Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement on the Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Assistance Improvement Act of 2017 or Forever GI Bill:
“This bill will create opportunities for veterans to pursue higher education, regardless of when they choose to do so in their careers, and also allows them to gain the skills required to remain competitive in the job market. We must continue to seek ways to improve their quality of life and support them in their transition back into civilian life. I am proud to have cosponsored this bill and I am pleased to see the Senate united in support of our veterans, who have given so much to our country.”
The Forever GI bill, led by Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.), was cosponsored by Cortez Masto and was passed today in the Senate by unanimous consent. This bill:
- Removes the 15-year cap on the use of educational benefits, prevents predatory practices by for profit schools, and reinstates GI bill benefits to defrauded veterans.
- Allows GI Bill recipients to use their benefit for coding schools or boot camps. This gives transitioning service members the opportunity to enter the tech sector shortly after leaving the service.
- Protects student veterans when their institutions of higher education fail by restoring their lost benefits.
- Provides additional money for veterans pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) degrees that require more than 128 semester credit hours for completion. Veterans seeking degrees like engineering, that typically require more than 128 credits, do not have their full tuition covered because their benefits run out before completion.