without worrying about how they will pay the rent.”  

“Our bill is now one step away from ensuring student veterans in Montana and across the country have the resources and support they need to continue seeking a quality education during the pandemic and beyond,” said Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “No veteran should ever have to face uncertainty when it comes to their future, and I’m thankful for Senator Cortez Masto’s leadership in extending housing and other critical benefits for the men and women who bravely served our nation in uniform.”

The REMOTE Act will also extend remote learning waivers, simplify the VA verification process for tuition reimbursement to minimize unnecessary paperwork for student veterans, and fix a technical error in current law to ensure U.S. universities, including Nevada’s colleges, can continue to recruit foreign students without losing G.I. bill funding for their students. These changes will help hundreds of Nevada students and student veterans. The REMOTE Act is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and has been endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

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.